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Re: [alac] revised draft for internal procedures

  • To: Esther Dyson <edyson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [alac] revised draft for internal procedures
  • From: Thomas Roessler <roessler-mobile@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2003 20:53:56 +0200

The goal of the drafting I did was to have a set of simple rules for
the way in which we operate.  If you look closely, most of what's in
the proposed rules matches existing practice.

The most important additions are a set of timelines, and the notion
of proxies.

The timelines are an important step in making the work of this
committee a little more predictable, for all of us: How long should
I wait for an objection when I believe to have a relatively
uncontested draft statement?  Should I wait until someone is back
from ski holidays?  (And should the person in ski holidays complain
about being ignored after returning?) Operating on a consensus basis
is fine -- but when it is supposed to work in practice, then there
needs to be some procedural definition of what is meant by

(We published the WHOIS statement without that kind of process in
place.  There were unnecessary frictions and problems, and we were
late with the submission of the statement.  I don't want to repeat
that particular exercise.)

Note that many of the time lines proposed set *minimum*
requirements. For instance, the three day turn-around you quote with
respect to document preparation is a *minimum* time.  It's not the
expected regular turn-around time for producing a document.

Proxies are a handy tool when people may be unable to participate in
conferences, or are temporarily busy.  I am expecting that to happen
to myself, and I will make use of this opportunity if the rest of
the committee agrees to introducing it.

Concerning representation of the committee, the proposed language
was carefully drafted to make sure that (1) every member is
permitted to speak on behalf of the committee, (2) members' judgment
is trusted, and (3) some hints are given on who should better speak
up when.

I agree that we do not need to go down the road of introducing
detailed procedures which cover all possible problems and procedural
questions which may ever arise.  But we do need some basic rules for
organizing the work we are going to do in the near future, and which
try to give as much flexibility as possible.

PS: Concerning staff's role, could you provide some edits?

Thomas Roessler                 <roessler-mobile@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

On 2003-04-08 08:12:38 -0400, Esther Dyson wrote:
> From: Esther Dyson <edyson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: Vittorio Bertola <vb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Cc: alac@xxxxxxxxx
> Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2003 08:12:38 -0400
> Subject: Re: [alac] revised draft for internal procedures
> Envelope-to: roessler-mobile@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Delivery-date: Tue, 08 Apr 2003 14:29:35 +0200
> X-No-Spam: whitelist
> I think overall it is way too early to get so detailed and procedural. The 
> ALAC should evolve (bottom-up) and ultimately determine its own rules.  We 
> are the *advisory* committee, not the exec committee.  As much as possible, 
> we should work by consensus rather than these too-formal procedures.  We 
> should structure ourselves in a way that will *give way* to a more formal 
> structure when the new members arrive.
> We were not elected or even appointed "bottom-up," and therefore I think 
> the major mechanism for us to be accountable should be transparency rather 
> than arbitrary voting mechanisms.  Clearly, any committee member who feels 
> that his opinion has been ignored should complain. we're a small group and 
> I think so far we have worked together okay.
> Also, I think *all* members of the committee should feel free to talk to 
> the public, and *all* members should  carefully make the distinction 
> between their own opinions and those of the committee.
> finally, I think the role of staff is a little broader than outlined here 
> (until committee members are willing to undertake much more of the 
> burden!).  In reality, "staff" is capable, a good spokesperson for the 
> group - along with its formal members - and is and should be more active 
> than described.  The issue is that staff should work *with* the ALAC (as it 
> does) rather than independently.... Finally, the document process is 
> unfortunately not as swift as you envision in reality (3 days' 
> turnaround....).  Both decision-making and document production are 
> essentially collaborative processes.
> Esther
> At 06:01 AM 4/8/2003, Vittorio Bertola wrote:
> >I have revised Thomas's draft about internal procedures. Main changes
> >are:
> >
> >- terms of officers expire after Annual Meeting (so that the newly
> >appointed ALAC members can immediately elect the new officers);
> >
> >- votes to be held at physical meetings or during telephone calls must
> >be announced in advance and require a quorum (to avoid that people who
> >cannot afford to be present at physical meetings or conference calls
> >are excluded from the decision-making process);
> >
> >- a mechanism for private voting (mandatory for appointments) has been
> >provided, with a public mechanism to solve challenges.
> >
> >Please expose any objections or comments as soon as possible.
> >--
> >vb.                  [Vittorio Bertola - vb [at] bertola.eu.org]<---
> >-------------------> http://bertola.eu.org/ <-----------------------
> Esther Dyson                    Always make new mistakes!
> chairman, EDventure Holdings
> writer, Release 3.0 (on Website below)
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