Tag Archives: ICANN Ombudsman

If You’re Attending ICANN69, ICANN Ombuds Wants “Mutual Respect”

Attendees at the upcoming virtual ICANN69 meeting (Community Days, 13-15 October | Plenary Week, 19–22 October) have been requested by the ICANN Ombuds Herb Waye to observe the Expected Standards of Behaviour and the Community Anti-Harassment Policy.

Continue reading If You’re Attending ICANN69, ICANN Ombuds Wants “Mutual Respect”

ICANN Office of the Ombudsman 2017 Annual Report

ICANN logoHerb Waye, ICANN Ombudsman, is pleased to announce the publication of the ICANN Office of the Ombudsman 2017 Annual Report.

View the report.

The report is available in all official ICANN languages. If you have any questions for the Ombudsman, contact him at ombudsman@icann.org.

This page is available in:


ICANN‘s mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

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:

DotConnectAfrica Conflict Of Interest Allegations Against ICANN Board Members Unfounded

Allegations of a conflict against ICANN board members Mike Silber and Chris Disspain by DotConnectAfrica, one of two applicants for the .africa generic Top Level Domain, has been dismissed by the ICANN Ombudsman.The allegations have led to a considerable amount of discussion on blogs, Twitter and other sites and in comments on the ICANN website in relation to the new .africa gTLDs applications. Regrettably, the Ombudsman notes much of the discussion has been intemperate.The conflict of interest relates to a policy adopted by the ICANN board in December 2011 that requires board members and other key ICANN employees to not take advantage of their position within the organisation.During the investigation the Ombudsman investigated whether there were any decisions made during the New gTLD Program Committee and ICANN board meetings that affected the complainant and the .africa applications.The Ombudsman says:
it is clearly apparent when the records are examined, that the 2 board members have not participated in any decision-making about .africa, and indeed there has been little discussion other than at a higher level about the program in general. It is in my view premature to consider whether there can even be apparent bias, because it is too remote to link the suggested connections with the very generic discussions which have taken place, and in addition, where the actual decisions about the applications are still some distance from being made.Dismissing the complaint the Ombudsman says he considers:
that no disqualifying conflict of interest, or indeed any conflict of interest at all, is present in the actions of both Chris Disspain and Mike Silber. It is likely this complaint has led to increased awareness of the possibilities of conflict of interest, which the Board will carefully consider in terms of the existing policy about conflict, when the issue arises.

New ICANN Ombudsman Promises Voice For Developing Countries

ICANN have appointed Chris LaHatte as its new ombudsman, an experienced mediator and lawyer who has practiced in New Zealand, Taiwan and Central Asia, commencing in the new role on 28 July.LaHatte is a lawyer, graduating from the University of Auckland and earned a Masters Degree in Dispute Resolution from Massey University, also in New Zealand, with judicial settlement conferences as his thesis. He is also a Fellow of the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand, a mediator for the New Zealand Law Society on cost issues and a construction law adjudicator.He has practised as a barrister for many years, coming to see alternative dispute resolution as the most effective tool in dealing with conflict as well as presenting papers and writing articles about aspects of dispute resolution and other matters. LaHatte has also written for Thompson Reuters on court procedure.With all this experience, LaHatte says he is acutely aware of the need for developing countries to have a strong voice in international organisations such as ICANN telling Xinhua that he anticipated many of the issues concerning developing nations would involve “communications difficulties.””We don’t know exactly what the issues are going to be because we haven’t seen them yet,” LaHatte told Xinhua.”People from different cultures sometimes mean different things when they talk to each other that’s one of the issues my office constantly seeks to raise awareness of,” he said.LaHatte also believes that the expansion of the gTLD space that will commence in 2012 may cause some disputesLaHatte will continue to be based in New Zealand, where he lives with his family, who he believes allow him to practise his dispute resolution skills!

ICANN Ombudsman Announces Departure

Frank Fowlie imageThe ICANN Ombudsman Frank Fowlie has announced he will be leaving his position on or before 31 January 2011 while a successor to Fowlie has begun immediately.

Fowlie has been controversial in recent months following an alleged mid-air dispute that made news headlines in the domain name world. Whether this controversy had any impact on Fowlie’s decision to leave is not clear.

“After six years with ICANN, I have logged 794 days in travel status, or about two years and five months away from home,” said Fowlie in a statement announcing his departure to the ICANN staff. “It’s time for me to spend a bit more time at home with my wonderful wife.”

“Frank has been instrumental in establishing ICANN’s first online presence for the Ombudsman’s office,” said Peter Dengate Thrush, Chairman of the ICANN Board. “We wish him all the best and we will begin a search immediately to find a suitable successor.” Fowlie has agreed to stay at ICANN long enough to help with the transition of his successor.

The ICANN Ombudsman serves as an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) office for anyone in the ICANN community who may wish to lodge a complaint about a staff or board decision. The Ombudsman also hears grievances about any particular action or lack of action. The office is aimed at ensuring that members of the ICANN community have been treated fairly, while acting as an impartial officer.