ICANN/DNSO


Rules of Procedure for the GNSO Council



All passages in red are from the old Names Council rules of procedure.

All passages in magenta are summarized from the old rules of procedure

All passages in black are from the ICANN Bylaws

All passages in green relate to links that must be made in this document

Rules of Procedure for the GNSO Council in accordance with ICANN bylaws

Contents:

  1. Background

  2. GNSO Constituencies

  3. GNSO Council

  4. GNSO Council Chair

  5. Conduct of Council meetings

  6. Policy Development Process

  7. Task Forces

  8. Procedure if NO Task Force is Formed

  9. Public Comments to the Task Force Report or Initial Report

  10. Council Deliberation

  11. Council reports to the Board

  12. Agreement of the Council

  13. Board Vote

  14. Implementation of the Policy

  15. Maintenance of Records

  16. GNSO Council E-mail voting

  17. Additional Definitions


  1. Background:
  2. At the GNSO teleconference http://www.dnso.org/dnso/notes/20021219.GNSOteleconf-minutes.html it was resolved that the Generic names Council would operate under the Rules of Procedure for the old DNSO Names Council http://www.dnso.org/dnso/notes/20020418.NCprocedures-v7.0.html except in cases of conflict with the new ICANN bylaws where the ICANN new bylaws take precedence.

    Under the new ICANN Bylaws adopted http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-15dec02.htm#X-5 the Domain Name Supporting Organization ceased operations upon the adoption of the Transition Article, and the Names Council of the Domain Name Supporting Organization authorized the transfer of any funds it has collected to the benefit of the Generic Names Supporting Organization, cf. http://www.dnso.org/dnso/notes/20021219.NCteleconf-minutes.html

    Description

    There shall be a policy-development body known as the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), which shall be responsible for developing and recommending to the ICANN Board substantive policies relating to generic top-level domains.

    Organization

    The GNSO shall consist of (i) various Constituencies representing particular groups of stakeholders, as described in Article X Section 5: http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-15dec02.htm#X-5 and (ii) a GNSO Council responsible for managing the policy development process of the GNSO.

  3. The Generic Names Supporting Organization ("GNSO") constituencies
  4. 2.1. GNSO Constituencies:

    The following self-organized Constituencies are hereby recognized as representative of a specific and significant group of stakeholders and, subject to the provisions of the Transition Article of these Bylaws, shall each select two representatives to the GNSO Council:

    1. gTLD Registries (representing all gTLD registries under contract to ICANN);
    2. Registrars (representing all registrars accredited by and under contract to ICANN);
    3. Internet Service and Connectivity Providers (representing all entities providing Internet service and connectivity to Internet users);
    4. Commercial and Business Users (representing both large and small commercial entity users of the Internet);
    5. Non-Commercial Users (representing the full range of non-commercial entity users of the Internet); and
    6. Intellectual Property Interests (representing the full range of trademark and other intellectual property interests relating to the DNS).

    2.2. Notwithstanding the adoption or effectiveness of the New Bylaws, each GNSO constituency described in paragraph 2 of Section 5 http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-15dec02.htm#XX-5.2 shall continue operating as before and no constituency official, task force, or other activity shall be changed until further action of the constituency, provided that each GNSO constituency shall submit to the ICANN Secretary a new charter and statement of operating procedures, adopted according to the constituency's processes and consistent with the New Bylaws, no later than 15 July 2003.

    2.3. Each Constituency identified in paragraph 1 of this Section shall maintain its recognition, and thus its ability to select GNSO Council representatives, only so long as it in fact represents the interests globally of the stakeholder communities it purports to represent, and shall operate to the maximum extent feasible in an open and transparent manner and consistent with procedures designed to ensure fairness. No individual or entity shall be excluded from participation in a Constituency merely because of participation in another Constituency.

    2.4. Any group of individuals or entities may petition the Board for recognition as a new or separate Constituency. Any such petition shall contain a detailed explanation of:

    1. Why the addition of such a Constituency will improve the ability of the GNSO to carry out its policy-development responsibilities; and

    2. Why the proposed new Constituency would adequately represent, on a global basis, the stakeholders it seeks to represent. Any petition for the recognition of a new Constituency shall be posted for public comment.

    2.5. The Board may create new Constituencies in response to such a petition, or on its own motion, if it determines that such action would serve the purposes of ICANN. In the event the Board is considering acting on its own motion it shall post a detailed explanation of why such action is necessary or desirable, set a reasonable time for public comment, and not make a final decision on whether to create such new Constituency until after reviewing all comments received. Whenever the Board posts a petition or recommendation for a new Constituency for public comment, it shall notify the GNSO Council and shall consider any response to that notification prior to taking action.

