Draft Recommendation 31
That the GAC-GNSO Consultation Group on GAC Early Engagement in the GNSO Policy Development Process continue its two work streams as priority projects. As a part of its work it should consider how the GAC could appoint a non-binding, non-voting liaison to the WG of each relevant GNSO PDP as a means of providing timely input.
|Working Party (initial assessment of feasibility and usefulness):||CG - Accept as is.|
|Staff (initial assessment of feasibility and usefulness):|
MK: Accept as-is. Note, the non-binding, non-voting liaison option has already been considered and is deemed not appropriate/workable from a GAC perspective. Nevertheless, other mechanisms are being actively explored.
|Basis for Assessment:|
|Work in Progress:||In progress - although the issue of GAC liaisons to WGs has already been discussed and is not deemed possible (individual members are encouraged to participate but a GAC liaison would seem to imply that the person is representing the GAC which is not an option for the GAC - only the GAC Chair can represent the GAC)|
|Expected Completion Date for Work in Progress:|
Public Comments Received
Recommendation 31 (Continuous Development): That the GAC-GNSO Consultation Group on GAC Early Engagement in the GNSO Policy Development Process continue its two work streams as priority projects. As a part of its work it should consider how the GAC could appoint a non-binding, non-voting liaison to the WG of each relevant GNSO PDP as a means of providing timely input.
gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group
(Support) The RySG contacted the GNSO GAC Liaison on this recommendation and he expressed support for it.
(Support) The ISPCP fully recognize the sensitivities facing GAC members whenever the need for representation from a large group of Governments arises. It is hoped that the neutrality engendered through a nonbinding, non-voting position can assist in overcoming barriers to their participation, thereby assisting the policy development process.
Etienne Sanz De Acedo, Lori Schulman
INTA agrees with the appointment of a liaison between the GNSO and GAC and that GAC appoint a non-voting liaison to each relevant PDP Working Group, allowing for informal GAC input without binding commitment.
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
The BC supports this recommendation. Early engagement with GAC representatives is crucial to avoiding surprises at the end of the policymaking process. If fully embraced, it should lead to better policy outcomes and faster policy development.
We are currently doing the first part of this recommendation. We withhold judgement on the practicality of the second option.
(Support) There has been a long-identified concern about the perceived late engagement of the GAC in the policy development process, with the perception of some parts of the community being that the GAC waits until the work of the PDP has been done before potentially expressing views which undermine that community-developed compromise. This is exacerbated by the GAC’s failure, generally, to give adequate reasoning for its advice, and the perception that the GAC deliberately gives vague advice which is open to differing interpretation (this is supported by the testimony of Ms. Heather Dryden, former Chair of the GAC, in the dotConnect Africa IRP hearing, https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/final-declaration-09jul15-en.pdf) thereby allowing the GAC to reopen matters at a later stage, as seen recently with the issue of 22-letter SLDs. The IPC understands the difficulties that GAC representatives have, in that one representative from one country cannot bind GAC colleagues from other countries, and also that GAC representatives have “day jobs.” Nevertheless, many within the GNSO’s SGs and Cs also have “day jobs” and have to make the time to participate within the ICANN community. Further, if governments wish to have the benefit of their privileged status of giving advice to the ICANN Board they must allocate adequate resources.Finally, the GAC-GNSO Consultation Group on Early Engagement is a relatively new development and must be allowed adequate time to determine whether it can help to address these longstanding concerns.
Agree that exploring the possibility of a GAC liaison to GNSO WG’s should be a topic of discussion, once the GAC/GNSO CG begins to address that phase of the GNSO’s PDP.
(Support) Many At-Large Structures members who are in touch with the GAC representatives from their governments point out that this might put an additional work pressure on the GAC representatives. Nevertheless, the ALAC believes that having GAC early engagement in GNSO PDP Working Groups is worth the additional work pressure and hopes that governments would consider tasking their representatives to carry out such engagement.