ICANN: CCWG-Accountability WS2 Final Report

Brief Overview

Purpose: This Public Comment seeks community input on whether there are any inconsistencies1 between the various sets of recommendations within the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability’s (CCWG-Accountability) final report from its Work Stream 2 (WS2).


The CCWG-Accountability WS2 final report is a compilation of eight reports generated through individual sub-groups of the CCWG-Accountability, each of which has already been the subject of public comment. These eight reports are on the topics identified at Section 27.1. of the ICANN Bylaws2, which defined WS2.

Current Status: At its 9 March 2018 face-to-face meeting at ICANN61 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the CCWG-Accountability completed its approval of each of the sub-group reports for inclusion within the WS2 final report.

Next Steps: The inputs from the public comment period will be analyzed by the CCWG-Accountability, which will consider amending the report in light of the relevant comments received about inconsistencies. The CCWG-Accountability will publish a report on the results of the public consultation. If there are no significant changes required, the CCWG-Accountability will forward its WS2 final report to its Chartering Organizations for endorsement and then to the ICANN Board for consideration and adoption.

1 Because each of these sub-reports has already been the subject of public comment, and in order to complete its work in a timely manner, the CCWG-Accountability is limiting this public comment opportunity only to the identification of inconsistencies between the recommendations across the report. The CCWG-Accountability will not be in a position to re-address substantive issues and open new public comment periods on portions of the report and complete WS2 within its proposed and budgeted completion date of June 2018.

2 Section 27.1 of the Bylaws defines nine topics for inclusion within WS2. However, the Cooperative Engagement Process (CEP) was identified as better suited for coordination with the work on updating ICANN‘s Independent Review Process, as opposed to handling with WS2. By agreement with the CCWG-Accountability and the community group supporting the updates to the Independent Review Process, the CEP was removed from WS2.

Section I: Description and Explanation

The CCWG-Accountability WS2 final report is a compilation of eight reports generated through individual sub-groups of the CCWG-Accountability, each of which has already been the subject of public comment. These eight reports are on the topics identified at Section 27.1. of the ICANN Bylaws, which defined WS2.

The CCWG-Accountability organized WS2 into nine independent topics which continued to require significant effort by the community over close to two years from its beginning in June 2016:

  • Diversity
  • Guidelines for standards of conduct presumed to be in good faith associated with exercising removal of individual ICANN Board Directors (Guidelines for Good Faith).
  • Human Rights Framework of Interpretation (HR-FOI)
  • Jurisdiction
  • Ombuds (or office of the Ombuds)
  • Reviewing the Cooperative Engagement Process (CEP) (Merged into Independent Review Process – Implementation Oversight Team (IRP-IOT) in June 2017)
  • Supporting Organization/Advisory Committee (SO/AC) Accountability
  • Staff Accountability
  • Transparency

By ICANN61 (San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 2018) all eight WS2 sub-groups had completed a public consultation on their draft recommendations and submitted their final reports and recommendations to the CCWG-Accountability plenary which approved these.

The final reports from the eight sub-groups represent more than 100 recommendations, most of which are not anticipated to require Bylaws modifications for implementation.

In considering the final WS2 report the CCWG-Accountability WS2 agreed at its 9 March 2018 meeting that:

Prioritization and funding for implementation of recommendations is beyond the scope and capacity of WS2 and rests with ICANN (Board and Organization) and the community. The CCWG-Accountability-WS2 proposes to establish a small implementation team to assist ICANN and the community to ensure the implementation plan preserves the spirit of the recommendations and provide any interpretation advice as required.

The CCWG-Accountability understands that the implementation of its WS2 recommendations cannot proceed in a similar fashion as the implementation of its WS1 recommendations. If all recommendations are endorsed by the Chartering Organizations and then approved by the ICANN Board, implementation of the more than 100 recommendations contained in the WS2 report will be a multi-year project based on a detailed implementation plan agreed to by the ICANN org and the broader ICANN community, after public consultation on the implementation plan.

