ICANN: Evaluators Selection for the New gTLD Program Continues

ICANN logoICANN has received 12 responses to the call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for independent evaluators in the new generic top-level domain name (gTLD) program. The application period for organizations interested in evaluating applications for new gTLDs took place between 13 April and 15 September 2009. The respondents are well-qualified and respected organizations from Australia, Belgium, Iran, Jordan, United Kingdom, and the United States.

The panel selection process is part of the New gTLD Program’s operational readiness and organizations will be retained to examine the applications covering the following areas: (1) Applicant Evaluation (Technical and Financial Evaluation); (2) Geographical Names; (3) String Similarity; (4) Community Priority (formerly known as Comparative Evaluation).

List of respondents

Organization Location
1. Deloitte & Laga Belgium
2. Economist Intelligence Unit United States
3. Ernst & Young United States
4. Fulcrum Financial Inquiry United States
5. GeoLang LTD United Kingdom
6. InterConnect Communications United Kingdom
7. IranNSR Iran
8. JAS Communications United States
9. KPMG United States
10. TAEUS International United States
11. Talal Abu Ghazaleh Information Technology International Jordan
12. Webb Henderson Australia

Although the launch date of the gTLD Program remains uncertain, ICANN is moving forward with securing Evaluation Panelists, due to the critical nature of their involvement in the process and the anticipated lead time required to train and integrate the evaluation processes with each firm.

Over the next few months, ICANN will identify a short-list of qualified candidates that demonstrate sufficient expertise, resources and geographic diversity to meet program needs. The short-listed candidates will be selected based on a scoring system developed in line with vendor selection processes previously employed by ICANN staff – a copy of the general criteria is included below. The short-listed candidates will be invited to present their qualifications to ICANN staff and subject matter experts for each area of assessment. The candidates will be asked a series of process and technical questions that will enable staff to better understand the candidate’s approach to evaluating applications in an effective and efficient manner, technical competence, and maintaining an acceptable level of quality and consistency of analysis and results. Each candidate’s key team members will also be evaluated on responses to situations they may encounter during the application evaluation process.

For each area of assessment, ICANN’s plan is to have primary and back up evaluation service providers. The selection of back up panelists is to provide additional and necessary benefits, such as, managing conflicts of interest between the evaluation and applicants, promoting competition and accountability amongst the evaluation panelists to promote a consistently high quality

of service, and to provide additional services should the primary panelist have challenges with quality, consistency, and/or scalability.

As these steps are completed, ICANN will share progress with the community as we move towards the selecting the final evaluation panelist service providers. The retention of the service providers is expected to occur in the first half of 2010.

General Criteria Matrix

No General Questions Score (1 – 10)
Candidate A Candidate B Candidate C Candidate D Candidate E Candidate F Candidate G
Approach and Scalability
1 The candidates overall approach is logical, achievable, demonstrates quality, and is clear about managing conflicts of interest in appearance or fact.
2 The completion of application analysis adequately meets the timing requirements described in the Applicant Guidebook; Initial Evaluation (4.5 months), Extended Evaluation (5 months), etc.
3 The evaluation approach adequately covers the principles of fairness, transparency, and non-discrimination.
4 The candidates approach for scaling between 100 to 2,000 applications is clear and achievable
Sub-total
Consistency
5 The approach includes a process to ensure the consistency of evaluation results.
6 Through its demonstrated knowledge of the new gTLD program and Applicant Guidebook the candidate has described how it will provide input to help continually refine the process to ensure consistent, objective analysis and results.
Sub-total
Skill Set & Experience
7 The candidate has an understanding of ICANN, its role, structure and processes, including DNS and past gTLD application & evaluation rounds
8 The candidate has experience with the operation of registries and/or registrars
9 The resources provided for the evaluation panel have the ability to convene globally and have the appropriate skill set and experience to conduct the analysis and provide sufficient results.
Sub-total
Cost & Sustainability
10 The cost to perform evaluation services, including assumptions for determining such costs, are transparent, reasonable, and sustainable.
Sub-total
Total

Related Resources:

For Program details, go to: icann.org/en/topics/new-gtld-program.htm

For International Tenders & Expressions of Interest details go to: icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/tenders-eoi-en.htm

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-25oct09-en.htm