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RE: [Fwd: Re: [gnso-travel-dt] Travel drafting team mailing list open]

  • To: "Zahid Jamil" <zahid@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <gnso-travel-dt@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: RE: [Fwd: Re: [gnso-travel-dt] Travel drafting team mailing list open]
  • From: "Gomes, Chuck" <cgomes@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2008 20:22:40 -0400


Please understand that I was not advocating that Councilors should not 
represent their constituencies.  I was simply pointing out that that creates a 
possible conflict between registrants who may have different interests but who 
pay ICANN fees some of which are used to pay travel expenses.


Sent from my GoodLink Wireless Handheld (www.good.com)

 -----Original Message-----
From:   Zahid Jamil [mailto:zahid@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent:   Tuesday, October 14, 2008 07:54 PM Eastern Standard Time
To:     gnso-travel-dt@xxxxxxxxx
Cc:     'Glen de Saint Géry'; owner-gnso-travel-dt@xxxxxxxxx
Subject:        RE: [Fwd: Re: [gnso-travel-dt] Travel drafting team mailing 
list open]

Dear Travel Drafting Team,


At the outset I would simply support Robin's two suggestions.


However, having gone through the various emails, and in anticipation of the 
conference call tomorrow, I thought it might be useful to put down and share 
some of my thoughts and have thus, attempted to deal with the various issues 
that seem to have been raised and some of my own points:



Objective/Purpose of Travel Support:


In my view Travel Support is to ensure access for those chosen by each 
constituency. So each constituency would be the best judge of how and to whom 
the resource it to be allocated.


Otherwise it opens up (especially in case of a Travel Committee) to a process 
which could be used to disenfranchise inequitably a constituency or any of its 
representatives. Each constituency has an equal right to be as effectively 
represented.  Either we distribute funds to each constituency equally or to 
each councillor.  Otherwise this travel support will by the very nature of a 
travel committee be open to perceived politics and conflict.  I do not see the 
benefit of introducing further conflict.




A Policy Divisive? Why are the Funds Limited?:


I agree with Avri- this divisive policy needs to be altered and I would, as a 
newbie, want to raise the issue of whether we can ensure funds for everyone or 
at least funds divided to each constituency with equal treatment. 




Conflict of Interest:


Chuck wrote:  "there is a potential conflict when individuals are representing 
their organization interests and being subsidized by general registrant funds.  
If those who are being so subsidized are willing to fairly represent the 
interests of all registrants and not just the interests of their respective 
organizations and constituencies, then the conflict would be minimized."


Constituencies right to Representation & Mandate - Should Funds be Provided 
Subject to Neutrality?



Firstly, the Councillors are not representing their organizations.  They are 
representing the stakeholder constituency.  Secondly, as for the funds if the 
presumption is that in order to receive Travel Support Councillors need to SELL 
off their duty of representation to their Constituency it goes against not only 
the purpose of the Travel Support but also against the right of each 
Constituency to have its elected Councillors represent their stakeholder 
interest on the Council.  Hence, Chuck's suggestion is actually encouraging 
Councillors to act with conflict of interest against the interests of their 
Constituency.  Thirdly, there is no duty upon the Councillors "fairly represent 
the interests of all registrants" in fact its quite the opposite.  The entire 
purpose of having Constituencies is for Councillors to represent their own 
Constituency/Stakeholder view.  Such a suggestion would place the function of 
the Council on its head.  Fourthly, the use of registrant funds is completely 
appropriate as mentioned in the Travel Policy (see below).


The Policy clearly states :  "Participation in ICANN's multistakeholder model 
comes at a cost of time, energy, effort and often direct expense. It is 
entirely appropriate for ICANN revenue, derived from registrant fees, to offset 
some of this cost. At the same time, one of the strengths of ICANN is that it 
brings together a range of interests within the umbrella of a community where 
passion and commitment isn't measured just in financial terms."   


Hence, the need for a diverse representation and varying interests being 
represented is the raison d'être. 




Support for All:


Avri wrote: "I firmly believe that whatever number of GNSO council members get 
support, they should all get the same level support that Board members get."


I agree.  In my view all Councillors should get equal support or each 
Constituency should receive equal allocation for them to decide how to use 
these funds - they can do so in a transparent and not divisive/adversarial 




Travel Support Committee:


Ken Stubbs suggested this since it is a "Procedure used by Non-Profit Public 
Institutions & Organisations"



The Criteria & Rationale being suggested is a difficult one to set and 
especially to monitor (especially objectively) particularly in a divisive and 
adversarial group



Ken Stubbs wrote: "This proposed procedure insures this "Transparency" as well 
providing a definable process for assisting qualified persons who show a clear 
"need" for travel support."


