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TLG Review: SPOT ON!

  • To: tlg-review-2010@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: TLG Review: SPOT ON!
  • From: Steve Goldstein <steve.goldstein@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2010 15:12:48 -0500

Spot on!  Here are a few comments:
In summary, JAS found that the TLG is an antiquated structure of limited 
utility in the ICANN of today.
The TLG: (1) does not and never did function as intended; 
Agree.  As far as I am concerned, it just didn't function!  Period.  However 
individual liaisons proved useful, in particular, Thomas Roessler.  I see that 
he was interviewed.  Good!
(2) grants significant governance privileges to organizations with no 
reciprocity; and
Agree.  But, what if any would be the value of ICANN expending effort to sit on 
any of those organizations?  Note that there is already a liaison from the 
IETF.  And, I do not recall a representative of the IAB on the Board during my 
2006-09 tenure.  However, I believe that Harald Alvestrand, a NomCom-appointed 
Director, had served on the IAB and had chaired the IETF.
 (3) places individuals on the Board for only a one‐year term making it nearly 
impossible for them to be effective contributors.
In principle, yes, but I am not in full agreement, as Thomas Roessler was a 
superb contributor.  And, I hear that the new liaison for 2010 contributes 
effectively as well, though I have no first-hand knowledge of same.  Maybe, if 
reviewers added "with few exceptions" to the conclusion it would be more 
Moreover, the continued existence of the TLG poses some risk to ICANN due to 
the lack of role clarity
and the very real opportunity for questions of loyalty and conflicts of 
interest to arise in the Boardroom.
Absolutely!  Especially as regards the ITU, which, at the very least, is at 
times an ICANN competitor.  Also, carrying "atavistic supernumeraries" around 
the world places an undue burden on ICANN staff and budgetary resources. And, 
should they speak (a rarity, though with the aforementioned exceptions), it 
also clutters up valuable air time.  In addition, reviewers wrote that this 
"grants significant governance privileges to organizations," [and not to others 
that might have equal claim to a Board seat --SG], with which I agree 
As such, JAS recommends that ICANN disband the TLG and replace the 
inter‐organizational liaison
function with other more typical non‐bylaws level constructs.
Could not agree more!  JAS reviews did GOOD!  I had been saying much the same 
thing all along during my tenure on the ICANN Board.  Also, kudos for a 
succinct report: short, sweet, and readable.

--Steve Goldstein, Former Board Member (2006-09)

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