RE: [bc-gnso] BC charter revision - basic principles
- To: bc - GNSO list <bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: RE: [bc-gnso] BC charter revision - basic principles
- From: Marilyn Cade <marilynscade@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 19 Sep 2009 12:49:10 -0400
In response to Philip Sheppard's request for members to respond to a few
questions that he presented, my initial responses are below in CAPS.
Subject: [bc-gnso] BC charter revision - basic principles
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 13:14:51 +0200
In order to shape any conference call on the Charter I wonder if members would
be kind enough to provide thoughts on the following.
Today we have 41 members, 3 elected volunteer member officers, 3 appointed
credentials committee, and 2 nom com appointees plus a part time secretariat.
Additionally a number of members contribute to ad hoc policy and other task
Issue 1 - the balance between doers and members
What is the right balance between the number of annually elected positions and
the membership size ?
Today (and for the last 10 years) it is 3/41 = 7%
Draft charter changes it to 5/41 =12%.
The draft charter also envisages other admin committees totalling with the
elected positions 13/41 =32%.
MSC: THE QUESTION MAY BE MORE COMPLICATED THAN "BALANCE" OF NUMBERS OF MEMBERS
VERSUS ELECTED ROLES. ICANN IS A BOTTOM UP ORGANIZATION AND DISTRIBUTED WORK
AND INVOLVEMENT WILL CREATE MORE AFFINITY AND SUPPORT TO THE BC. THERE ARE MORE
WAYS TO LOOK AT ELECTED ROLES THAN AS 'DOERS'. THAT HAS TURNED OUT TO BE THE
PRESENT REALITY, BUT THERE ARE OTHER MODELS, WHERE AN ELECTED POSITION /PERSON
TAKES RESPONSIBILITY FOR RECRUITING AND SUPPORTING OTHERS' ENGAGEMENT.
RELYING ON A PERCENTAGE WOULD MEAN THAT IF WE DOUBLED IN SIZE, WE WOULD DOUBLE
THE NUMBER OF OFFICERS. :-) WE SHOULD THINK OF THIS AS TRYING TO ALLOCATE WORK
ACROSS MORE THAN THE PRESENT THREE ELECTED POLICY COUNCILORS/OFFICERS, TO GET
MORE INVOLVEMENT, LESSEN THE WORK LOAD, AND IMPROVE MEMBER PARTICIPATION. BUT
MEMBERS SHOULD BE REALISTIC ABOUT THEIR WILLINGNESS AND ABILITY TO COMMIT TO
FULFILL NEEDED TASKS.
What is the right balance between elected, appointed and ad hoc ?
IT WOULD BE BEST TO AVOID 'AD HOC' EXCEPT WHEN INDEED UNFORSEEN ROLES COME UP,
AS THEY WILL. BUT EVEN IN THOSE CASES, MEMBERS SHOULD BE OFFERED A CHANCE TO
VOLUNTEER. THE USE OF APPOINTMENTS IS A LITTLE STICKY. IT CAN CREATE THE
APPEARANCE OF FAVORTISM,WHEN IN FACT THE REALITY IS THAT THERE ARE FEW
'WORKERS' WHO ARE ABLE TO OR WHO DO MAKE IT KNOWN THAT THEY ARE WILLING TO
WORK, NOT ONLY ON THEIR OWN POSITION, BUT IN THE BROADER INTEREST OF ALL
MEMBERS. WHERE POSSIBLE AND PRACTICAL, ELECTIONS SHOULD BE USED; SOME CHANGES
IN THE TIME FRAMES MAY ENABLE BROADER RECRUITMENT OF CANDIDATES.
Are there one third of the BC willing to volunteer their time to non-policy
SOME OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE /MANAGEMENT TASKS WILL PROBABLY HAVE MORE
VOLUNTEERS, BECAUSE THE WORK IS NOT SUBJECT MATTER SPECIFIC, IF OFTEN NOT AS
TIME SENSITIVE, AND CAN BE DONE IN SMALLER CHUNKS OF TIME.
Is there sufficient motivation to be a member volunteer for mostly non-policy
work? WE HAVE SEEN MEMBERS VOLUNTEER FOR SOME OF THE ORGANIZATIONAL REDESIGN ON
THE GNSO; SOME OF THOSE VOLUNTEERS WERE ACCEPTED, AND HAVE BEEN ACTIVELY
ENGAGED. iT WOULD SEEM SO.