Transparency can also be ensured by each Constituency - the existence of a new 
Committee by itself does not provide a unique means to achieve Transparency - 
each Constituency could adopt similar transparent and defined criteria itself.  
Hence, the logic for a Committee is not exclusive to the concept of a Joint 
Travel Committee but extendable to Constituencies as well.  


The requirement of  demonstrate 'need' is simply put a myth since it is not a 


Ken Stubbs wrote:  "This process can also help insure that funds are not just 
expended because they are budgeted."


The arguments and concept above effectively makes Travel Support an exception.  
In my opinion this goes against the very rationale for the availability of 
Travel Support and I would submit, is contrary to the Policy in letter and 
spirit and counterproductive in enabling Councillors from all 
stakeholders/constituencies to be present to continue to render what is 
effectively voluntary public service.


I am sure Ken did not mean to introduce ideas by which this travel support 
could become a process open to politics by any constituency against another to 
attempt to target individuals on the council.


Such a committee would be hard pressed to work with an objective criteria.  
Hence, it would by definition (of its constituent members) be subjective, 
divisive, adversarial, lead to conflict of interests between members, would not 
inspire much confidence and could easily lead to situations where no one is 
happy with the results. (also such committees are usually presumed to be 
constituted by persons who do not have conflicting interests amongst themselves 
instead of the representative Committee that has been suggested)



Administrative Costs of a Travel Committee:


Let's not forget in a recent vote to allocate ICANN staff resource to an issues 
report, there was much opposition on the basis of the cost to ICANN for such an 
activity, which I am sure would be much less that the staffing cost for a 
travel committee.  Now a suggestion to actually have a Committee a Travel 
Support Committee should also be hit by the same logic, 




Equitable Division, Equal Treatment of all Constituencies & Transparency:



"Many of the parties on the names council are professional policy staff & are 
being compensated as by their respective companies"..... "participation in 
ICANN activities such as the names council are strictly job-related activities 
and not personal volunteer actions"


First of all I think such a comment is in most fora inappropriate and am 
disappointed to see a lack of decorum and civilised restraint.  In any case, 
this may be conjecture and let's not forget not all are compensated.  For the 
record my participation in ICANN is not job-related but a personal volunteer 
activity.  My day job has nothing to do with ICANN and I do not earn any 
revenue as a result of participation in ICANN.  My representation of my ccTLD 
Dispute Resolution Provider does not lead to any benefit (since it's a ccTLD 
DRS) nor does it support my presence at ICANN - in fact its the other way 
around.    I think the degrading of many Councillors and colouring their 
participation as profiteering and not what it is - public voluntary service for 
which they do not get paid - is disappointing.



Additionally, the role of a Councillor (as in my case) would not be to 
represent the role of my company/entity but to represent the view and work on 
behalf of the entire stakeholder constituency.  Now either we argue for placing 
the entire burden on each Constituency (which defeats the rationale for Travel 
Support) or provide all Constituencies the advantage to have their Councillors 
supported without discrimination and without having conflicts with adversarial 
constituencies to interfere in a Constituencies decision to decide who best 
will serve their representative interest on the Council.  Effectively, 
interference in Travel Support between Constituencies interferes and obstructs 
the democratic right of representation of each stakeholder constituency.  In my 
view the right to elect Councillors is as essential and inalienable to 
Constituencies as is their right to travel Support and facilitation (without 
any discrimination between allocation to constituencies) in order to have their 
representatives attend and discharge their duty of representing their Council.  
In short Equitable availability of Travel Support goes hand in hand with the 
right to representation.  After all what is the point of allowing a 
constituency a right of representation it may not be use as effectively as 
another constituency.  Hence, any disparity in the allocation of the Travel 
Support would amount to not providing Equal Treatment to an aggrieved 


Tim Ruiz had written: "Allocation of travel funds should not be decided by 
those who have the opportunity to receive it"


First of all I disagree.  This is something that comes under the purview of the 
Council and is therefore, necessarily their decision.   Otherwise why are we 
even discussing this issue?  However, even if this argument were to be accepted 
it would be another reason for allocation to be allocated to each constituency 
without discrimination and with Equal Treatment.  The moment we agree that it 
should, thus be distributed to each Constituency then concern of Tim's stands 


Moreover, transparency is not necessarily guaranteed by a committee of all 
constituencies  In any case we are not sure what the new restructured set up 
will look like.  It can as easily be achieved by having each constituency 
decide how and to whom to grant and how to use the funding.  That would ensure 
a non contentious process. This is not a key policy area for governance of gtld 
policies so to expose this to the same level of unnecessary contention only 
serves to exacerbate conflict, bureaucracy and resource.



