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[ga] Reminder -- Bylaws Amendments Posted for Public Comment

Reminder to the Internet community:

A set of recommended Bylaws amendments have been posted for public comment
on the ICANN website
<http://www.icann.org/general/bylaws-changes-16sept99.htm>.  The proposed
amendments relate to the procedures by which the three ICANN Supporting
Organizations (the Address, Domain Name, and Protocol SOs) will elect ICANN

The Board intends to consider these recommended amendments on Monday,
September 27.  Comments should be submitted prior to the Board's
teleconference at 15:00 Central European Time.

--Andrew McLaughlin


In particular, the Board solicits comments on the following proposed
addition to the Bylaws:

     "Article VI, Section 4. ELIGIBILITY

     "No person shall serve simultaneously as (i) a member of any
     Supporting Organization Council or other body that is directly
     responsible for the selection of Directors by that Supporting
     Organization and (ii) a Director. If a member of any such Supporting
     Organization Council or such other body accepts a nomination to
     be considered to serve on the Board, such member shall not,
     following such nomination, participate in any discussion of, or vote
     by, such Supporting Organization Council or other body relating to
     the selection of Directors by such Council or other body."

This language would apply two principles to all three Supporting
Organization councils:

     (1)  An individual cannot serve as an ICANN Director and an SO Council
member at the same time.

     Staff Rationale:  This principle is intended to ensure that ICANN
Directors fulfill their obligation to serve the entire corporation, and not
the particular interests of a given SO.  Since there is no shortage of
talented, qualified and interested candidates, there is unlikely to be

     (2)  An SO Council member who has accepted a nomination as a candidate
for the ICANN Board should recuse him/herself from participating in votes or
discussions about those elections.

     Staff Rationale:  This principle is intended to prevent SO Council
members from having an unfair advantage vis a vis nominees who are not
members of the SO Council.  In addition, it vindicates the basic notion of
preventing conflicts of interest, by stating that an SO Council members
ought not to vote on a matter in which she/he has a direct personal stake in
the outcome.  Because the relevant constituency groups, regional internet
registries, and standards development organizations have the authority to
replace their SO Council members by any means of their choosing, the
proposed principle need not deprive any of them of their full voting
strength at the time of the election itself.

Several SO Council members have criticized these proposals on the grounds
that (i) no conflict of interest actually exists in these circumstances,
since by voting for him/herself an SO Council member is simply representing
the interests of his/her constituency;  and (ii) it is too late in the
process to impose rules such as these.

In light of the pressing need to settle the rules prior to next month's SO
elections to the ICANN Board, ICANN actively solicits public comments on the
proposed amendments.  Comments should be submitted to
<comment-bylaws@icann.org>, and will be publicly archived at