RE: [gnso-osc-ops] Operations Work Team Draft Charter
- To: "'Eric Brunner-Williams'" <ebw@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: RE: [gnso-osc-ops] Operations Work Team Draft Charter
- From: "Ray Fassett" <ray@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 30 Apr 2009 20:37:51 -0400
Eric, prior to getting into the substance, does your comment/input below
pertain to the draft charter of our WT (as the subject line suggests) or the
high level principles document we've been recently deliberating? I want to
make sure I am interpreting it in the context you are intending.
From: owner-gnso-osc-ops@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-gnso-osc-ops@xxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of Eric Brunner-Williams
Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 11:35 PM
To: Ray Fassett
Cc: Dirk Krischenowski | dotBERLIN; GNSO Ops Work Team
Subject: RE: [gnso-osc-ops] Operations Work Team Draft Charter
I've written the following to put my prior oral and informal written
comment on the record, in what I hope is intelligible form.
As a preamble to my comments on the Draft Proposal for GNSO
Organizational Structure, implementing the ICANN Board Recommendation
that the steps needed to establish the GNSO Council as a "strategic
manager of the policy process" be identified, I wish to point out that I
participate in the Operations Work Team (OWT), within the Operations
Steering Committee (OSC), on behalf of the City TLD group, which seeks
standing as a Constituency, at the invitation of Rob Hoggarth, ICANN
staff, arising from action item #3 of the 27 March 2009 meeting of the
Constituency Operations Team, chaired by NomCom appointee Olga Cavalli.
I am employed by CORE, which has an interest in one or more applications
for City TLDs, but I participate in the OSC and its dependent groups not
as an employee, nor as an individual, self-appointed or appointed by
the NomCom, but as the tasked liaison from an interest group,
self-governing urban aggregations applying for gTLDs, and co-incident to
that, seeking standing as a Constituency within the reforming GNSO
That concludes my preamble.
The Draft Proposal for GNSO Organizational Structure, "the Draft"
hereafter, arises from the Board decision taken at Paris to enact the
reform proposal, which has the goal of transforming the Council from a
legislative body to a management body, with the policy making moved into
working groups. Nominally, this change of locus of the highly
contentious area of policy making from a deadlocked Council, see the
WHOIS problem area as an example, to working groups will make seats and
votes and voting blocks less important than it has been during the life
of the GNSO, and the DNSO before that.
As a matter of policy, as the Reform attempts to reduce the incentives
for Constituencies to view policy through the restrictive lenses of seat
counts and therefore votes and voting blocks, which has, in my personal
opinion, reduced two of the original Constituencies to fictions, a view
supported by the voting analysis data also presented at the Paris
meeting. To be consistent with this Reform, the Draft must find one or
more means to extend the standing to participate, to entities other than
Constituencies. Whether this standing to participate is extended to
individuals by invitation or by self-selection, to the appointees of
theNomCom, to stakeholders such as the USG or the IETF, to groups such
as the City TLD group which seek Constituency status, or to the entities
created in the Reform process, such as the OSC to determine
independently, is immaterial. To do otherwise re-arranges the chairs,
and the locii of policy formation, but does not alter the voting
calculus based upon seats held by any useful means, and therefore
affects no substantive reform.
The Draft relies upon Constituency as standing to select individuals to
contribute to bodies. The phrasing is "in representation of their
respective constituency", Purpose, sentence one, and "comprised of
officers (representatives) of the different constituencies",
Description, para 2, final sentence. Note that the second instance is
specifically for a function which is envisioned is administrative, where
no cynical and ultimately dysfunctional vote calculus to obtain a policy
outcome is useful.
The taxonomy which the Draft proposes, "Policy Councilors" and
"Constituency Representatives" and "Executive Committee", all exist
within the pre-Reform model of Constituencies. At no point does the
taxonomy of the Draft stray from within the familiar boundaries of
Constituencies and their liaisons. This presents two issues, at least in
theory. At the Council level, and in all subordinate GNSO bodies, under
this construction of "Reform", groups which have not yet obtained
Constituency status have no means of organic participation -- that is
the "leading edge" of the "sharp standing" problem. The "trailing edge"
is that when any group loses Constituency status, an event I personally
think is long overdue in two specific instances, the "BC" and the
"ISPC", it must also lose all means of organic participation. If time,
talent and interest were as plentiful as green house gases, the
exclusion of capable persons, and the Draft does speak to the problem of
selecting "appropriate individuals ... on the basis of their particular
skill sets to serve on independent bodies", would not be problematic.
However, this is not the case, and the intentional exclusion of
qualified individual contributors, from pending Constituencies, and
former Constituencies, just to restrict the scope of the "standing"
problem to the edges of the Constituency model, where we can trivially
identify useful people, is unfortunate, and contrary to the basic
tenants of the Reform.
As a personal observation, the point of the Reform is not to simply
change the labels on boxes or re-arrange seats at the table. It is to
fundamentally change the nature and process of the Council, from making
policy, and hoping someone somewhere is managing something, to managing
something, in particular, working groups, with those working groups
making policy. We're not really progressing towards that goal if all of
the "reformed process" retains the determining characteristic of the
pre-reformed process, and standing to contribute to purely
administrative, that is, management tasks, is conditioned upon the
fundamental criteria for policy making -- Constituency status, seats,
and the unchanged vote calculus.
for the City Top-Level Domain Interest Group, the proposed City
Top-Level-Domain Constituency (CTLDC)