  5. GNSO Council
  6. 3.1. GNSO Council Responsibilities

    1. Policy development Process

      The GNSO Council is responsible for managing the policy development process of the GNSO. It shall adopt such procedures as it sees fit to carry out that responsibility, provided that such procedures are approved by the Board, and further provided that, until any modifications are recommended by the GNSO Council and approved by the Board, the applicable procedures shall be as set forth in Section 6 of this Article. In addition, the GNSO Council is responsible for managing open forums, in the form of mailing lists or otherwise, for the participation of all who are willing to contribute to the work of the GNSO; such forums shall be appropriately moderated to ensure maximum focus on the business of the GNSO and to minimize non-substantive and abusive postings.

    2. DNSO/GNSO Committees, task forces working groups

      All committees, task forces, working groups, drafting committees, and similar groups established by the DNSODNSONames Council http://www.dnso.org/dnso/notes/20020418.NCprocedures-v7.0.html and in existence immediately before the adoption of this Transition Article shall continue in existence as groups of the GNSO Council with the same charters, membership, and activities, subject to any change by action of the GNSO Council.

    3. ICANN Board Seats 13 & 14

      The GNSO Council shall make selections to fill Seats 13 and 14 on the ICANN Board by written ballot or by action at a meeting; any such selection must have affirmative votes comprising a majority of the votes of all the members of the GNSO Council. Notification of the GNSO Council's selections shall be given by the GNSO Chair in writing to the ICANN Secretary, consistent with Article VI, Sections 8(4) and 12(1), cf. http://www.icann.org/committees/evol-reform/proposed-bylaws-corrections-23feb03.htm#VI-8.

    3. 2. GNSO Council composition:

    Until the conclusion of the ICANN annual meeting in 2003, the GNSO Council shall consist of three representatives of each constituency of the GNSO plus, upon their selection by the Nominating Committee, three persons selected by that committee. It may also have liaisons appointed by the Governmental Advisory Committee and (Interim) At-Large Advisory Committee, as provided in Article X, Section 3(1) of the New Bylaws, cf. http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-15dec02.htm#X-3.1

    Upon the adoption of this Transition Article http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-15dec02.htm#XX-5.4 the three representatives on the Domain Name Supporting Organization ("DNSO") Names Council from each of six DNSO constituencies shall be seated as representatives of constituencies on the GNSO Council, as follows:

    1. The three representatives of the commercial and business entities constituency of the DNSO shall be seated as representatives of the Commercial and Business Users constituency of the GNSO.
    2. The three representatives of the gTLD registries constituency of the DNSO shall be seated as representatives of the gTLD Registries constituency of the GNSO.
    3. The three representatives of the ISP and connectivity providers constituency of the DNSO shall be seated as representatives of the Internet Service and Connectivity Providers constituency of the GNSO.
    4. The three representatives of the non-commercial domain name holders constituency of the DNSO shall be seated as representatives of the Non-Commercial Users constituency of the GNSO.
    5. The three representatives of the registrars constituency of the DNSO shall be seated as representatives of the Registrars constituency of the GNSO.
    6. The three representatives of the trademark, other intellectual property and anti-counterfeiting interests constituency of the DNSO shall be seated as representatives of the Intellectual Property Interests constituency of the GNSO.

    Subject to the provisions of the Transition Article of these Bylaws http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-15dec02.htm#XX-5.5 the GNSO Council shall consist of two representatives selected by each of the Constituencies described in Section 5 of this Article, point to constituencies above and three persons selected by the ICANN Nominating Committee. There may also be two liaisons to the GNSO Council, one appointed by each of the Governmental Advisory Committee and the At-Large Advisory Committee from time to time, who shall not be members of or entitled to vote on the GNSO Council, but otherwise shall be entitled to participate on equal footing with members of the GNSO Council.

    Subject to the provisions of the Transition Article of these Bylaws http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-15dec02.htm#XX-5

    1. the regular term of each GNSO Council member shall begin at the conclusion of an ICANN annual meeting and shall end at the conclusion of the second ICANN annual meeting thereafter;
    2. the regular term of one representative selected by each Constituency shall begin in an even-numbered year and the regular term of the other representative selected by the Constituency shall begin in an odd-numbered year; and
    3. the regular term of one of the three members selected by the Nominating Committee shall begin in even-numbered years and the regular term of the other two of the three members selected by the Nominating Committee shall begin in odd-numbered years.

    Each GNSO Council member shall hold office during his or her regular term and until a successor has been selected and qualified or until that member resigns or is removed in accordance with these Bylaws.

    Thereafter, the composition of the GNSO Council shall be as provided in the New Bylaws, as they may be amended from time to time, without regard to this Transition Article.

    No more than one officer, director or employee of any particular corporation or other organization (including its subsidiaries and affiliates) shall serve on the GNSO Council at any given time.

