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Background Information

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") is seeking a provider to conduct an independent review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), as mandated by ICANN'sBylaws.

As part of ICANN's ongoing commitment to its evolution and improvement, Article IV – Section 4 of ICANN's Bylaws contains provisions for "periodic review of the performance and operation of each Supporting Organization, each Supporting Organization Council, each Advisory Committee (other than the Governmental Advisory Committee), and the Nominating Committee."

These periodic reviews present ICANN structures with opportunities for continuous improvement through consistent application of compliance review principles to objectively measure performance relative to specific and quantifiable criteria developed by ICANN based on the unique nature of its structures. The resulting implementation of improvements and the systematic means of measuring performance and validating effectiveness of implementation are of utmost importance to the ongoing legitimacy of ICANN.

The GNSO is the policy-making body responsible for generic top-level domains, such as .COM, .NET, and .ORG. Its members include representatives from generic Top Level Domains (gTLD) registries, gTLDregistrars, intellectual property interest, Internet service providers, businesses and non-commercial interests. The GNSO strives to keep gTLDs operating in a fair, orderly fashion across one global Internet, while promoting innovation and competition.

Key Milestones

Given the significant increases in the number and nature of the generic Top Level Domains resulting from the recent launch of the New gTLD Program, the upcoming review of the GNSO is of critical importance to theICANN community. ICANN is planning to start the review on 1 July 2014, with an anticipated duration of 6 months. The primary schedule is as follows:

RFP published21 April 2014
Briefing with GNSO (webinar)7 May at 13:00 UTC
GNSO to identify GNSO Review Working Party14 May 2014
Refine examination criteria30 May 2014
Implement 360 assessment15 June 2014
Board appointment of independent reviewer26 June 2014
Start of review work1 July 2014
Summary results from 360 Assessment30 July 2014
Draft Report 130 September 2014
Clarification and rebuttal from GNSO11-12 October 2014
Draft Report 231 October 2014
Public comment period1 November 2014 – 5 January 2015
Final Report15 January 2015
Preparation of Implementation Plan16 January – 20 February
Implement Recommendations1 March 2015 – 28 February 2016


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