ICANN ICANN Email List Archives


<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>

[bc-gnso] FILED: BC comment on proposed bylaws change for board consideration of GAC advice

  • To: "bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx" <bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [bc-gnso] FILED: BC comment on proposed bylaws change for board consideration of GAC advice
  • From: Steve DelBianco <sdelbianco@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 5 Oct 2014 22:27:18 +0000

After a 14-day review with no objections, we filed comments today on ICANN’s 
proposal to change voting thresholds on GAC Advice.  I formatted the draft 
comment to match BC submission layout (attached).

Thanks again to Brian Huseman, who had help from Aparna Sridhar, Phil Corwin, 
David Fares, and J Scott Evans.  John Berard and Marilyn Cade also provided 

From: Steve DelBianco 
Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 4:22 PM
To: BC Private <bc-private@xxxxxxxxx<mailto:bc-private@xxxxxxxxx>>
Subject: FOR REVIEW: BC comment on proposed bylaws change for board 
consideration of GAC advice

ICANN has a public comment period on a proposed bylaws change for board 
consideration of GAC advice 
   (reply comments by 6-Oct)

We discussed this on our last two BC member calls (see emails below)

Attached is a draft comment prepared by Brian Huseman and edited by Aparna 
Sridhar, Phil Corwin, David Fares, J Scott Evans.  John Berard and Marilyn also 
provided input.

It’s now time for rest of BC members to review and comment — please REPLY ALL 
well before the 6-Oct deadline.

Thanks again to the drafters for accommodating member views with a cohesive and 
articulate statement.

From: Steve DelBianco [mailto:sdelbianco@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 11:04 AM
To: Huseman, Brian; Aparna Sridhar; Marilyn Cade; David Fares; Phil Corwin; J 
Cc: BC Private
Subject: BC Comment on 2/3 vote threshold to reject GAC advice

Thanks for working on a draft comment on the proposed bylaws change to require 
2/3 board vote to reject GAC advice 
   (reply comments by 6-Oct)

As a follow-up to last week’s BC Member call, here are some points I noted from 
our discussion:

Let’s be positive in our tone, instead of sounding critical of the GAC.

This bylaws change is not being pushed by the GAC.  It arises from ATRT back in 

It’s unfortunate timing to consider this bylaws change in the midst of 
Enhancing ICANN Accountability as part of the IANA transition.

The BC proposal for Enhancing ICANN Accountability included a ‘stress test’ 
based on GAC changing its procedures to majority voting (see below).  That 
should be considered as part of this discussion.  

The BC proposal called for a permanent cross-community working group with new 
powers to ensure ICANN board and management are accountable to the community.  
And we specifically included the GAC as a voting member of that cross-communtiy 
working group. 

The most promising path is getting governments engaged earlier and more 
specifically in the policy development process.

Hope this helps with your drafting. Let me know what I can do facilitate 
getting a draft to BC members before the 6-Oct comment deadline.


From: Steve DelBianco 
Date: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 6:30 PM
To: BC Private <bc-private@xxxxxxxxx<mailto:bc-private@xxxxxxxxx>>
Subject: Regarding proposed change to ICANN Bylaws for overriding GAC Advice

ICANN announced last week a proposed change to its Bylaws 
   This change would make it harder for the board to reject GAC Advice, by 
raising the voting threshold from simple majority to 2/3 majority.  This change 
arose from recommendations and follow-up to the first review team on 
Accountability and Transparency, back in 2010-11.

To help BC members evaluate this proposal, here are some prior positions, 
perspectives (and my personal advice):

The new gTLD program Guidebook raised the board's obligation to respond to GAC 
consensus advice, but this requirement does not apply to general GAC advice 
outside the new gTLD program, which is governed by the bylaws.

Throughout the new gTLD program and RAA revision, the BC has sought help from 
the GAC to pressure ICANN on consumer protection,  security requirements, etc.  
  Toward that end, we have sometimes encouraged the board to follow GAC advice 
(singular-plural TLDs and regulated industries, etc.)   In Mar-2011, for 
example, we supported much of the GAC’s Scorecard advice on new gTLDs 
  However, we did not recommend raising the voting threshold.

 the BC went this far regarding advice from Advisory Committees, but did not 
endorse a new voting level:
The BC fully supports ATRT2’s recommendation to institutionalize ICANN’s 
obligation to respond to review team recommendations:
9.1 Mandate Board Response to Advisory Committee Formal Advice
ICANN Bylaws Article XI should be amended to include:
The ICANN Board will respond in a timely manner to formal advice from all 
Advisory Committees explaining what action it took and the rationale for doing 

In our Jun-2014 comment on Enhancing ICANN Accountability 
 we included this 'stress test’ regarding bylaws and GAC advice:

Scenario: Governments in ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee (GAC) amend 
their operating procedures to change from consensus decisions to majority 
voting. Today GAC adopts formal advice according to its Operating Principle 47: 
“consensus is understood to mean the practice of adopting decisions by general 
agreement in the absence of any formal objection.”13 But the GAC may at any 
time change its procedures to use majority voting, where each government has 
equal voting power, such as in the UN and ITU. (Notably, only 61 governments 
were present at the GAC meeting in Singapore during March 2014, where several 
GAC members expressed dissatisfaction with the multistakeholder process and 
consensus threshold for new gTLD program advice.) While ICANN’s board is not 
strictly obligated to follow GAC advice, this scenario should assess how ICANN 
could respond to GAC advice with strong majority support but less than 
consensus. This scenario might also indicate need to amend ICANN bylaws 
regarding deference to GAC advice that is not supported by consensus.
Cite: ICANN Government Advisory Committee (GAC) - Operating Principles, 
October, 2011, at

This stress test indicated a BC belief that only ‘consensus’ GAC Advice should 
receive deference from ICANN.

My personal advice (not yet confirmed by NetChoice members) is that we should 
support the new 2/3 rejection threshold ONLY FOR GAC CONSENSUS ADVICE.  In 
other words, we could suggest that the bylaws specifically reference and define 
'GAC consensus advice’ that should require 2/3 board majority to reject.     
Any GAC advice with less than consensus would not require 2/3 to reject.

Hope that helps, and look forward to the discussion on list and on next week’s 


From: John Berard <john@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:john@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>>
Date: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 1:26 PM

I would like to make the case against this by-laws change by placing it in 
proper perspective.  There are a number of ways the GAC has asserted 
extra-organizational rights (start with the fact that the GAC advice on new 
gTLDs was to be done on a string-by-string basis) that makes this by-laws 
change of greater significance than when viewed on its own.  Setting aside the 
rubber-stamp instinct of the Board, it is unlikely that GAC advice would ever 
be rejected.

Attachment: BC comment on bylaws change for board consideration of GAC advice - FINAL.pdf
Description: BC comment on bylaws change for board consideration of GAC advice - FINAL.pdf

<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Cookies Policy