ICANN: Proposed Charter Amendments of the GNSO Business Constituency

ICANN logoBrief Overview: The purpose of this public comment period is to obtain community input on proposed changes to the charter of the GNSO‘s Business Constituency. The changes have been approved by the membership of the Business Constituency and are awaiting Board review and approval. Consistent with the Board’s 2013 process for review of changes to community charter documentation, the Board’s Organizational Effectiveness Committee has authorized this public comment period for a period of 40 days.

Purpose: Obtain community input on proposed amendments to the charter of the GNSO‘s Business Constituency

Current Status: Charter changes have been approved by the membership of the Business Constituency; ICANN staff has assessed the amendments and determined that the proposals do not present any direct fiscal or liability concerns to the ICANN organization.

Next Steps: Awaiting Board review and approval – pending community feedback.

Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

The GNSO Business Constituency (BC) has completed Phase I of the formal ICANN Board Process for approval of community charter amendments and voted to amend its governing Charter documentation. In addition, as part of its Phase II Board Process responsibilities, ICANN staff has assessed the charter changes and determined that the proposals do not present any direct fiscal or liability concerns to the ICANN organization.

Accompanying this public comment announcement (see link below) is a document titled Business Constituency Charter (v3.0) – adopted by BC Vote on 17 October 2016. The document reflects the BC‘s complete new 2016 charter documentation and is presented “clean” rather than “red-lined”. There are historical and practical reasons for this. The document is the culmination of exhaustive work by a drafting team commissioned by the BC leadership. The drafting team held 34 hourly sessions since first involving ICANN Staff in the project back in October 2014. Since that time, the team produced 45 separate versions of the document – resulting in this final version being approved by the BC community and now being shared with the larger community for review.

Before finalizing the effort, every provision, principle, paragraph, and reference of the previous BC charter documentation was thoroughly analyzed, evaluated, edited and reviewed – in many instances more than once.

The final product can best be described as representing an exhaustive and thoughtful deliberation of every charter provision, including a significant amount of new “best-of-breed” material recommended to the community by staff. It is, in effect, a brand new document. As such, it would not be productive to present to any reviewer a typical “red-lined” version as the revisions would dwarf the new text.

Reviewers of the new revised document should scrutinize it as though it were freshly created. Due to the extent of the revisions, a full 40-day community review and comment period is contemplated for this matter.

Section II: Background

The ICANN Bylaws (Article X, Section 5.3) state, “Each Stakeholder Group shall maintain recognition with the ICANN Board.” The ICANN Board has interpreted this language to require that it must formally approve any GNSO Stakeholder Group and/or Constituency Charter amendments.

In 2013, the Board approved a Process For Amending GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency Charters (hereinafter “Process”) establishing four process phases that must be executed to secure formal Board approval of any community governance changes.  Those phases are:

  • Phase I: Amendment Preparation
  • Phase II: Staff Review
  • Phase III: Public Comments
  • Phase IV: Board Review

After receiving a recommendation from the Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC), the Board shall either:

  1. Recognize the proposed charter amendment by a simple majority vote; or
  2. Reject the proposed amendment by a supermajority (2/3) vote and provide a specific rationale for its concerns.

If neither above condition is met, the Board will ask for further explanation of the proposed amendments by the community.

Section III: Relevant Resources

Section IV: Additional Information

This ICANN announcement was sourced from: