ICANN ICANN Email List Archives


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

RE: [gnso-osc] Latest Draft Version of OSC Charter

  • To: "Robert Hoggarth" <robert.hoggarth@xxxxxxxxx>, "Robin Gross" <robin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: RE: [gnso-osc] Latest Draft Version of OSC Charter
  • From: "Gomes, Chuck" <cgomes@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2008 19:52:26 -0500

Thanks Rob.  I sincerely appreciate the care and time you took in
responding and look forward to continuing discussion of this on the OSC
list and in our next meeting.


        From: Robert Hoggarth [mailto:robert.hoggarth@xxxxxxxxx] 
        Sent: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 6:59 PM
        To: Robin Gross; Gomes, Chuck
        Cc: gnso-osc@xxxxxxxxx
        Subject: Re: [gnso-osc] Latest Draft Version of OSC Charter
        Dear Robin and Chuck:
        As the community embarks on a detailed discussion of GNSO
Improvements implementation issues, there are quite a few open matters
to be discussed and debated - particularly within the context of the
OSC.  I have taken the opportunity provided by Chuck's invitation
yesterday to share some personal observations about the matters
referenced in your correspondence over the past 24 hours regarding the
relationship between stakeholders and constituency structures in the
GNSO. I have not run these specific thoughts by Denise and Roberto but I
believe they are supported by specific textual references below.  This
note is fairly long because I think the issues raised by Robin's
proposed edits merited a fair treatment.  I hope that it provides some
useful fodder for future conversations within the OSC.
        In many areas the Board has been pretty specific regarding its
intentions.  In others there is a lot of room for flexibility and
different implementation approaches. I anticipate that the OSC and its
work teams will need to refer quite often to the 3 February BGC Report
on GNSO Improvements adopted by the Board in Paris for insights and
guidance.  I have included a couple of slices from that document below
that may be germane to your present correspondence.  They highlight the
significant amount of overlap that faces the community on many of the
implementation issues that need to be addressed. I think all members of
the OSC may find it helpful to review pages 27 to 49 of the BGC Report
(which can be found here -
3feb08.pdf ) as they consider the OSC Charter and the development of
guidance for the various OSC work teams. 
        Recognizing Differences:
        As a way forward on the proposed OSC charter language regarding
stakeholder groups and constituencies, may I suggest that you consider
accepting the concept provided in the first part of Robin's proposed
language "while recognizing that differences exist between stakeholder
groups" and expand the concept by adding the words "and constituencies."
Robin's suggestion is a helpful reminder that the BGC Report did not
anticipate a cookie cutter approach for structures in the "improved'
GNSO and specifically noted the importance of maintaining a measure of
constituency independence and diversity.  At the same time, the BGC
Report expects that there must be some consistency and commonality
across different GNSO structures. The following BGC Report text spanning
pages 42 and 43 is very instructive on the matter:

                "ICANN is currently engaged in a series of initiatives
aimed at further improving levels of
                accountability and transparency throughout the
organization. The GNSO Council and the
                GNSO constituencies, like all of ICANN's structures,
need to ensure that all of their
                processes adhere to the highest standards. The reviews
of the GNSO suggest that there is
                a need for greater transparency within constituencies
and greater consistency across
                constituency structures. The constituencies should take
the lead in formulating common
                operating principles, with participation from the
Council and staff. Within certain broad
                and important guidelines, there can still be room for
innovation and differentiation in the
                detailed procedures developed by each constituency that
best meet the needs of that
                constituency." (emphasis added)

        The document continues on page 43:

                "In addition, the GNSO constituencies, with Council and
staff participation, should
                develop clear operating principles for each constituency
to ensure that all constituencies
                function in a representative, open, transparent and
democratic manner. Operating
                procedures adopted by constituencies should reflect
common principles and follow these guidelines:
                o Mailing and discussion lists should be open and
publicly archived (with posting rights
                limited to members).
                o Procedures for developing policy positions should be
clear. There should also be
                publicly available information about how many
participants from each constituency
                were involved in the development of any policy position.
                o Constituency processes should encourage participation
from stakeholders across the
                globe. Where possible, relevant documents should be made
available in multiple
                o There should be term limits for constituency officers,
so as to help attract new
                members and provide everyone with the chance to
participate in leadership positions.
                o There should be an emphasis on reaching consensus to
achieve objectives and closure
                on issues." (emphasis added)

        That latter passage above seems to emphasize the importance of
creating a level playing field that applies to all constituencies and
identifies a significant role for all constituencies in that ongoing
effort.  The BGC Report seems to expect that some consistent guidelines
and operating practices be established to ensure that all community
members can be assured that all GNSO structures operate in an open,
transparent and fair manner.
        The Respective Roles of Constituencies and Stakeholder Groups:
        Acknowledging Chuck's concern, I would also suggest that you
consider not accepting the second half of Robin's suggested edit, "that
stakeholder groups are primarily responsible for establishing their own
constituencies."  At best the BGC Report is unclear on that issue.  It
seems evident from the passage above that, for the time being,
constituencies remain a fundamental element of the GNSO structure.  
        That status may indeed change over time and may depend on some
of the decisions that are reached by the work teams. The following
language spanning pages 32 and 33 of the BGC report sheds some
additional light on this matter:

                "The proposal to create four broad Stakeholder Groups
bears some similarity to
                Recommendation #19 of the [London School of Economics]
LSE Review, which suggested creating three larger constituency groups
representing registration interests, business and civil society.  The
LSE suggested such a reorganization to respond to "multiple pieces of
evidence about how interests are currently organizing themselves within
the GNSO" (see LSE Review,
                Section 4.35). It sought to propose a structure that is
"simpler, balanced, clearer to
                explain to potential members and time-proofed against
future changes in the Internet that
                are certain to occur." Instead of a rigid structure that
can have difficulty adapting to
                changes "over as little as seven years," a new structure
could "flexibly accommodate
                changes in the balance and weights of different sectors
and types of involvement with
                Internet policy issues."
                We agree with this conclusion and support the need for a
new way to approach
                organization of the Council. The stakeholder groups may
function only as a "caucus,"
                bringing together like-minded stakeholders to elect
representatives to the Council who
                can represent them. This structure would be fluid enough
to accommodate new
                constituencies or the formation of new interest groups.
It will be important for the
                implementation team to consider how to implement this
flexibility within the overall
                stakeholder structure set forth in these
recommendations. Our goal is definitely not to
                create a new layer of bureaucracy, as we heard concerns
about at the San Juan Meeting.
                Alternatively, if the GNSO believes it is desirable, the
four stakeholder groups could take
                on additional functions, such as trying to coordinate
and document positions on policy
                development questions.  


                One advantage of this new model for organizing
stakeholder participation is to remove
                concern that the addition of new constituencies or
interest groups could create an internal
                imbalance in the current composition of the Council. By
creating four broad stakeholder
                groups, the number of constituencies is less important
and can increase (or decrease) with time. Indeed, it would be
inconsistent with ICANN's processes to try to limit arbitrarily the
number of constituencies that people could self-form. Making it easier
to form a new constituency can also address any obstacles people
perceive in joining existing
                constituencies. Overall, this approach can encourage the
participation of more people in
                the GNSO. Many details, of course, remain to be worked
out concerning the new
                stakeholder structure for the Council, including the
role of constituencies and/or interest
                groups within them. As noted earlier, we welcome the
GNSO working with Staff to
                develop the appropriate Implementation Plan."

        There is a lot to absorb in the four paragraphs above -
including the alternative visions of both more and less bureaucracy at
the Stakeholder Group level, the concept of constituency independence
and a clear recognition of constituency self-formation. All matters that
will undoubtedly prompt lively and interesting conversation in the work
team deliberations.
        I hope this note has provided some useful background and context
for further deliberations and discussion among OSC members on these and
other matters.
        Rob Hoggarth


        On 11/25/08 10:19 PM, "Robin Gross" <robin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

                Hi Chuck,
                I am trying to mitigate the cross-constituency meddling
in the affairs of other constituencies that is in the current draft.
What was written in the draft was that rules would be established for
forming constituencies and it seemed to apply that these rules would be
some kind of "one-size-fits-all" way of establishing constituencies.
But the needs and sizes of the various constituencies will vary -
especially between stakeholder groups.  I don't think NCUC should be
telling the commercial stakeholder group how to organize the
constituencies within that group and vice-versa.  There will always be
disparity in the number of participants between constituencies, and the
ability of volunteers to be as aggressive as paid lobbyists, etc., so
trying to establish rules to govern as if there were a level playing
field does not reflect reality.  I think constituencies and stakeholder
groups should be given as much flexibility as possible in their
organization and we should not try to hamstring this process with a zeal
to impose uniform rules when needs and situations are not uniform.  So
while I'm not insistent on the particular wording that I suggested, I am
definitely not comfortable with the way it is currently drafted for
these reasons.
                On Nov 25, 2008, at 5:26 PM, Gomes, Chuck wrote:

                        Thanks Robin.  You added in two places,
"stakeholder groups are primarily responsible for establishing their own
constituencies".  I am not sure that is consistent with the Board
recommendations.  It is my understanding that intent was that it should
be possible for constituencies to self-form and that procedures should
be put in place to facilitate that.  That is quite different than what
you added.
                        What do others think?
                        Rob - it might be helpful for you to get some
feedback from Denise and maybe Roberto as Chair of the BGC.


                                 From: owner-gnso-osc@xxxxxxxxx
[mailto:owner-gnso-osc@xxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Robin   Gross
                                Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 7:05 PM
                                To:   gnso-osc@xxxxxxxxx
                                Subject: Re: [gnso-osc] Latest Draft
Version of   OSC Charter
                                Oops -the file is now attached to this
email - apologies.     :-)  Robin  

                IP JUSTICE
                Robin Gross, Executive Director
                1192 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA  94117  USA
                p: +1-415-553-6261    f: +1-415-462-6451
                w: http://www.ipjustice.org     e: robin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Cookies Policy