Do members want one set of elections per year or several ? I WOULD PREFER
ELECTIONS FOR OFFICERS AT ONE TIME; AND OTHER ELECTIONS AS NEEDED AT DIFFERENT
TIMES DURING THE YEAR, BUT TO HAVE MORE TIME FOR NOMINATION PERIOD FOR ALL
ELECTIONS. SECONDLY, I WOULD LIKE FOR ANY BC ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES TO CONSULT
THE MEMBERS REAGARDING ANY ELECTIONS THAT THEY THEMSELVES PARTICIPATE IN ON
BELALF OF THE BC, E.G. ELECTION OF THE GNSO POLICY CHAIR, GNSO ELECTED BOARD
SEATS. ANY ELECTED OFFICER IN ANY POSITION SHOULD TAKE RESONSIBILITY FOR
UPDATING AND INFORMING THE BC MEMBERS OF THE CANDIDATES FOR THOSE POSITIONS,
AND SEE, BC INPUT. FOR EXAMPLE, IT MIGHT BE FEASIBLE TO WORK COLLECTIVELY WITH
OTHER CONSTITUENCIES TO IDENTIFY A SUITABLE BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVE FROM
OUTSIDE THE CONSTITUENCIES PRESENT MEMBERSHIP WHO WOULD MAKE AN EXCELLENT ICANN
BOARD CANDIDATE, WHO COULD BE NOMINATED, AND ELECTED VIA THE GNSO. RITA RODIN
WAS AN OUTSIDE CANDIDATE AND WON THE ELECTION. THE BC MEMBERSHIP COULD GIVEN
CAREFUL THOUGHT TO AN OUTSIDE CANDIDATE WHO COULD GAIN REGISTRY AND REGISTRAR
SUPPORT, AS WELL AS ISP, BC, AND SOME OF THE NOM COMM REPS FOR ELECTION TO THE
ICANN BOARD. THAT WOULD MEAN THAT INTERNAL PROCESSES REGARDING THOSE ELECTIONS
ALSO NEEDS TO BECOME A MATTER OF FORMAL INTERNAL CONSULTATION. NOMINATING
COMMITTEE REPS WILL ALSO WANT TO
What does it mean if we conduct an election but less than half the members vote?
IN ANY COUNTRY WITHOUT MANDATORY VOTING, THERE ARE OFTEN LESS THAN HALF OF THE
CITIZENS VOTING. MEMBERS ARE BUSY AND NEED MORE TIME TO BECOME FAMILIAR WITH
CANDIDATES, AND HAVE CANDIDATE INTERACTION. RIGHT NOW, THE PROCESS DOESN'T
REALLY ENABLE THAT EASILY OR EFFECTIVELY. MEMBERS VOTE FOR CATEGORIES THEY
KNOW, OR FOR SOMEONE THEY THINK IS LIKE THEM, RATHER THAN HAVING TIME TO
ACTUALLY INTERACT WITH A CANDIDATE AND HEAR THEIR VIEWS AND PHILOSOPHIES.
Issue 2 - balance of independence
As ICANN starts to offer more services what degree of independence do we want
as a constituency ?
Do members wish to authorise the release of their private data to enable ICANN
staff for instance in the future to run BC elections?
Do members wish to entrust ICANN with the funds in the BC bank account ?
Or should the ICANN toolbox be a basket of services that the secretariat can
ICANN RESOURCES SHOULD PROVIDE AS MANY OF THE BACKGROUND FUNCTIONS AS POSSIBLE,
INCLUDING RUNNING ELECTIONS; PROVIDING A NEUTRAL SECRETARIAT/CONF. CALL
SUPPORT, ETC. A TREASURER/ADMNISTRATIVE OFFICER CAN OVERSEE THESE FUNCTIONS
PERFORMED BY ICANN CENTRALIZED SERVICES. I HAVE NO MORE CONCERN ABOUT RELEASING
PRIVATE DATA TO ICANN THAN TO A CONTRACTED SECRETARIAT, OR A VOLUNTEER BC
MEMBER. I EXPECT INTEGRITY FROM ALL OF THOSE. UTILIZING ICANN RESOURCES WHERE
POSSIBLE WILL ALLOW THE BC TO USE DUES TO CREATE TRAVEL SUPPORT FOR ELECTED
OFFICERS [COUNCILORS WILL BE FUNDED BY ICANN IT APPEARS]; AND TO SUPPORT
OUTREACH EVENTS, ETC.
END OF COMMENTS BY MARILYN CADE
Knowing how members feel on these higher level issues may help us move forward
and reach consensus on the shape of our future Charter