Note: This draft was updated by Staff 10 Jan 2009 to track more precisely with the language in the GNSO Improvements report as approved by the ICANN Board.

Develop a new GNSO Working Group Model that improves inclusiveness, improves effectiveness, and improves efficiency. Primary tasks are to develop:

1. Appropriate operating principles, rules and procedures for working groups; and

2. An implementation/transition plan.

The ICANN Board has determined that a working group model should become the focal point for future GNSO policy development activities. This new model should be designed to enhance the policy development process by making it more inclusive and representative. The Board believes this approach can be a more constructive way of establishing areas of agreement than task forces, where membership is limited and discussion can become polarized along constituency lines. A working group model will enable key parties to become involved from the beginning and to work together to address complex and/or controversial issues. According to the Report, appointing skilled chairs and drafters, as well as proper scoping of the WG’s objectives, will be integral parts in development of a successful working group model. The Report recommended that steps be taken immediately to move to a working group model for future policy development work in the GNSO, developing appropriate operating principles, rules and procedures and suggests, where appropriate and necessary, drawing upon expertise gained from policy development in the IETF, W3C, RIRs and other organizations.

Specifically, the Report recommended that a new Working Group model:

  1. Be open to anyone interested in joining and offering their insights and expertise; with a balance that keeps working groups to a manageable size and to the extent feasible include participants with the expertise, skills, and interests that may be deemed necessary based on the subject matter.
  2. Include broadly distributed notification both inside and outside of the ICANN community to encourage wider participation as well as proactive outreach in languages other than English.
  3. Include the need for a strong experienced, respected and neutral chair, ensuring fair treatment for all legitimate views and guaranteeing objectivity in identifying areas of agreement.
  4. Include minimum thresholds for active support established before a decision can be considered to have been reached, and identify and include in the new working group model a process for striving to reach agreement and document points of view as delineated further in the Report.
  5. Define further the role of the drafters of working group reports should play in building consensus and ensure that drafting groups comprise a variety of voices to help ensure that the outcome is constructive and broadly supported.
  6. Include a procedure for appealing the decision of the Chair with respect to the proper application of agreed rules.
  7. Include rules applicable to latecomers on working groups that require review of all previous documents and list postings and agreement not to reopen previously decided questions.
  8. Include required disclosures on a standardized Statement of Interest form, to be available online for public review.
  9. Consider the budget implications of additional resources, including potential training on the new working group model, increasing the use of outside experts for assistance in certain areas of work and the potential use of professional facilitators in working groups, that should be factored into the overall policy development planning cycle.

The Working Group Team shall work independently from, but in close consultation with, the PDP Team of the Policy Process Steering Committee (PPSC). The Working Group Team shall be responsible for making recommendations concerning the development of a new working group model for PPSC 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 PDP 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 Working Group Team should be someone from the PPSC.

III. Interim Rules for PPSC Work Teams

The PPSC is drafting Interim Work Team Rules \[Rev'd 18 Feb\] (https://st.icann.org/data/workspaces/icann-ppsc/attachments/wg_team_charter_and_rules:20090310151535-0-4324/original/PPSC%20Interim%20Work%20Team%20Rules%20(Draft%20Rev'd%2018%20Feb%202009).doc) based upon guidelines used by recent GNSO PDP Working Groups.


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