Requirement of 'Need'- A Myth:


As Avri wrote:  "The policy as published by the staff does not require a 
statement of need.  So there was no need to establish need.  i do not see how 
this was non transparent.  The policy with which a funded person must comply 
was (from: 

  which forms the foundation of any further allocation process this team may 


Greg wrote:  "Travel support for the Board or for NCAs is not based on need.  
And it would be insulting (and absurd) to ask anyone to "demonstrate" need.  
The GNSO travel support is not a fellowship or charity, it is support 
specifically for those who are engaged in the policy making work of the GNSO, 
enabling them to attend face-to-face meetings.  I believe that it is up to the 
individual constituencies to decide how best to use these funds to enable their 
representation in this work."



I agree with both of the comments above.




Ken Stubs wrote: "subsidizing  persons representing  broad community and 
individual user interests and feel that,  if they have an individual need for 
travel assistance, 

it should be made on a case-by-case basis."


Again this downgrades Travel Support as an exception.  This runs contrary to 
the right to representation without discrimination and equal treatment for each 
Constituency, as discussed above.





Zahid Jamil


Jamil & Jamil


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Merewether Road, Karachi. Pakistan

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-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gnso-travel-dt@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-gnso-travel-dt@xxxxxxxxx] On 
Behalf Of cyrilchua@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: 10 October 2008 07:23
To: Robin Gross
Cc: gnso-travel-dt@xxxxxxxxx; owner-gnso-travel-dt@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: [gnso-travel-dt] Travel drafting team mailing list open]



I agree with Robin.




             Robin Gross                                                   


             org>                                                       To 

             Sent by:                  gnso-travel-dt@xxxxxxxxx            

             owner-gnso-travel                                          cc 



                                       Re: [Fwd: Re: [gnso-travel-dt]      

             10/10/2008 04:56          Travel drafting team mailing list   

             AM                        open]                               











We need to agree to what our over-arching objective is here.


We are not creating some new general "GNSO travel fund" that anyone can

apply for travel funds to attend an ICANN meeting, and if they are poor

enough, they get to go.   This has been, and in my mind should continue to

be, an effort to fund the participation of the GNSO Council at GSNO Council



The depth of the pockets of the individual councilors is not relevant.   We

are funding the participation of an ICANN organ (GNSO Council) - not

specific people.





On Oct 9, 2008, at 1:34 PM, Ken Stubbs wrote:


      Ken Stubbs wrote:


      To the best of my knowledge, some recipients never even attempted to

      show or even claim "need".

      They just made the claim that they complied with ICANN policy and

      never explained how they complied (where is the transparency there?)


      that is beyond "giggle" approaching "laugher"


      I would expect a certain amount of "lobbying" as it is just human

      nature. The principle difference is the appearance of  ability to


      is significantly less with a body independent of council activities.


      I would assume that the committee would be capable of developing

      guidelines  for  requests that would be consistent with ICANN

      policies developed

      for travel subsidization.


      Ken Stubbs

      BTW...I would be inclined to believe that the the former chairman of

      Lehman ($300+millions in compensation over the last 5 years) would

      most probably not qualify for subsidy  ......

      nor would Bill Gates...



      Avri Doria wrote:



            On 9 Oct 2008, at 12:32, Tim Ruiz wrote:


                  If we have to resort to random selection or giggle tests,

                  then we have

                  no business accepting the funds.




            I personally see no relation between the utility of a random

            method of selecting after the constituencies are determined

            their priorities and the notion of meriting support for council

            member travel.


                   Ken's ideas are the best way

                  forward, or at least a good start,



            Can you explain how his ideas would work in a way that was

            assuredly unbiased and objective?


            Some questions that immediately occur to me:


            How would you eliminate the ability of someone to put pressure

            on one of those selected for this independent committee?  What

            does it mean for there to be an independent committee within

            ICANN?  Can members of GNSO constituencies serve on this

            independent committee?  How are these committee members

            chosen?   Is their work transparent?



            As for getting beyond the giggle test in determining need, how

            does one do that.  What sort of verification of someone's need

            will be required?  The get a loan for my daughter's college i

            had to prove need and todo so had to fill out the FAFSA ( see

            http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/before012.htm for a sample worksheet).

            Are you suggesting something similar.  If not, how do you prove



            Or, how do we define need?  If I were a millionaire, but had no

            employer to send me would I be in need of support?  If I have

            an employer, but they are in bankruptcy proceedings, do I have



            I believe these and many other similar questions would need to

            be answered for there to be an objective set of criteria that

            could not be gamed or be subjected to influence.





            note: for those who may not know the giggle test.  Basically

            someone says "I have need", and if they can say it without most

            people starting to giggle, then that need statement i accepted.



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Robin Gross, Executive Director

1192 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA  94117  USA

p: +1-415-553-6261    f: +1-415-462-6451

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