Rules of Procedure for the DNSO Names Council, v3

Published: 11 July 2001

Adopted by the Names Council 26 February 2001.

Amended (item 8) by the Names Council 26 February 2001.

Amended (new item 3 and re-numbering) 11 July 2001.


1. NC Chair

2. Conduct of NC meetings

3. NC committees and task forces

4. Intake committee

5. Proxies

6. Approval of the summary of NC meetings

7. Recording of NC meetings

8. Absences

1. Names Council Chair

1.1 Election

The NC Chair will be elected by the members of the NC by simple majority vote and will hold office for a period of six months. One renewal, subject to a fresh vote, of six months will be allowed. A retiring Chair will not be eligible for re-election for a period of one year.

1.2 Meeting schedules

The NC Chair will finalise a schedule of all meetings during a calendar year by the last day of January of that year. NC members may request changes to the schedule during the year which may be agreed upon by the Chair in consultation with the NC, subject to the minimum period of notice below.

2. Conduct of NC meetings

2.1 Meetings Schedule

In compliance with by-law VI-B 2(h), meetings must be scheduled by the NC Chair with at least 14 days notice, except in emergency situations which shall be decided upon by the Intake Committee.

In any given year, the time of the meetings may vary to accommodate the different geographic regions represented by Names Council members. By way of guidance start times corresponding to local times for the Names Council members earlier than 06.00 and later than 23.00 should be avoided where possible.

2.2 Voting

In compliance with by-law VI-B 2(h), voting will be simple majority vote. To pass a motion must attain a majority of the votes cast. Abstentions count as votes cast. This has the effect of making an abstention count the same as a vote against.

2.3 Quorum

In compliance with by-law VI-B 2(h), a majority of the total number of NC members then in office constitutes a quorum. Proxy votes shall not count toward the presence of a quorum.

2.4 Speaking at meetings

Both at physical and telephone meetings the NC Chair will recognise three types of intervention in the following order of priority:

  1. A point of order
  2. A point of information
  3. A normal substantive intervention

At a physical meeting, an NC member may raise a hand or during a teleconference an NC member may speak over the dialogue and say immediately "point of order". The Chair will suspend discussion and hear the point.

Points of information and normal interventions. At a physical meeting, an NC member may raise a hand and wait to be recognised by the Chair and during a teleconference an NC member may speak in an appropriate gap and say immediately "their name to speak". This will be noted by the Chair who will invite the intervention in due course.

To ensure balance, the Chair has the discretion to delay an intervention by a frequent speaker to allow others to speak. By way of guidance for the Chair, a NC member is not expected to speak for more than three minutes at a time and the Chair should solicit the views of other NC members before returning to the same speaker on any one issue. Such discretion should not be exercised for a "point of information". A point of information is for NC members seeking information from the Chair or other NC members about meaning or procedure — it is specifically not intended to provide information.

2.5 Seating

During in-person meetings, the NC Chair should be located so he/she can see all members. The NC endorses a better seating arrangement for inter-NC communication than the "panel on a platform" favoured to date by host venues.

3. NC committees and task forces

3.1 Types From time to time the NC may form sub-groups. These are typically of three types. Each type may form and be responsible for further sub-groups from within their membership. The composition of these groups shall follow the spirit of the ICANN Bylaws with regard to geographic diversity

a) Interim committee — a preparatory group of around 3-5 NC members from different constituencies charged with turning an idea into a proposed action plan or writing terms of reference. The interim committee is dissolved following NC adoption of its output and/or the setting up of a new group to act upon that output.

b) Committee — a small group of around 3-5 from different constituencies which has typically been delegated a limited authority from the NC.

c) Task Force — a group equally representative of each NC constituency (typically one from each) and typically charged with forming a recommendation to the NC or implementing an agreed NC action plan.

3.2 Chair

The chair of an interim committee, committee or task force is appointed by the NC. In the case of a task force the NC typically chooses to ratify the election of a chair by the task force itself. The chair must be an NC member.

3.3 Composition of committees and task forces

Both type-b committees and type-c task forces may comprise NC members and/or nominees from outside of the NC provided that:

a) the nominee is nominated by a member of the NC and be a member of the nominees’ constituency or, where there is GA involvement, be nominated by the chair of the GA and be a member of the GA

b) a constituency nominee has the support of the three NC members of the constituency

c) the nominee is not also a member of the same ICANN-relevant organisation as an NC member on the task force, the NC member taking priority at any time

d) no two nominees are members of the same ICANN-relevant organisation, the first nominee taking priority

e) there are at least two NC members of the task force from different constituencies

f) regardless of the number of members of the group no constituency nor the general assembly may have more than one vote

g) where authority has been delegated by the NC, a simple majority must be NC members, those NC members hold the delegated authority and only those NC members can vote.

Note: An ICANN-relevant organisation is defined as one that any NC member considers to be ICANN-relevant.

3.4 Working group

In addition to the above groups the NC will from time to time form a DNSO working group (WG) with a membership open to all DNSO participants. The WG objective is to formulate positions on policies, facilitate the development of consensus support for policies and to produce a report to the NC highlighting these positions and level of support. See the separate Procedures for Working Groups for full detail [in preparation].

3.5 Variations

Specific variations to the above guidelines may exist within the DNSO rules of procedures, such specific variations taking precedence. Any other variation requires the approval of the NC.

4. Intake Committee

4.1 Objective

The Intake Committee (IC) is responsible for proposing the agenda for NC meetings.

4.2 Composition

The IC should be selected only from members of the Names Council. It should be small and flexible to facilitate meetings and discussion. It should be comprised of an odd number of NC members not greater than five. Members should be rotated from time to time.

4.3 Agenda proposals for NC meetings

Any of the following persons can make proposals for NC agenda items by e-mail to nc-intake@dnso.org :

There will be a limit of one posting per entity per day and the IC shall have sole discretion to deal with abusive activity. Intake suggestion e-mails for any meeting will be publicly archived after the end of the meeting in question.

4.4 Agenda preparation

The IC shall be responsible for:

In order for a topic to appear on the NC agenda being prepared by the IC, it must be presented to the IC no later than 21 days before the meeting.

The IC shall propose a guillotine (time limit) for each agenda item. IC members are encouraged to remind the Chair of these limits during a meeting if necessary.

The IC shall send the agenda for a meeting no later than 15 days before the meeting to the NC secretariat and NC Chair. The agenda may be changed at the discretion of the NC Chair, who will make reference to the change in the new agenda. The agenda, once seen by the Chair, will be posted by the Secretariat within one working day of receiving the IC agenda.

Where there is disagreement within the IC issues will be settled by a simple majority vote or referred to the NC at the discretion of the IC Chair.

When there are items which have been rejected for agenda inclusion by the IC, NC members shall have 7 days to submit an objection which will count as a vote against the IC rejection. Non-votes will be deemed an acceptance of the IC’s decision, and a majority of the votes shall rule.

4.5 Last minute.

In case of issues arising subsequent to the above timetable, NC members will be able to propose items for any other business at the start of an NC meeting. Such items will be accepted for discussion that day or deferred to the IC at the discretion of the NC Chair.

4.6 Reports and declarations

No later than 7 days before the NC meeting, all reports or proposed declarations relating to forthcoming agenda items must be distributed to the NC.

4.7 Exceptions

The Intake Committee shall have the sole discretion to deviate from these procedures when externalities dictate.

5. Proxies

5.1 Eligibility

Only elected Names Council members may cast a proxy vote on behalf of another Names Council member.

5.2 Notification

In advance. Any Names Council member may designate a Names Council member as his/her proxy by e-mail to the council list (or by telephone to the Names Council Secretariat).

During a meeting. If the Names Council member is able to participate in a Names Council telephone conference but has cause to leave the call the Names Council member may then designate a proxy representative.

5.3 Acceptance

The designated Names Council member must confirm willingness to exercise the proxy by confirming acceptance by e-mail to the Council List or by voice during a meeting.

5.4 Revocation

A Names Council member may revoke the proxy designation at any time in advance by sending an e-mail to the Council list or by voice during a meeting.

5.5 Names Council member incommunicado

When a Names Council member ceases to be contactable (defined as either notification of e-mail delivery failure or non-response to notified e-mail or telephone, for three consecutive weeks), the Constituency of that member has the right (subject to the existence of Constituency procedures) to designate one of its other elected constituency Names Council members as interim proxy holder for the Names Council member incommunicado. In such a situation, the Constituency will act promptly to locate the Names Council member incommunicado, and/or to replace the member.

Should the Names Council member (previously incommunicado) notify the Names Council Secretariat either by e-mail or by telephone of new contact details then the interim proxy will be revoked.

6. Approval of the summary of NC meetings

6.1 Timetable

In compliance with by-law VI-B 2(h) summaries of NC meetings should be made public within 21 days of an NC meeting.

6.2 Procedure

1. Within seven days of an NC meeting, the Secretariat will forward draft summary to the NC Chair

2. Within 10 days of the meeting, the Chair will approve the draft and request the Secretariat to circulate the draft summary to NC members for comment and approval. If no comment is received within seven days, the minutes will be deemed to have been approved for posting.

3. All comments received from NC members will be incorporated in the summary unless there are objections from other NC members.

4. Where there are objections, the Chair will attempt to resolve the issue (by reference to the audio transcript if any) and secure agreement from the relevant NC members. If agreement is not achieved, the Chair will determine the final version of the minutes and may note areas in which agreement has not been achieved.

5. The Chair will ensure the above procedure is complete and an approved version of the summary is circulated and made public within 21 days of the relevant meeting.

6. In accord with by law III-2(a) the formal approval of the summary will be at the following meeting of the Names Council.

7. Recording of NC meetings

- provisional arrangements with effect from December 2000

7.1 Scribe

Until such time as the DNSO has internal staff support that is sufficient to provide these services, the Chair, or in the Chair's absence, the ICANN Secretary in conjunction with the AFNIC Project Manager, are requested to procure and, at reasonable cost, compensate, a scribe for each teleconference or other Names Council meeting. The NC Chair and ICANN Secretary are further requested to report periodically to the NC on the costs incurred.

7.2 Duties of scribe

The scribe will prepare minutes of each meeting and the taking and maintenance of an audio recording of each meeting.

7.3 Disputes

If any NC member disputes what he or she has said in the resulting draft minutes, a transcript of the relevant portion of the audio recording shall be prepared and made available to the NC before its formal approval of the minutes.

8. Absences

When a names council member fails to participate in two regular consecutive NC meetings without notification of absence to the DNSO secretariat or NC chair or Council list, the DNSO secretariat will notify the constituency and ask for a response.