We have noted that the Review Task Force Report has been highly critical of the efforts
of the Review Working Group (because the Review WG has been openly critical of the
non-effort of the Names Council RTF). While such a dynamic is healthy and was
envisioned in the creation of the ICANN Supporting Organizations, certain new developments
are emerging which are a cause for concern...
A comment by a member of the Names
Council underscores this tension: "I personally think we need to move forward
on WGD ASAP since WG have been one of the areas where we have received quite a bit
of criticism and at least for me, why I have been reluctant to form new WGs."
This fear of
criticism has finally resulted in the premature termination of the life of the Review
Working Group (which was scheduled to end in June 2001):
"Decision D2 : proposed
by Ph. Sheppard, Seconded Th. Swinehart:
It was agreed that Th. Swinehart with
Y.J. Park and the NC Chair would draft a communication to the WG to confirm the present
timetable and that WG Review input NOT received by the DNSO by Feb 11 would form
a part of the ICANN public comment period and that would complete the work of WG
The Names Council has chosen to scrap the Working Group model in favor
of a new Task Force approach: "It is understood that the structure of participation
will be an improvement on the present structure of DNSO working groups!"
This plan to replace a viable bottoms-up consensus-forming criticism-generating
model with a new top-down gerrymandered model should be a matter of great concern
to the ICANN Board.
The Task Force approach has not proven itself to be
a functional mechanism. A Task Force/Working Group comparison is in order.
A review of comments posted to each of their lists reveals the following:
total of comments posted:
Review Task Force ----- 21
Group -- 1440
In examining the complete public record of Task Force member comments,
one is hard pressed to find substantive discussion of the issues they were mandated
to investigate, and one cannot find any comments that reflect discussions on recommendations
ultimately put forth. Some Task Force members didn't even make a single comment
in over seven months, while some others added no more than introductory greetings.
the record, however, it should be noted that some dissenting voices in the NC have
argued against a pure Task Force approach in the past:
most of the criticism about the functioning of the DNSO points to the role of the
NC and the Constituency system, I would argue that from the PR point of view the
DNSO will not come out nicely if the problem will be managed... by a subset of the
NC itself. There will be the need of an open discussion, with request for comments,
well, a WG! Anything less will achieve the result of surviving another quarter, but
not do a step forward towards solutions."
the Names Council worries about PR and loss of credibility, we Working Group participants
worry instead about a pattern of lethargic response to requests from the Board:
"Comments on the DNSO Review report version 2. General observation: The
lack of self-criticism and self-appraisal by constituencies and Names Council itself
is worrying. What has NC done since July 14, 2000 when Pindar Wong asked the NC to
begin a review to January 15 when task force closed the comment period to justify
Working Group members are concerned by the prospect of even more Task Forces with
no particular interest in getting the job done (as noted by a Task Force member):
Task Force is essentially silent, and this silence is counterbalanced by a lot of
activity on some lists, for instance the GA and NonCom. If I had to draw conclusions,
the obvious one is that this Task Force is not interested in getting the ball moving:"
Finally, we wish
to reaffirm our distaste for all Names Council mechanisms which effectively tend
to censor our input. We share the point of view of the NCDNHC:
find below the position of the NCDNHC adcom: ...the filtering of its [Review
WG] input through a Names Council-appointed Task Force, constitute unnecessary and
counterproductive constraints on the DNSO Review process."
hope that in the future the ICANN Board will continue to mandate that Working Groups
be formed. Although they may be loud, noisy, contentious, and aggravating at
times, the have proven themselves to be much more viable and productive than the
Names Council Task Force alternative.