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Comments from the GAC

  • To: principles-comments@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Comments from the GAC
  • From: "Sharil Tarmizi" <sharil@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Dec 2006 01:57:37 +0800 (MYT)

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.


Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi
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.

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