    3.3 Terms of GNSO Council Members

    http://www.icann.org/minutes/minutes-appa-25feb03.htm

    The terms of the GNSO Council members described in paragraph 5 of Section 5 http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-15dec02.htm#XX-5.5 shall last for the remainder of their terms under the Old Bylaws, except that the terms of all of those GNSO Council members shall end at the conclusion of the ICANN annual meeting in 2003. Any vacancy occurring before that time in a position on the GNSO Council described in paragraph 5 of this Section 5 shall be filled by the constituency that the vacant position represents for the remainder of the term lasting until the conclusion of the ICANN annual meeting in 2003. In selecting three persons to serve on the GNSO Council, the initial Nominating Committee shall designate one to serve a term until the conclusion of the ICANN annual meeting in 2004 and the other two to serve terms until the conclusion of the ICANN annual meeting in 2005.

    3.4 GNSO Council vacancy

    http://www.icann.org/minutes/minutes-appa-25feb03.htm

    A GNSO Council member may resign at any time by giving written notice to the ICANN Secretary. A GNSO Council member selected by a Constituency may be removed by that Constituency according to its published procedures. A GNSO Council member selected by the Nominating Committee may be removed for cause stated by a three-fourths (3/4) vote (see Section 5(2) of the Article) http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-15dec02.htm#X-5 of all members of the GNSO Council (excluding the member to be removed), subject to approval by the ICANN Board. A vacancy on the GNSO Council shall be deemed to exist in the case of the death, resignation, or removal of any member. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term involved by the Nominating Committee giving the ICANN Secretary written notice of its selection, unless the member holding the position before the vacancy occurred was selected by a Constituency, in which case that Constituency shall fill the unexpired term by giving the ICANN Secretary written notice of its selection

    3.5. Quorum

    (Comment: it is worth separately identifying the quorum requirements)

    http://www.icann.org/committees/evol-reform/proposed-bylaws-corrections-23feb03.htm#X-8

    Members entitled to cast a majority of the total number of votes of GNSO Council members then in office shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

    3.6 Votes

    Acts by a majority vote of the GNSO Council members present at any meeting at which there is a quorum shall be acts of the GNSO Council, unless otherwise provided herein. (See Section 5(2) of this Article concerning the number of votes that GNSO Council members may cast.)

    The number of votes cast:

    The number of votes that members of the GNSO Council may cast shall be equalized so that the aggregate number of votes of representatives selected by the Constituencies (currently the gTLD Registries and Registrars) that are under contract with ICANN obligating them to implement ICANN-adopted policies is equal to the number of votes of representatives selected by other Constituencies.

    Initially, each member of the GNSO Council selected by the gTLD Registries Constituency or the Registrars Constituency shall be entitled to cast two votes and all other members (including those selected by the Nominating Committee) shall be entitled to cast one vote.

    In the event that there is a change in the Constituencies that are entitled to select voting members of the Names Council, the Board shall review the change in circumstances and by resolution revise the procedure for equalization of votes in a manner consistent with this paragraph 2.

  7. GNSO Council Chair
  8. As amended in the bylaws: http://www.icann.org/minutes/minutes-appa-25feb03.htm

    4. 1. The GNSO Council shall select the GNSO Chair, for a term the GNSO Council specifies but not longer than one year, by written ballot or by action at a meeting. Any such selection must have the affirmative votes of comprising a majority of the votes of all the members of the GNSO Council.

    4. 2. A retiring Chair will not be eligible for re-election for a period of one year.

    4. 3. Meeting schedules

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

  9. Conduct of Council meetings
  10. 5.1 Except as provided by paragraph 6 of Section 3, http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-15dec02.htm#X-3.6 the GNSO Council shall act at meetings.

    Members of the GNSO Council may participate in a meeting of the GNSO Council through use of (i) conference telephone or similar communications equipment, provided that all members participating in such a meeting can speak to and hear one another or (ii) electronic video screen communication or other communication equipment; provided that (a) all members participating in such a meeting can speak to and hear one another, (b) all members are provided the means of fully participating in all matters before the GNSO Council, and (c) ICANN adopts and implements means of verifying that (x) a person participating in such a meeting is a member of the GNSO Council or other person entitled to participate in the meeting and (y) all actions of, or votes by, the GNSO Council are taken or cast only by the members of the GNSO Council and not persons who are not members.

    Except where determined by a majority vote of members of the GNSO Council present that a closed session is appropriate, meetings shall be open to physical or electronic attendance by all interested persons.

    5.2Notice of meetings:

    Advance notice of such meetings shall be posted on the Website, if reasonably practicable, at least 7 days in advance of the meeting for Administrative issues and 14 days in advance for Policy issues.

    Reports and declarations should be submitted to the GNSO Chair for inclusion on the agenda no later than 14 days before the GNSO Council meeting, all reports or proposed declarations relating to forthcoming agenda items must be distributed to the GNSO Council members 14 days before the meeting

    .

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

    5. 3. All actions of, or votes by, the GNSO Council are taken or cast only by the members of the GNSO Council and not persons who are not members.

    http://www.icann.org/committees/evol-reform/proposed-bylaws-corrections-23feb03.htm#X-3

    Members entitled to cast a majority of the total number of votes of GNSO Council members then in office shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and acts by a majority vote of the GNSO Council members present at any meeting at which there is a quorum shall be acts of the GNSO Council, unless otherwise provided herein. (See Section 5(2) of this Article concerning the number of votes that GNSO Council members may cast.)

    5. 4. The number of votes cast:
    The number of votes that members of the GNSO Council may cast shall be equalized so that the aggregate number of votes of representatives selected by the Constituencies (currently the gTLD Registries and Registrars) that are under contract with ICANN obligating them to implement ICANN-adopted policies is equal to the number of votes of representatives selected by other Constituencies.

    Initially, each member of the GNSO Council selected by the gTLD Registries Constituency or the Registrars Constituency shall be entitled to cast two votes and all other members (including those selected by the Nominating Committee) shall be entitled to cast one vote.

    In the event that there is a change in the Constituencies that are entitled to select voting members of the Names Council, the Board shall review the change in circumstances and by resolution revise the procedure for equalization of votes in a manner consistent with this (Section 5 paragraph 2).
    http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-15dec02.htm#X-5

    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.
    except in the following cases:
    section 6. 1 b. Council Initiation.
    The GNSO Council may initiate the PDP by a vote of at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the members of the Council present at any meeting in which a motion to initiate the PDP is made.
    Section 6 3. c. Vote of the Council.
    A vote of more than 33% of the Council members present in favor of initiating the PDP will suffice to initiate the PDP; unless the Staff Recommendation stated that the issue is not properly within the scope of the ICANN policy process or the GNSO, in which case a Supermajority Vote of the Council members present in favor of initiating the PDP will be required to initiate the PDP.
    Section 7 e Task Force report .
    Section 11. Council Report to the Board
    a. A clear statement of any Supermajority Vote recommendation of the Council;
    Section 12. Agreement of the Council
    A Supermajority Vote of the Council members will be deemed to reflect the view of the Council, and may be conveyed to the Board as the Council's recommendation. Abstentions shall not be permitted; thus all Council members must cast a vote unless they identify a financial interest in the outcome of the policy issue. Notwithstanding the foregoing, as set forth above, all viewpoints expressed by Council members during the PDP must be included in the Board Report.

    5.5 . Minutes
    The GNSO Council shall transmit minutes of its meetings to the ICANN Secretary, who shall cause those minutes to be posted to the Website as soon as practicable following the meeting, and no later than 21 days following the meeting

    5.5.a Procedure

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

    2. Within 10 days of the meeting, the Chair will approve the draft and request the Secretariat to circulate the draft summary to GNSO Council 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 GNSO Council members will be incorporated in the summary unless there are objections from other GNSO Council 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 GNSO Council 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. Disputes
    If any GNSO Council 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 GNSO Council before its formal approval of the minutes.

    6. 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.

    7. http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-15dec02.htm#X-3.4
    All minutes of meetings of the Supporting Organizations (and any councils thereof) shall be approved promptly by the originating body and provided to the ICANN Secretary for posting on the Website.
    No later than the day after the date on which they are formally approved by the Board, the minutes shall be made publicly available on the Website


    5. 6 Speaking at meetings
    Both at physical and telephone meetings the GNSO 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, a GNSO Council member may raise a hand or during a teleconference an GNSO Council 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, a GNSO Council member may raise a hand and wait to be recognised by the Chair and during a teleconference a GNSO Council 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 GNSO Council member is not expected to speak for more than three minutes at a time and the Chair should solicit the views of other GNSO Council 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 GNSO Council members seeking information from the Chair or other GNSO Council members about meaning or procedure - it is specifically not intended to provide information.

    5. 7 Seating
    During in-person meetings, the GNSO Council Chair should be located so he/she can see all members. The GNSO Council endorses a better seating arrangement for communication between council members
    than the "panel on a platform" favoured to date by host venues.

    5. 8 Proxies

    5. 8. 1 Eligibility
    Only elected GNSO Council members may cast a proxy vote on behalf of another GNSO Council member.

    5. 8. 2 Notification In advance.
    Any GNSO Council member may designate a GNSO Council member as his/her proxy by e-mail to the council list (or by telephone to the GNSO Council Secretariat).

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

    5. 8. 3 Acceptance
    The designated GNSO 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. 8. 4 Revocation
    A GNSO 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. 8 . 5 GNSO Council member incommunicado
    When a 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 GNSO Council members as interim proxy holder for the GNSO Council member incommunicado. In such a situation, the Constituency will act promptly to locate the GNSO Council member incommunicado, and/or to replace the member. Should the GNSO Council member (previously incommunicado) notify the GNSO Council Secretariat either by e-mail or by telephone of new contact details then the interim proxy will be revoked.

    5.8. 6 Proxy votes shall not count toward the presence of a quorum.

    5. 8 7. Disputes If any GNSO Council 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 GNSO Council before its formal approval of the minutes.

    5. 8. 8. Absences
    When a GNSO council member fails to participate in two regular consecutive GNSO meetings without notification of absence to the GNSO secretariat or GNSO chair or Council list, the GNSO secretariat will notify the constituency and ask for a response.

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    Section 6. GNSO Policy Development Process
    http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-15dec02.htm#XX
    All committees, task forces, working groups, drafting committees, and similar groups established by the DNSO Names Council and in existence immediately before the adoption of this Transition Article shall continue in existence as groups of the GNSO Council with the same charters, membership, and activities, subject to any change by action of the GNSO Council.


    The following process shall govern the GNSO policy development process ("PDP") until such time as modifications are recommended to and approved by the ICANN Board of Directors ("Board").

    6.1. Raising an Issue
    An issue may be raised for consideration as part of the PDP by any of the following:

    a. Board Initiation.
    The Board may initiate the PDP by instructing the GNSO Council ("Council") to begin the process outlined in the Annex
    http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-15dec02.htm#AnnexA

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    b. Council Initiation.
    The GNSO Council may initiate the PDP by a vote of at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the members of the Council present at any meeting in which a motion to initiate the PDP is made.
    c. Advisory Committee Initiation.
    An Advisory Committee may raise an issue for policy development by action of such committee to commence the PDP, and transmission of that request to the GNSO Council.

    6. 2. Creation of the Issue Report
    Within fifteen (15) calendar days after receiving either (i) an instruction from the Board; (ii) a properly supported motion from a Council member; or (iii) a properly supported motion from an Advisory Committee, the Staff Manager will create a report (an "Issue Report"). Each Issue Report shall contain at least the following:

    a. The proposed issue raised for consideration;
    b. The identity of the party submitting the issue;
    c. How that party is affected by the issue;
    d. Support for the issue to initiate the PDP;
    e. A recommendation from the Staff Manager as to whether the Council should initiate the PDP for this issue (the "Staff Recommendation").
    Each Staff Recommendation shall include the opinion of the ICANN General Counsel regarding whether the issue proposed to initiate the PDP is properly within the scope of the ICANN policy process and within the scope of the GNSO. In determining whether the issue is properly within the scope of the ICANN policy process, the General Counsel shall examine whether such issue:

    1. is within the scope of ICANN's mission statement;
    2. is broadly applicable to multiple situations or organizations;
    3. is likely to have lasting value or applicability, albeit with the need for occasional updates;
    4. will establish a guide or framework for future decision-making; or
    5. implicates or affects an existing ICANN policy.

    f. On or before the fifteen (15) day deadline, the Staff Manager shall distribute the Issue Report to the full Council for a vote on whether to initiate the PDP, as discussed below.

    6. 3. Initiation of PDP

    The Council shall initiate the PDP as follows:

    a. Issue Raised by the Board.
    If the Board directs the Council to initiate the PDP, then the Council shall meet and do so within fifteen (15) calendar days after receipt of the Issue Report, with no intermediate vote of the Council.

    b. Issue Raised by Other than by the Board.
    If a policy issue is presented to the Council for consideration via an Issue Report, then the Council shall meet within fifteen (15) calendar days after receipt of such Report to vote on whether to initiate the PDP. Such meeting may be convened in any manner deemed appropriate by the Council, including in person, via conference call or via electronic mail.

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    c. Vote of the Council.
    A vote of more than 33% of the Council members present in favor of initiating the PDP will suffice to initiate the PDP; unless the Staff Recommendation stated that the issue is not properly within the scope of the ICANN policy process or the GNSO, in which case a Supermajority Vote of the Council members present in favor of initiating the PDP will be required to initiate the PDP.

    6. 4. Commencement of the PDP

    At the meeting of the Council initiating the PDP, the Council shall decide, by a majority vote of members present at the meeting, whether to appoint a task force to address the issue. If the Council votes:

    a. In favor of convening a task force, it shall do so in accordance with the provisions of Item 7 below. (task forces)

    b. Against convening a task force, then it will collect information on the policy issue in accordance with the provisions of Item 8 below. (Procedure if no task force is formed)

    6. 5. Composition and Selection of Task Forces

    a. Upon voting to appoint a task force, the Council shall invite each of the constituencies of the GNSO to appoint one individual to participate in the task force. Additionally, the Council may appoint up to three outside advisors to sit on the task force. (Each task force member is referred to in the Annex
    http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-15dec02.htm#AnnexA-7
    as a "Representative" and collectively, the "Representatives"). The Council may increase the number of Representatives per constituency that may sit on a task force in its discretion in circumstances that it deems necessary or appropriate.

    b. Any constituency wishing to appoint a Representative to the task force must submit the name of the constituency designee to the Staff Manager within ten (10) calendar days after such request in order to be included on the task force. Such designee need not be a member of the Council, but must be an individual who has an interest, and ideally knowledge and expertise, in the area to be developed, coupled with the ability to devote a substantial amount of time to task force activities.

    c. The Council may also pursue other options that it deems appropriate to assist in the PDP, including appointing a particular individual or organization to gather information on the issue or scheduling meetings for deliberation or briefing. All such information shall be submitted to the Staff Manager within thirty-five (35) calendar days after initiation of the PDP.

    6. 6. Public Notification of Initiation of the PDP

    After initiation of the PDP, ICANN shall post a notification of such action to the Website. A public comment period shall be commenced for the issue for a period of twenty (20) calendar days after initiation of the PDP. The Staff Manager, or some other designated representative of ICANN shall review the public comments and incorporate them into a report (the "Public Comment Report") to be included in either the Preliminary Task Force Report or the Initial Report, as applicable.

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    Section 7. Task Forces

    a. Role of Task Force.
    If a task force is created, its role will generally be to

    (i) gather information detailing the positions of formal constituencies and provisional constituencies, if any, within the GNSO; and (ii) otherwise obtain relevant information that will enable the Task Force Report to be as complete and informative as possible. The task force shall not have any formal decision-making authority. Rather, the role of the task force shall be to gather information that will document the positions of various parties or groups as specifically and comprehensively as possible, thereby enabling the Council to have a meaningful and informed deliberation on the issue.

    b. Task Force Charter or Terms of Reference.
    The Council, with the assistance of the Staff Manager, shall develop a charter or terms of reference for the task force (the "Charter") within ten (10) calendar days after initiation of the PDP.

    Such Charter will include:

    1. the issue to be addressed by the task force, as such issue was articulated for the vote before the Council that commenced the PDP;
    2. the specific timeline that the task force must adhere to, as set forth below, unless the Board determines that there is a compelling reason to extend the timeline; and
    3. any specific instructions from the Council for the task force, including whether or not the task force should solicit the advice of outside advisors on the issue. The task force shall prepare its report and otherwise conduct its activities in accordance with the Charter. Any request to deviate from the Charter must be formally presented to the Council and may only be undertaken by the task force upon a vote of a majority of the Council members present.

    c. Appointment of Task Force Chair.
    The Staff Manager shall convene the first meeting of the task force within five (5) calendar days after receipt of the Charter. At the initial meeting, the task force members will, among other things, vote to appoint a task force chair. The chair shall be responsible for organizing the activities of the task force, including compiling the Task Force Report. The chair of a task force need not be a member of the Council.

    d. Collection of Information.

    1. Constituency Statements.
    The Representatives will each be responsible for soliciting the position of their constituencies, at a minimum, and other comments as each Representative deems appropriate, regarding the issue under consideration. This position and other comments, as applicable, should be submitted in a formal statement to the task force chair (each, a "Constituency Statement") within thirty-five (35) calendar days after initiation of the PDP. Every Constituency Statement shall include at least the following:
    (i) If a Supermajority Vote was reached, a clear statement of the constituency's position on the issue;
    (ii) If a Supermajority Vote was not reached, a clear statement of all positions espoused by constituency members;
    (iii) A clear statement of how the constituency arrived at its position(s). Specifically, the statement should detail specific constituency meetings, teleconferences, or other means of deliberating an issue, and a list of all members who participated or otherwise submitted their views;
    (iv) An analysis of how the issue would affect the constituency, including any financial impact on the constituency; and
    (v) An analysis of the period of time that would likely be necessary to implement the policy.

    2. Outside Advisors.

    The task force, should it deem it appropriate or helpful, may solicit the opinions of outside advisors, experts, or other members of the public, in addition to those of constituency members. Such opinions should be set forth in a report prepared by such outside advisors, and
    (i) clearly labeled as coming from outside advisors; (ii) accompanied by a detailed statement of the advisors' (A) qualifications and relevant experience; and (B) potential conflicts of interest. These reports should be submitted in a formal statement to the task force chair within thirty-five (35) calendar days after initiation of the PDP.

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    e. Task Force Report.

    The chair of the task force, working with the Staff Manager, shall compile the Constituency Statements, Public Comment Report, and other information or reports, as applicable, into a single document ("Preliminary Task Force Report") and distribute the Preliminary Task Force Report to the full task force within forty (40) calendar days after initiation of the PDP. The task force shall have a final task force meeting within five (5) days after the date of distribution of the Preliminary Task Force Report to deliberate the issues and try and reach a Supermajority Vote. Within five (5) calendar days after the final task force meeting, the chair of the task force and the Staff Manager shall create the final task force report (the "Task Force Report") and post it on the Comment Site. Each Task Force Report must include:

    1. A clear statement of any Supermajority Vote position of the task force on the issue;

    2. If a Supermajority Vote was not reached, a clear statement of all positions espoused by task force members submitted within the twenty-day timeline for submission of constituency reports. Each statement should clearly indicate
    (i) the reasons underlying the position and (ii) the constituency(ies) that held the position;

    3. An analysis of how the issue would affect each constituency of the task force, including any financial impact on the constituency;

    4. An analysis of the period of time that would likely be necessary to implement the policy; and

    5. The advice of any outside advisors appointed to the task force by the Council, accompanied by a detailed statement of the advisors' (i) qualifications and relevant experience; and (ii) potential conflicts of interest.

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    Section 8. Procedure if No Task Force is Formed

    a. If the Council decides not to convene a task force, the Council will request that, within ten (10) calendar days thereafter, each constituency appoint a representative to solicit the constituency's views on the issue. Each such representative shall be asked to submit a Constituency Statement to the Staff Manager within thirty-five (35) calendar days after initiation of the PDP.

    b. The Council may also pursue other options that it deems appropriate to assist in the PDP, including appointing a particular individual or organization to gather information on the issue or scheduling meetings for deliberation or briefing. All such information shall be submitted to the Staff Manager within thirty-five (35) calendar days after initiation of the PDP.

    c. The Staff Manager will take all Constituency Statements, Public Comment Statements, and other information and compile (and post on the Comment Site) an Initial Report within fifty (50) calendar days after initiation of the PDP. Thereafter, the PDP shall follow the provisions of Item 9 below in creating a Final Report.

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    Section 9. Public Comments to the Task Force Report or Initial Report

    a. The public comment period will last for twenty (20) calendar days after posting of the Task Force Report or Initial Report. Any individual or organization may submit comments during the public comment period, including any constituency that did not participate in the task force. All comments shall be accompanied by the name of the author of the comments, the author's relevant experience, and the author's interest in the issue.

    b. At the end of the twenty (20) day period, the Staff Manager will be responsible for reviewing the comments received and adding those deemed appropriate for inclusion in the Staff Manager's reasonable discretion to the Task Force Report or Initial Report (collectively, the "Final Report"). The Staff Manager shall not be obligated to include all comments made during the comment period, including each comment made by any one individual or organization.

    c. The Staff Manager shall prepare the Final Report and submit it to the Council chair within ten (10) calendar days after the end of the public comment period.

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    Section 10. Council Deliberation

    a. Upon receipt of a Final Report, whether as the result of a task force or otherwise, the Council chair will (i) distribute the Final Report to all Council members; and (ii) call for a Council meeting within ten (10) calendar days thereafter. The Council may commence its deliberation on the issue prior to the formal meeting, including via in-person meetings, conference calls, e-mail discussions or any other means the Council may choose. The deliberation process shall culminate in a formal Council meeting either in person or via teleconference, wherein the Council will work towards achieving a Supermajority Vote to present to the Board.

    b. The Council may, if it so chooses, solicit the opinions of outside advisors at its final meeting. The opinions of these advisors, if relied upon by the Council, shall be (i) embodied in the Council's report to the Board, (ii) specifically identified as coming from an outside advisor; and (iii) be accompanied by a detailed statement of the advisor's (x) qualifications and relevant experience; and (y) potential conflicts of interest.

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    Section 11. Council Report to the Board

    The Staff Manager will be present at the final meeting of the Council, and will have five (5) calendar days after the meeting to incorporate the views of the Council into a report to be submitted to the Board (the "Board Report"). The Board Report must contain at least the following:

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    a. A clear statement of any Supermajority Vote recommendation of the Council;

    b. If a Supermajority Vote was not reached, a clear statement of all positions held by Council members. Each statement should clearly indicate (i) the reasons underlying each position and (ii) the constituency(ies) that held the position;

    c. An analysis of how the issue would affect each constituency, including any financial impact on the constituency;

    d. An analysis of the period of time that would likely be necessary to implement the policy;

    e. The advice of any outside advisors relied upon, which should be accompanied by a detailed statement of the advisor's (i) qualifications and relevant experience; and (ii) potential conflicts of interest;

    f. The Final Report submitted to the Council; and

    g. A copy of the minutes of the Council deliberation on the policy issue, including the all opinions expressed during such deliberation, accompanied by a description of who expressed such opinions.

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    Section 12. Agreement of the Council

    A Supermajority Vote of the Council members will be deemed to reflect the view of the Council, and may be conveyed to the Board as the Council's recommendation. Abstentions shall not be permitted; thus all Council members must cast a vote unless they identify a financial interest in the outcome of the policy issue. Notwithstanding the foregoing, as set forth above, all viewpoints expressed by Council members during the PDP must be included in the Board Report.

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    Section 13. Board Vote

    a. The Board will meet to discuss the GNSO Council recommendation as soon as feasible after receipt of the Board Report from the Staff Manager.

    b. In the event that the Council reached a Supermajority Vote, the Board shall adopt the policy according to the Council Supermajority Vote recommendation unless by a vote of more than sixty-six (66%) percent of the Board determines that such policy is not in the best interests of the ICANN community or ICANN.

    c. In the event that the Board determines not to act in accordance with the Council Supermajority Vote recommendation, the Board shall (i) articulate the reasons for its determination in a report to the Council (the "Board Statement"); and (ii) submit the Board Statement to the Council.

    d. The Council shall review the Board Statement for discussion with the Board within twenty (20) calendar days after the Council's receipt of the Board Statement. The Board shall determine the method (e.g., by teleconference, e-mail, or otherwise) by which the Council and Board will discuss the Board Statement.

    e. At the conclusion of the Council and Board discussions, the Council shall meet to affirm or modify its recommendation, and communicate that conclusion (the "Supplemental Recommendation") to the Board, including an explanation for its current recommendation. In the event that the Council is able to reach a Supermajority Vote on the Supplemental Recommendation, the Board shall adopt the recommendation unless more than sixty-six (66%) percent of the Board determines that such policy is not in the interests of the ICANN community or ICANN.

    f. In any case in which the Council is not able to reach Supermajority, a majority vote of the Board will be sufficient to act.

    g. When a final decision on a GNSO Council Recommendation or Supplemental Recommendation is timely, the Board shall take a preliminary vote and, where practicable, will publish a tentative decision that allows for a ten (10) day period of public comment prior to a final decision by the Board.

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    Section 14. Implementation of the Policy

    Upon a final decision of the Board, the Board shall, as approriate, give authorization or direction to the ICANN staff to take all necessary steps to implement the policy.

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    Section 15. Maintenance of Records

    Throughout the PDP, from policy suggestion to a final decision by the Board, ICANN will maintain on the Website, a status web page detailing the progress of each PDP issue, which will describe:

    a. The initial suggestion for a policy;
    b. A list of all suggestions that do not result in the creation of an Issue Report;
    c. The timeline to be followed for each policy;
    d. All discussions among the Council regarding the policy;
    e. All reports from task forces, the Staff Manager, the Council and the Board; and
    f. All public comments submitted.

     

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    Section 16. GNSO Council e-mail votes

    16.1 The GNSO secretariat will typically act as returning officer for an e-mail vote. All votes using the GNSO secretariat voting software have resource implications. Any vote of the GNSO Council undertaken by the GNSO secretariat must be requested by the GNSO Council chair.

    16.2 The voting period for any vote will ordinarily be 14 calendar days. In exceptional circumstances it may be shorter. A reminder will be sent out two or three days before the end of the vote reminding the registered voters to vote before the close of the vote. The returning officer should confirm receipt of vote back to all voters. If a voter does not receive a receipt within one working day then the onus is on the voter to contact the returning officer and if necessary vote by telephone. Once the vote is closed, the address to which the ballot is sent is no longer valid and an out-of-time vote will be returned to sender. The result of the e-mail vote will be declared as soon as practicable once known.

    16. 3 The DNSO council could choose to treat the email votes as final written ballot only when voting for two board members. Article Article X, Section 3.(6)
    [ I am not sure about this one ? does an email vote constitute a "written Ballot"]

    16. 4 Actual meetings are required for other matters Article X, Section 3(8) http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-25feb03.htm#X-3.8
    where NC members can speak to and hear one another for an GNSO Council meeting to be valid. (though e-mail voting followed by confirmation works).Votes taken by e-mail therefore have to be confirmed at a subsequent meeting.

    16. 5 Typically at the meeting of the GNSO Council following an e-mail vote, the Chair will ask for the e-mail vote to be validated by a simple vote of approval to show the will of the GNSO Council was fairly expressed by the e-mail vote. After such validation the result of the e-mail vote will be an act of the GNSO Council.

    16. 6 Should there be any technical failure or other anomaly in the e-mail vote, the Chair will ask GNSO Council members at the GNSO Council meeting following an e-mail vote, to reaffirm their original or intended e-mail vote. GNSO Council members cannot change their vote in a reaffirmation vote.

    16. 7 Under exceptional circumstances which must be described by the Chair and agreed to by the GNSO Council by a two-thirds vote, it may be decided to ignore the e-mail vote and hold a fresh vote at which GNSO Council members may chose to vote differently from their earlier e-mail vote.

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    Section 17. Additional Definitions

    "Comment Site" and "Website" refer to one or more web sites designated by ICANN on which notifications and comments regarding the PDP will be posted.

    "Staff Manager" means an ICANN staff person(s) who manages the PDP.

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    "Supermajority Vote" means a vote of more than sixty-six (66) percent of the members present at a meeting of the applicable body.

     


    Information from:

    GNSO Council