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Personal Comment on: ICANN Policy Staff On Possible Additional Components For Stakeholder Group Charters

  • To: gnso-stakeholder-charters@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Personal Comment on: ICANN Policy Staff On Possible Additional Components For Stakeholder Group Charters
  • From: Avri Doria <avri@xxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2009 14:31:01 -0400

To the Board,

This personal note is in reaction to the comment ( http://forum.icann.org/lists/gnso-stakeholder-charters/msg00007.html) from Rob Hoggarth of the ICANN Policy Staff entitled: On Possible Additional Components For Stakeholder Group Charters.

First I would like to make sure that I understand the relative weight of the ICANN Policy Staff comments in regard to comments from the general public during the comment period. I understand that by submitting the comments in the way they did, the ICANN Policy Staff is making a differentiation between the private reports and advice they give the Board and the Structural Improvements committee, and public comment. In this case, this is not advice from ICANN, so much as the public viewpoint of the ICANN Policy Staff on a structural issue under consideration. I.e. this comment is just one among the several public comments and will be treated as such in any reporting to the Board or to the Structural Improvements Committee.

My second comment is one of scope. The first sentence under "Membership" concerns me.

It is important that the Board and the community
have the ability to determine what parties
comprise a particular GNSO structure
and who participates in an active way.

I generaly agree that membership should be well defined and transparent and it should be possible to determine who is a member, the rules for membership, and how these rules have been applied to membership applications.

My concern centers on the idea of monitoring the activity level of members. While it is certainly important to know whether someone has fulfilled the membership requirements, the idea of monitoring members for relative activity rates seems extremely subjective and necessarily arbitrary. A question 'participates in a active way' brings up is, who would be responsible for such monitoring and such determinations: Would monitoring volunteer effort becomes an ICANN Policy Staff activity; something they would report to the Board in their confidential communiques? Or would the GNSO need to set up a constituency member-activity monitoring constituency activity?

My final concern is really a general question: as the GNSO enters its future bicameral structure, with constituencies and stakeholder groups, are we bureaucratizing the GNSO structure even further then we need to? Yes, some structure and some guidelines are necessary, but at some point too much structure and too much formalization may swamp volunteers' efforts to actually have time and energy for the Policy work. As the GNSO comes out of the long slog of restructuring and 'improvement' I sincerely hope they will be allowed to start using their energy largely for the necessary policy work that is within their scope of responsibility.

Thank you

Avri Doria
Nomcom appointee to the GNSO Council (2005-2009)

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