One of the most important ways for ICANN to be both transparent and accountable is the public comment period.
ICANN is very unusual as an organisation in that all of its work – even when in draft form – is put out for public review. Unfortunately that review system has been under-used for years. And so we have been trying for several months to make the process simpler, easier and more effective. We produced a set of Consulting Principles to make it clear what the system is, and a single public comment webpage to make it extremely easy to see what was going on at any given time. This has, we are very pleased to note, caused a jump in the quantity and quality of comments.
There are still concerns though. Just last week on this blog, one commenter complained that he didnÃ¢â¬â¢t feel there was much point in making a comment, even though we now produce a summary/analysis of comments made to the public comment period and request that the relevant body explicitly discuss that summary when making a decision concerning the subject at issue. The GNSO actually put discussion of the summary/analysis of the new gTLD report on its meeting agenda in September. There was then however some dispute over whether the summary was given the correct attention, which we are reviewing and hope to discuss with the community soon, figuring out the best way forward.
To read the rest of Kieren’s post on the ICANN Blog, see blog.icann.org/?p=207