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Comments on "Transparency and Accountability Management Operating Principles"

  • To: principles-comments@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Comments on "Transparency and Accountability Management Operating Principles"
  • From: Karl Auerbach <karl@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2006 18:09:18 -0700


* How would you define "transparency" in the ICANN context?

Transparency means that those who are affected by ICANN's actions, the community of internet users, have the ability to observe the following:

    - What decisions are being made.

    - Who is making those decisions.

    - What input is being used by those making those decisions.

    - What values are being placed on those inputs.

    - What criteria are being used to evaluate those inputs.

    - What principles and standards are being used to reach a decision.

- That fair questions put forward by any interested party are fully and fairly answered *before* the decision is made. This includes enough time so that each interested party has an opportunity to restate and re-raise the question in case the original question was mis-interpreted.

    - The decision that is reached by each decisionmaker.

    - A clear statement, permanently recorded, of all of the above.

Transparency is not to be confused with "openness". The latter is a mode of making decisions in which all interested parties can provide input and arguments, and to require decisionmakers to answer questions.


* What standards of transparency are appropriate in ICANN operations and activity?


Any decision that does not meet the "transparency" criteria above ought to be considered null and invalid.



* How would you define "accountability" in the ICANN context?

The right of the community of internet users to elect the decisionmakers and, if the community of internet users is not happy with those decisonmakers, to not continue them in office beyond the normal end of their terms.

In particular, nominating committees are not a means of holding anyone accountable.


* What standards of accountability are appropriate in ICANN operations and activity?


Elections by the individual members of the community of internet users for a majority of seats on ICANN's board of directors.



* What specific processes and activities need to be included to ensure these standards are met?

Elections by the individual members of the community of internet users for a majority of seats on ICANN's board of directors.


* Are there any innovative ideas on transparency and accountability that you believe have not yet been implemented that might apply to ICANN?


ICANN has always defined "open" as "closed", "transparent" as "opaque", and "accountable" as "unanswerable".

It would be innovative indeed, at least for ICANN, to actually begin to use the words "open", "transparent", and "accountable" according to their common and customary uses.


--karl-- Karl Auerbach Former (and only) elected Director to ICANN for North America



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