Summary and Analysis of Public Comments on Recommendations For Updated GNSO Council Operating Procedures
Summary and Analysis of Public Comments on Recommendations For Updated GNSO Council Operating Procedures Comment period ended: 16 October 2009 Summary published: 18 September 2009 Prepared by: Robert Hoggarth, Senior Policy Director I. BACKGROUND The newly-restructured GNSO Council is scheduled to be seated during the upcoming ICANN meeting in Seoul, South Korea. Establishing updated operating procedures consistent with the new ICANN Bylaws is a key step toward seating the new Council. The GNSO Council Operations Work Team was tasked with a cross-constituency effort to review the existing GNSO operating rules and procedures and to recommend changes consistent with the new GNSO Council's goal to become a strategic manager of the policy process. The Work Team developed a package of those recommendations and the GNSO Council directed the Staff to post them for public review and comment. Community members were invited to review the recommendations and comment on all aspects of the recommended procedures. The recommended procedures address a number of areas including the selection of officers, the conduct of meetings and how Council votes are cast and counted. In authorizing the release of the recommendations for review and comment, ICANN Staff was directed to note a specific area of discussion regarding the treatment of instances where Council members may choose to abstain from a particular vote (see - http://gnso.icann.org/meetings/minutes-council-24sep09.htm). Treatment of vote abstentions (the original work team recommendation and potential substitute language) was specifically noted in the recommended procedures in Section 4.2 of the package. Commenters were asked which version of the abstention language they prefer - the original language recommended by the work team or the substitute clarifying language contributed by the Staff. The Staff was also asked by Council members to prepare an analysis of how potential Council votes would be tabulated based on different treatments of Councilor abstentions. That Staff analysis was provided as a submission to the comment forum. Document Links: The recommended operating procedures were provided to the community at the following links: http://gnso.icann.org/drafts/draft-gnso-operating-procedures-24sep09-en.pdf http://gnso.icann.org/drafts/draft-gnso-operating-procedures-24sep09-en.doc II. GENERAL COMMENTS and CONTRIBUTORS As of the 16 October 2009 deadline only one substantive and relevant community submission had been made to this comment forum. The comment was submitted by Clarke Walton on behalf of the Registrars Stakeholder Group (RSG). III. SUMMARY & ANALYSIS The RSG recognized in its comments that establishing updated operating procedures consistent with the ICANN Bylaws is a key step toward seating the new GNSO Council and expressed appreciation for the work of the GNSO Council Operations Work Team in drafting the Recommended GNSO Operating Procedures. The RSG noted its support for the Recommended GNSO Operating Procedures provided that the suggested substitute language regarding Voting Thresholds in Section 4.2 is the text adopted for the procedures. The RSG reiterated the suggested substitute language as follows: "Unless otherwise specified in these procedures or in the ICANN Bylaws, to pass a motion or other action, greater than 50% of the eligible voters in each House must cast affirmative votes. For all votes taken, the number of eligible voters in each House shall be fixed to the number of seats allocated in the Bylaws (a.k.a. the denominator) and is not affected by the number of members present or absent at the meeting in which the motion or other action is initiated. Council members are permitted to abstain in any vote, but must provide a reason which shall be recorded in the minutes along with the abstention." IV. NEXT STEPS This Summary Analysis document will be shared with GNSO Council members. Consistent with the Transition Implementation Plan approved by the GNSO Council at its 24 September meeting (see http://gnso.icann.org/meetings/minutes-council-24sep09.htm), the updated operating procedures will be the first substantial item on the new Council's meeting agenda of 28 October in Seoul. The new Council members will discuss and vote on the updated procedures. Approval of the procedures will require a majority of the voting members of each voting house of the Council for approval. Pursuant to Article X, Section 3(4) of the ICANN By Laws, Council Operating Procedures are effective upon the expiration of a twenty-one (21) day public comment period, and are subject to Board oversight and review. It is not yet known if Board members will have any comments on the recommended procedures. # # # ________________________________ As noted above, ICANN Policy Staff submitted a comment regarding the treatment of instances where Council members may choose to abstain from a particular vote. That submission is a part of the permanent forum record and will also be shared with the GNSO Council Operations Work Team. As drafted, that Bylaws provision did not require prior Board approval of the procedures.
Summary and Analysis of Comments on Recommended GNSO Council Operating Procedures Oct09.doc