Comments from the GAC
Dear colleagues, Please find attached comments from the GAC. These comments are attached to the GAC Communique delivered in Sao Paolo. Please refer to the Annex II for this purpose. thanks Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi Chairman Government Advisory Committee Feedback from the GAC Transparency and Accountability Management Operating Principles for ICANN The ICANN Board needs to post its agenda publicly in advance of its meetings. A set of minutes of all meetings should also be supplied in a timely fashion. The minutes should indicate what subjects were discussed and summarize reasons for decisions taken. The minutes need not be lengthy, but they are an essential element in any effort to achieve transparency, and an informed community. In the case of the most important decisions, particularly those involving policy considerations, additional formal processes should be adopted to ensure transparency. For example: ? Notice of what issues will be considered should be published on the web site, along with the timeframe for interested parties to submit comments ? An analysis of the issues should be provided. In many cases, it would be helpful to develop and publish a short discussion paper to help to focus comments. ? When the Board takes a decision on important issues which have generated significant community interest, a written document should be prepared and published. It should briefly summarize the background and context for the issues; and acknowledge and summarize the comments and positions of all interested parties who have provided input to the decision. It should clearly and concisely state the decision, the reasons for it and, in particularly controversial cases, state the Board's reasons for accepting or rejecting the comments and positions provided by interested parties. ? An opportunity should be provided for the Board to be held accountable by its community. It is recognized that mechanisms already exist which permit appeals of Board decisions, informally through the office of the Ombudsman, or formally through the Reconsideration Committee, and Independent Review mechanisms. To the maximum extent possible any such appeal should be publicly announced, and carried out consistent in a manner similar to that outlined above. Every effort must be made to ensure that requests made via any of these mechanisms are seen to be taken seriously, and are dealt with in a timely manner. ? On occasion, the Board may be required to consider issues and make decisions on issues involving commercial confidentiality, or security issues which cannot be made public. Nonetheless, efforts should be made to publish the fact that a discussion has taken place, and to provide a rationale for the discussions being held behind closed doors. These comments do not address accountability mechanisms related to the selection of the ICANN Board. However, in most organizations, elections are a fundamental element of an accountability regime. The GAC may want to recommend that the ICANN Board examine the existing process for Board member accountability in its process to develop transparency and accountability management operating principles.