Overall, the CCWG-Accountability’s WS2 represents a significant effort by the community of 272 meetings, more than 5,000 emails and 10,000 hours of volunteer meeting time, which does not include individual time for reading and writing, over a period of two years while remaining well within its original one-year cost estimates.

As such the CCWG-Accountability WS2 believes it has met all of the expectations and requirements of section 27.1 of the ICANN Bylaws on WS2 and delivers these recommendations to the ICANN Board and its Chartering Organizations in accordance with its Charter and the Bylaws.

Section II: Background

Beginning in December 2014, a working group of ICANN community members developed a set of proposed enhancements to ICANN‘s accountability to the global Internet community. The first phase of this work culminated with the CCWG-Accountability handing in its Work Stream 1 recommendations in February 2016 for approval by the Chartering Organizations and by the ICANN Board. These recommendations were approved by the ICANN Board in March 2016 and incorporated into the ICANN Bylaws effective 1 October 2016.

The Background section of the CCWG-Accountability’s WS1 Final Report also defined the requirement for WS2 as follows:

Work Stream 2: Focused on addressing accountability topics for which a timeline for developing solutions and full implementation may extend beyond the IANA Stewardship Transition.

Any other consensus items that are not required to be in place within the IANA Stewardship Transition timeframe can be addressed in Work Stream 2. There are mechanisms in Work Stream 1 to adequately enforce implementation of Work Stream 2 items, even if they were to encounter resistance from ICANN Management or others.

The CCWG-Accountability specified topics for consideration in WS2, and ICANN‘s commitment to WS2, in recommendation 12 of the WS1 Final Report and this was incorporated into the ICANN Bylaws at Section 27.1:

Section 27.1. WORK STREAM 2

(a) The Cross-Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (“CCWG-Accountability”) was established pursuant to a charter dated 3 November 2014 (“CCWG-Accountability Charter”). The CCWG-Accountability Charter was subsequently adopted by the GNSO, ALAC, ccNSO, GAC, ASO and SSAC (“CCWG Chartering Organizations”). The CCWG-Accountability Charter as in effect on 3 November 2014 shall remain in effect throughout Work Stream 2 (as defined therein).

(b) The CCWG-Accountability recommended in its Supplemental Final Proposal on Work Stream 1 Recommendations to the Board, dated 23 February 2016 (“CCWG-Accountability Final Report”) that the below matters be reviewed and developed following the adoption date of these Bylaws (“Work Stream 2 Matters”), in each case, to the extent set forth in the CCWG-Accountability Final Report:

(i) Improvements to ICANN‘s standards for diversity at all levels;

(ii) ICANN staff accountability;

(iii) Supporting Organization and Advisory Committee accountability, including but not limited to improved processes for accountability, transparency, and participation that are helpful to prevent capture;

(iv) Improvements to ICANN‘s transparency, focusing on enhancements to ICANN‘s existing Documentary Information Disclosure Policy (DIDP), transparency of ICANN‘s interactions with governments, improvements to ICANN‘s whistleblower policy and transparency of Board deliberations;

(v) Developing and clarifying the Framework of Interpretation for Human Rights (FOI-HR) (as defined in Section 27.2);

(vi) Addressing jurisdiction-related questions, including how choice of jurisdiction and applicable laws for dispute settlement impact ICANN‘s accountability;

(vii) Considering enhancements to the Ombudsman’s role and function;

(viii) Guidelines for standards of conduct presumed to be in good faith associated with exercising removal of individual Directors; and

(ix) Reviewing the CEP (as set forth in Section 4.3).3

3 Section 27.1 of the Bylaws presents 9 topics for consideration however the CCWG-Accountability and the IRP-IOT agreed in June 2017 that the Cooperative Engagement Process (CEP) topic would be best handled by the IRP-IOT and as such was merged with the IRP-IOT leaving only 8 topics for WS2 to address.

Section III: Relevant Resources

Section IV: Additional Information

CCWG-Accountability Work Stream 2 wiki – https://community.icann.org/display/WEIA

Open Date: 30 Mar 2018 23:59 UTC

Close Date: 11 May 2018 23:59 UTC

Staff Report Due: 11 Jun 2018 23:59 UTC

This ICANN announcement was sourced from: