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Integrity of Process
  • To: <stld-rfp-comments@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Integrity of Process
  • From: "Richard Henderson" <richardhenderson@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2003 07:35:05 +0100

Surely the evaluation of applicants for further TLDs should be carried out in the context of the Evaluation Process proposed to learn lessons from the previous round of New TLDs adopted in 2000?
 
To date, ICANN has failed to initiate the Evaluation Team to carry out the Evaluation Process proposed by its own Task Force, even though the Board undertook to adopt the Task Force recommendations.
 
Even if new applicants are assessed by an 'independent' evaluation team, that team still needs to be fully informed and equipped to contextualise the development of more TLDs in the light of the problems and challenges of the previous ones.
 
The NTEPPTF set out a wide-ranging and detailed set of questions which needed addressing in order to properly evaluate how further TLDs should be introduced, and called for the public consideration of Registry Evaluation Reports, which have regrettably never been published.
 
It highlighted concerns - for example - over Sunrise and Landrush processes (which had been racked with problems and controversy in the previous round of TLDs).
 
Clearly applications for further New TLDs need to explain how they propose to handle areas like this, but when the serious difficulties encountered in the previous round have not even been formally evaluated yet, how can any assessing team assess the applicants' proposals in an informed and reliable manner?
 
These are just two areas out of a wide range of issues which the Task Force identified and detailed.
 
Without integrity of process in the way ICANN carries out the New TLD Evaluation Process, there is the serious danger that assessment teams judging the merits of applicants this time round will be ill-informed and arbitrary.
 
They may adopt applicants whose strategies and business plans fail to take into account the as yet unresolved issues of the previous round of New TLDs.
 
While there is a clear and urgent need to consider the expansion of the namespace, the efforts of ICANN to date - in fulfilling its own commitment to a proper Evaluation Process - have been derisory.
 
My concern is that, if the processes involved in the previous round are mismanaged, what confidence can we have that the selection of applicants for the next round will be anything other than arbitrary and mismanaged as well?
 
Where is the New TLD Evaluation Process? Why has it not been carried out?
 
And if the Proof of Concept is not going to be managed properly, then how can we be sure the same errors and difficulties are not going to re-emerge in the next round of TLDs?
 
 
Yrs,
 
Richard Henderson 

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