(updated following the adoption of resolution 20010428-2 - see strikethrough language below)


(Note: As promised on the 7 January PPSC call, this draft is updated by staff 10 January 2009 to track more precisely with the language in the GNSO Improvements report as approved by the ICANN Board.)

The GNSO Council’s responsibility in recommending substantive policies relating to generic top-level domains is a critical part of ICANN’s function. The mechanism by which the GNSO makes such recommendations to the ICANN Board of Directors is through the GNSO Policy Development Process (PDP) set forth in the ICANN Bylaws.This team is responsible for developing a new policy development process that incorporates a working group approach and makes it more effective and responsive to ICANN’s policy development needs. The primary tasks are to develop:

1. Appropriate operating principles, rules and procedures applicable to a new policy development process; and

2. An implementation/transition plan.

Specifically, the Report recommended that a new PDP:

1. Be better aligned with the contractual requirements of ICANN’s consensus policies as that term is used in its contracts with registries and registrars and clearly distinguishes the development of “consensus policies” from general policy advice the GNSO Council may wish to provide to the Board.In addition, the Bylaws should clarify that only a GNSO recommendation on a consensus policy can, depending on the breadth of support, be considered binding on the Board, unless it is rejected by a supermajority vote.

2. Emphasize the importance of the work that must be done before launching a working group or other policy development activity, such as public discussion, fact-finding and expert research in order to define properly the scope, objective and schedule for a specific policy development goal.

3. Be more flexible than the current model, containing timelines that are consistent with the task.

4. Provide for periodic assessment to determine the effectiveness of revised rules, processes, and procedures on policy development work including self-reporting by each working group of any lessons learned, as well as input on metrics that could help measure the success of the policy recommendation.In addition the GNSO Council Chair should present an annual report to the ICANN community on the effectiveness of new GNSO policies using the metrics developed at the end of each PDP.The report should also contain a synthesis of lessons learned from policy development during the year with a view to establishing best practices. The report should be presented annually at an ICANN public meeting each year, and the material should be incorporated into the ICANN Annual Report prepared by Staff.

5. Better align the PDP process with ICANN’s strategic plan and operations plan. The Council, constituencies and staff should publish an annual “policy development plan” for current and upcoming work, to better align resources with strategic objectives, and to create a stronger nexus between the work plan of the GNSO Council and the ICANN planning process. The plan should be linked to ICANN’s overall strategic plan, but be sufficiently flexible to accommodate changes in priority determined by rapid evolution in the DNS marketplace and unexpected initiatives.

6. Contain rules, processes and procedures that are more effective and efficient and that meet consensus policy requirements as detailed further in the Report, to include specifying certain policy activities that should be done, including: research, consultation with constituencies, periods for public comment, timelines consistent with the complexity of the task, regular reporting to the Council as established in the scoping phase, and a final report and public comment period as in the current PDP.

The PDP Team shall work independently from, but in close consultation with, the Working Group Team of the Policy Process Steering Committee (PPSC). The Policy Development Process Team shall be responsible for making recommendations concerning the development of and transition to a new PDP for PPSC review for the GNSO Council's review.


Team participation will be composed of participants drawn from the GNSO Council, GNSO constituencies and the larger ICANN community.

It is recommended that:

  1. There be a minimum of one PPSC member and preferably two PPSC members to serve as liaisons between this team and the PPSC.
  2. The number of GNSO Councilors on the PPSC should be limited to maintain separation between the team’s work and the GNSO Council’s oversight role.
  3. There be at least one representative from each Constituency.
  4. Each Advisory Committee be given the opportunity to have a representative (or representatives)
  5. There be members from the community who are not associated with a Constituency or Advisory Committee (in addition to NomCom appointed Councilors)
  6. Participation by team members on other work teams (including the Working Group Team) is not prohibited but should be minimized so as to: * Spread the total GNSO Improvements Project workload across a wider group of people; * Minimize scheduling conflicts that are more likely to occur when team members are involved in multiple groups at the same time; and * Encourage involvement by new community members.
  7. The chair of the PDP Team should be someone from the PPSC.


The PPSC has issued these DRAFT Work Team Rules based on rules used by recent GNSO PDP Working Groups.

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