ICANN ICANN Email List Archives


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

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

  • To: Robert Hoggarth <robert.hoggarth@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [gnso-osc] Latest Draft Version of OSC Charter
  • From: Ken Stubbs <kstubbs@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2008 09:02:11 -0500

Ken Stubbs wrote:

Thanks for your hard work Rob..

Robert Hoggarth wrote:
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 - http://www.icann.org/topics/gnso-improvements/gnso-improvements-report-03feb08.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
            *Sent:* Tuesday, November 25, 2008 7:05 PM
            *To:*   gnso-osc@xxxxxxxxx
            *Subject:* Re: [gnso-osc] Latest Draft Version of   OSC

Oops -the file is now attached to this email - apologies. :-) Robin

    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


No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG - http://www.avg.com Version: 8.0.175 / Virus Database: 270.9.10/1812 - Release Date: 11/25/2008 7:53 PM

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

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Cookies Policy