Draft Recommendation 16

That a policy impact assessment (PIA) be included as a standard part of any policy process.

Working Party (initial assessment of feasibility and usefulness): CG - Accept as is.
Staff (initial assessment of feasibility and usefulness):
  • Accept As-Is
  • Accept With modification
  • Reject


MK: Accept as-is. This is already a requirement as part of the PDP manual.

Basis for Assessment: 
Work in Progress:PDP Manual already requires PDP WGs to include: 'A statement on the WG discussion concerning impact of the proposed recommendations, which could consider areas such as economic, competition, operations, privacy and other rights, scalability and feasibility'.
Expected Completion Date for Work in Progress: 

Public Comments Received

Comment #

Submitted By



Recommendation 16 (Continuous Development): That a policy impact assessment (PIA) be included as a standard part of any policy process.


Paul Diaz

gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group

(Support) Is it the intention that the policy impact assessement will be conducted as it relates to all interested parties, or the impact of ICANN, or public interest. More definition should be given to this recommendation. We’ve been talking about Policy Impact Assessments for years, but staff and/or their consultants have not clarified what that would entail. At the least, the directly impacted parties (Registries and Registrars for most policy work) must be actively consulted. Further, if the assessment is that the negatives outweigh the positives of the policy’s implementation, what are the next steps? Another PDP to unwind/fix the first? How long would that take?


Osvaldo Novoa


(Support) The ISPCP shares the concerns that have been voiced over this issue and the need for policy imlications to be analyzed.


Will Hudson


If adopted would add greater accountability to the policy development process, increase metrics­driven policy decisions, and increase the efficacy of the process by leveraging the services of professional moderators, especially in circumstances where working group members may be conflicted. Additionally, we believe it is crucial that the GAC be involved earlier in the process.


Laura Covington, J. Scott Evans, Marie Pattullo

Business Constituency

The BC offers qualified support of Recommendation 16. GNSO discussions are not adequately informed by hard data, and should strive to increase metrics-driven policy decisions. We request clarification on who would serve in the role of assessor, and what would be the result if the policy impact were found wanting.


Stephanie Perrin


We have been requesting this for some time.  Care should be taken to differentiate between a RIA (regulatory impact analysis) which is a good model to follow, and a PIA (privacy impact assessment) which is also useful but quite different.  We need both, really.  We have also recommended, through the working party on Human Rights, that we develop a human rights impact assessment tool, insofar as certain human rights are implicated by the assignment of names and numbers (privacy, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, due process, and intellectual property protection.)


Stephanie Perrin

Members of NCUC/NCSG

We are very enthusiastic about the proposal for a policy impact assessment tool.  We have argued for this, particularly for the impact of policy on human rights.  Many western democracies use a regulatory impact assessment or RIA approach to analysing how a policy proposal will impact all stakeholders, and given the increasing global reach and diversity of ICANN stakeholders, we strongly endorse this approach. 


Greg Shatan


(It Depends) The IPC requests more detail as to which stage it is recommended that a policy impact assessment take place.


Amr Elsadr


No objection to PIAs being a standard inclusion to PDPs, however, the terms of reference for these should be based on a consensus among the PDP WG members, and approved by the GNSO Council.


Olivier Crepin-Leblond


(Support) The ALAC supports this recommendation especially in the context of impact on Internet End Users. The ALAC recommends that such impact assessment be undertaken both at the beginning of the policy process by including it in the Issues Report, and be updated as the policy is being developed.


Steve Metalitz, https://buenosaires53.icann.org/en/schedule/tue-csg/transcript-csg-23jun15-en

Commercial Stakeholders Group

You’ve heard my view on it and many people around this table think your report is really focused on rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. But let me ask about one of those chairs. You re- in the working group portion, the Recommendation 16 you talk about policy impact assessment be included as a standard part of any policy process. And it wasn’t clear to me whether you thought whether who would do that? Is the something the working group is supposed to do as it develops the policy? Is it something that’s done retrospectively?  It just wasn’t clear to me and it’s obviously an additional step in what is already a very complicated and protracted process. So I wonder if you could just briefly say what do you mean by a policy impact assessment? Who would do it and where would it come in the process? And you concluded that the current policy development process doesn’t include those aspects? I’m speaking as the co-chair of a working group that’s spent 18 months now we’ve produced our initial report.  We spent a lot of time  trying to assess the impact. I mean that’s what our job is. So I’m not sure what are you trying to add to this process here that’s not already there?

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