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Canadian comments on ICANN Draft Accountability & Transparency Frameworks and Principles

  • To: <draft-mop-2007@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Canadian comments on ICANN Draft Accountability & Transparency Frameworks and Principles
  • From: "Graham, Bill: DIT" <Graham.Bill@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 12:12:44 -0400

Government of Canada Comments to the ICANN Public Consultation on ICANN's 
Accountability & Transparency Frameworks and Principles

31 August, 2007


The Government of Canada is pleased that ICANN is consulting with the community 
on the development of a set of Management Operating Principles as part of its 
commitment to continuously improving transparency and accountability.   We 
offer the following comments as a contribution to that consultation.


The issues raised in the draft document have been of interest to the Government 
of Canada for some time, as indicated by the submission made to the United 
States Department of Commerce Notice of Inquiry in July, 2006 (see 
http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/epic/internet/insmt-gst.nsf/en/h_sf06310e.html).  We 
have been pleased to see that ICANN is taking those issues seriously both in 
its practices over the last year, and in the production of the draft Management 
Operating Principles.  The document helpfully draws together for the first time 
information on the organisation's existing accountability and transparency 
mechanisms, as well as principles, policies and a code of conduct in support of 
those mechanisms.  The success of the principles will depend upon the ongoing 
implementation of the mechanisms outlined, as measured by the ICANN 
constituencies' recognition that their needs are being met.  That recognition 
is key to any accountability regime.


For example, there remain concerns about the amount and pace of work being 
undertaken in ICANN and its supporting organisations.  In the past year this 
has been overwhelming for governments, and for others who want to be involved 
but are unable to sustain the amount of effort required.  This can best be 
dealt with by setting priorities and ranking the importance of issues to be 
addressed.  ICANN as an organisation could assist in this regard by undertaking 
a disciplined prioritisation of issues when developing the Strategic and 
Operating plans.  It would also be helpful to limit the number of simultaneous 
consultation processes addressing complex issues.


The Government of Canada will continue to participate actively in ICANN 
processes, primarily through the Governmental Advisory Committee, with the goal 
of making positive contributions to ICANN's continuing development of its 
accountability and transparency mechanisms.  We would note in particular that 
the GAC has agreed to provide further guidance to the Board on the definition 
of accountability, as a next step in this effort.  


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