Recommendations to Improve ICANN’s Office of Ombudsman

Brief Overview

ICANN logoPurpose: This Public Comment seeks community input on the CCWG-Accountability Work Stream 2 (WS2) draft recommendations on the ICANN Ombudsman’s Office (IOO). These draft recommendations were developed by the CCWG-Accountability as required by Annex 12 of the final report of the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability, Work Stream 1 (CCWG-Accountability, WS1).

Current Status: The CCWG-Accountability reviewed these draft recommendations at its 11 and 18 October 2017 plenary meetings and approved their publication to gather public comments.

Next Steps: Following the public comment period the inputs will be analyzed by the CCWG-Accountability WS2 who will consider amending the recommendations in light of the comments received and will publish a report on the results of the public consultation. If significant changes are required as a result of the public consultation the CCWG-Accountability WS2 may decide to not include these recommendations in its final report given it must complete its work by June 2018. If there are no significant changes required, the CCWG-Accountability WS2 will include these in its final report and forward it to its Chartering Organizations for approval and then to the ICANN Board for consideration and adoption.

Section I: Description and Explanation

The Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability Work Stream 2 (CCWG-Accountability-WS2) on the ICANN Ombuds Office (IOO) project obtains its mandate and scope from ICANN bylaws and the CCWG-Accountability, WS1 Final report which included Recommendation 12 the following:

As part of Work Stream 2, the CCWG-Accountability proposes that further enhancements be made to a number of designated mechanisms:

  • Considering enhancements to the Ombudsman’s role and function.

Annex 12, which details Recommendation 12, also included the following recommendations with regards to the IOO:

Considering Enhancements to the Ombudsman’s Role and Function

Through the enhanced Request for Reconsideration process (see Recommendation #8: Improving ICANN‘s Request for Reconsideration Process), the CCWG-Accountability has given increased responsibility to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman can perform a critical role in ensuring that ICANN is transparent and accountable, preventing and resolving disputes, supporting consensus-development, and protecting bottom-up, multistakeholder decision-making at ICANN. ICANN‘s Office of Ombudsman must have a clear charter that reflects, supports, and respects ICANN‘s Mission, Commitments and Core Values, and must have sufficient authority and independence to ensure that it can perform these important roles effectively. As part of Work Stream 2, the CCWG-Accountability will evaluate the current Ombudsman charter and operations against industry best practices and recommend any changes necessary to ensure that the ICANN Ombudsman has the tools, independence, and authority needed to be an effective voice for ICANN stakeholders.

In addition to the requirements found in Annex 12 the ATRT2 recommendation for the evaluation of the ICANN Office of the Ombuds (IOO) was transferred to the CCWG-Accountability-WS2 to avoid overlap or duplication of work.

Section II: Background

To undertake this work the CCWG-Accountability-WS2 created an IOO sub-group which was charged with presenting a report to the CCWG-Accountability-WS2 Plenary for consideration.

After some initial discussions, the IOO sub-group decided to focus its work on the external review of the IOO.

The final report of the external evaluator identified 5 areas for improvement:

  1. Clarify role and processes – manage expectations
  2. Standing and authority
  3. Strengthen independence
  4. Strengthen transparency
  5. Policy for non-dispute roles

To address the need for improvements the report made 11 recommendations.

The IOO sub-group approved the objectives of all the recommendations made by the external evaluator but did modify some of the implementation requirements to allow for more flexibility and speed in implementation, especially when considering Bylaws changes. It is also important to note that these do not modify the Charter of the Office of the Ombudsman (section 5.2 of the ICANN Bylaws) or the Jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman as documented in the ICANN Ombudsman Framework.

Section III: Relevant Resources

Section IV: Additional Information

Supporting Documents

Open Date: 10 Nov 2017 23:59 UTC

Close Date: 22 Dec 2017 23:59 UTC

Staff Report Due: 30 Jan 2018 23:59 UTC

This ICANN announcement was sourced from: