DNSO Names Council Teleconference on 6 June 2002 - minutes

10 June 2002.

Proposed agenda and related documents http://www.dnso.org/dnso/notes/20020502.NCteleconf-agenda.html

List of attendees:

Peter de Blanc         ccTLD absent, apologies, proxy to Oscar Robles/ Elisabeth Porteneuve
Elisabeth Porteneuve   ccTLD
Oscar Robles Garay     ccTLD 

Philip Sheppard        Business 
Marilyn Cade           Business 
Grant Forsyth          Business
Greg Ruth              ISPCP  
Antonio Harris         ISPCP 
Tony Holmes            ISPCP absent, apologies proxy to Tony Harris   
Philipp Grabensee      Registrars absent, 
Ken Stubbs             Registrars
Bruce Tonkin           Registrars
Roger Cochetti         gTLD  
Richard Tindal         gTLD  absent, 
Cary Karp              gTLD  absent, apologies, proxy to Roger Cochetti, Richard Tindall
Ellen Shankman         IP    
Laurence Djolakian     IP  
J. Scott Evans         IP    
Harold Feld            NCDNH absent, 
Chun Eung Hwi          NCDNH absent, 
Erick Iriate           NCDNH absent, 

13 Names Council Members

Thomas Roessler        GA Chair
Alexander Svensson     GA Alternate Chair

Glen de Saint Géry     NC Secretary
Alix Guillard          MP3 Recording Engineer/Secretariat

MP3 recording of the meeting by the Secretariat: http://www.dnso.org/dnso/mp3/20020606.NCteleconf.mp3

Quorum present at 15:10 (all times reported are CET which is UTC + 2 during summer time in the northern hemisphere).

Philip Sheppard chaired this NC teleconference.

Approval of the Agenda


An additional item was added to the agenda:
Status report regarding Deletions, Solutions, and WLS.
Prepared by Marilyn Cade, Chair
Transfer Task Force

The agenda was approved.

Item 1. Summary of last meeting:


J. Scott Evans moved the adoption of the summaries, seconded by Ken Stubbs
The motion was carried. There were two abstentions: Elisabeth Porteneuve and Peter de Blanc for whom Elisabeth Porteneuve was holding a proxy vote.

Decision 1: Motion adopted.

Item 1: Transfer Task Force status report.

Council was asked by the Board in a resolution to transfer to the Transfer Task Force a request for assessment on deletions, solutions and wait listing service. The Status report gives the background and the summary of documents gathered so far. Comments were submitted by the Intellectual Property Constituency, the Business Constituency, the General Assembly, individuals and two open conference calls and a public forum published by ICANN. On June 10 a version will be set up for public comment and Council members should send the report to their constituencies for comment. The Names Council should vote on it in Bucharest. The actual recommendations will be put forward to the Board at the Bucharest meeting on Thursday 27 June, 2002.

Item 2 - Discussion on Nominating Committee proposals from ICANN evolution committee and others.

Philip Sheppard set out the process to be followed: He proposed the Chair draft  a formal response to the last paper from the ICANN evolution and reform committee. The Names Council's work to date allows a response to many issues in the document . It was agreed the Chair will write a draft for e-mail comment and subsequent approval during the next teleconference on June 17.

In comparing the NC recommendations to the Committee's paper, Philip Sheppard said that the fundamental difference was a top-down approach recommended by the evolution committee and the continuation of a bottom-up approach  in the Names Council recommendations.  The main categories in which the top down approach is happening are threefold:

1. The composition of the Board
1.1 Today the policy development bodies (like the old DNSO) elect 9 board seats. In the proposal they elect none. Instead a nominating committee (nomcomm) choose 3 board representatives to represent the policy development bodies. 
1.2 In addition the nominating committee appoints some or all other Board members.
1.3 There maybe some board seats available for advisory bodies such as the Security Advisory Body (SAC). But the SAC rep on the Board will be a Board appointee.

2. Composition of the nominating committee (a circular endorsement process)
2.1 There is a suggestion that the Board "ratify" the people proposed to form the nominating committee who in turn appoint the Board.

3. Control of the policy development organisations
3.1. The Board appoints the chair of each of the policy development organisations who is then also a Board member.
3.2 The steering committee of the policy development organisations (such as the old Names Council) will also have "an appropriate number" of nomcomm appointed members.

Discussion followed on the concept, scope and composition of a nominating committee.

J. Scott Evans addressed the issue of the steering committee chair appointment who would also be on the Board of Directors and felt that it was an overload for one person on a volunteer basis to act effectively even with staff assistance.
Roger Cochetti compared a top-down versus a bottom-up process. The benefits of a top-down process are
efficiency and speed but the drawbacks are lack of accountability and legitimacy. A bottom-up process can be messy and time consuming, but it forces accountability and legitimacy. He preferred the latter approach.

Bruce Tonkin said that the Registrars community support a nominating committee but in fact it should be called a selection committee. The Constituency wanted the generic supporting organisation to be able to select voting members of the Board. The Registrars want an elected nominating committee. They believe it would be acceptable for the nominating committee to select some members of the new Names Council. 

Grant Forsyth echoed what Roger Cochetti said, and was in favour of a nominating committee for some board seats only.

Ken Stubbs felt that the persons delegated to represent the Generic Name Supporting Organisation (GNSO) should be elected by that body.

J. Scott Evans's concern was with control, circular appointments and funding. He understood that the reason behind the proposal was to divorce policy development from  Board seats. He thought that a nominating committee should not be electing the steering committee chairs or members but that the SOs should elect their own board members.

Philip Sheppard questioned the reasoning behind an objective to divorce policy development from Board seats. This maybe a theory that the Names Council had an incentive to resist new NC constituencies because this would dilute the 1 in 7 influence the Constituencies have in electing three board seats. He said this seemed absurd. Conversely, if this was the incentive, constituencies should be actively seeking allies to join as new constituencies and so expand their slim chance of a  board seat. 

Marilyn Cade noted that there was no evidence of a learning process reflected in the committee documents. Most of the people who built ICANN are not involved in the reform process. She stressed the importance of an evolutionary approach that was focused. The right approach was more staff, better procedures and tight timelines. She added that the At-Large effort meets the public interest concerns of governments.

Elisabeth Porteneuve agreed with Marilyn Cade and added that ICANN had never given any help to the DNSO. ICANN was set up for gTLD issues. Although the ccTLDs never had a strong voice, they contributed expertise at national level. They are in favour of evolution, and at the moment are working on ICANN's mission and looking at the common denominators in the various regions. They are seeking to identify those functions that cannot be replaced by another structure (such as the IANA functions).

Thomas Roessler agreed with the previous viewpoints but added that precision was lacking in the reform proposals. The areas that were particularly vague or problematic were:
- ICANN mission statement
- Steering group members, what kind, their role?
- Volunteers with special backgrounds were heavily relied on but not funded.
- Advisory committees with a chair with a vote on the board is not a good idea.
- Advisory bodies with ex officio board seats would be a disincentive to create future advisory bodies and so deprive the board of expertise.

Ken Stubbs echoed a concern expressed by Joe Sims that from the consumer's perspective there was a blurring with regard to websites which were geographic ccTLDs and those that acted as generic TLDs. He called for a methodology in bringing about uniformity. Elisabeth Porteneuve responded adding that concern was expressed about registrars' resellers who were anonymous.

Philip Sheppard proposed the following recommendations:

1. There should be consistent criteria for participation in ICANN policy development bodies. Among such criteria there should be the obligation to abide by ICANN policies.

This proposal was not acceptable to the ccTLDs except on a technical level. It was decided to defer debate for the time being.

2. Board members for Policy development bodies
The four policy development bodies, ccTLD, gTLD, addressing and protocol should elect an equal number of board members.

Recommendation accepted by all.

3. A nominating committee should select a quota of board seats which will be less than or equal to that number elected from the policy development bodies.

Voting was as follows:7 In favour, 4 Against, 2 Abstentions.

The recommendation was carried.

The ISPCPC wishes their derogation to be recorded, the ccTLDs are not in favour of a nominating committee.

The council then discussed the possible composition of a nominating committee. Bruce Tonkin addressed the Registrars proposal. There should be 15 Members of the nominating committee made up as follows:
5 from the At-Large group
5 from the User groups
5 from the suppliers

Thomas Roessler raised the concern that it would be a duplication of the board and an extension of the Names Council structure. He stated that there should be different mechanisms for board election, and no mechanism determining more than half of the board seats. Asked by Philip Sheppard what the constructive role of the nominating committee would be, he replied that the DNSO/GNSO would not have strong user, consumer and public interest and it would be the task of the nominating committee to balance this. 

In answer to the question: "Would the GA be happy with a number of seats that could at a future point be taken away and eventually be given to the At-Large?" Thomas replied that the GA would want elections now and later clarified his view by e-mail.

Laurence commented that the IP consistency was in favour of the nominating committee but that there should be a charter detailing criteria for membership and its selections.

Ken Stubbs reminded Council that ICANN will only work in the future if there is supporting personnel. All problems up to now are related to resources. Council agreed and the chair agreed to emphasise this point in future communications.

Philip Sheppard agreed to enquire of the ICANN Budget Committee why the $170 000 proposed by ICANN staff had not gone forward in the budget recommended for Board adoption in Bucharest.

Thomas Roessler commented on the committee's proposed arbitration process, saying that although he supported this, a mechanism was needed to ensure low-funded groups could use arbitration. Council agreed. Bruce Tonkin proposed  that the office of the ombudsman should have a budget for this. Council agreed to revisit Recommendation 15 in light of the preferred proposals for arbitration and an expanded role for the ombudsman.

Philip Sheppard concluded by saying that he would draft a reply to the ICANN committee  that should be commented on by e-mail and be adopted during the next teleconference to which he would invite the evaluation committee.

The teleconference ended at 16:50

Next NC teleconference June 17 at 15:00 Paris time, 13:00 UTC.

See all past agendas and minutes at http://www.dnso.org/dnso/2002calendardnso.html
and calendar of the NC meetings at http://www.dnso.org/dnso/notes/2002.NC-calendar.html

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