2016

Current Work Under Consideration, Pending Consensus Call, Public Comment, or GNSO Council Approval

GNSO Officer Elections - SCI Review Request 10 November 2015

See SCI Review Request - GNSO Officer Elections - updated 10 Nov 2015.pdf.

Update as of April 2016:

The Subteam submitted its recommendations to the SCI to consider at its meeting during ICANN 55 in Marrakech, Morocco on 05 March 2016.  The SCI has continued to deliberate on proposed procedures.

Update as of December 2015:

The SCI has created a subteam to work on this issue (Subteam B).  Current members are: Anne Aikman-Scalese, Angie Graves, Wolf-Ulrich Knoben (as a member), and Sara Bockey.

Motion:

Motion approved by the GNSO Council at its meeting on 19 November:

Approval of the Referral Request to the Standing Committee on Improvements Implementation (SCI)

Whereas

1.   The GNSO Operating Procedures in Chapter 2.2 describe the process of elections of the GNSO Chair and the GNSO Vice-Chairs     

2.   Following the result of the initial election round at ICANN54 in Dublin, the GNSO Council agreed on a time table for the next round for the election of the GNSO Chair 2015-2016

3.    During the ICANN 54 meeting in Dublin questions were raised with regards to the election process for the GNSO Chair and Vice-Chairs, including the candidate nomination process with particular reference to the preparedness of newly-elected Council members to vote, the eligibility of newly elected Councilors to run for the GNSO Chair position, the need for the GNSO Council to specifically determine the term of the Chair and Vice-Chairs in accordance with the ICANN Bylaws, and to the overall timing of the Chair election.

Resolved

The GNSO Council requests the Standing Committee on Improvements Implementation (SCI)

   1. To review Sections 2.2(b), (f) and (g) of the GNSO Operating Procedures with respect to clarifying: (i) the eligibility of incoming Council members to run for the position of GNSO Chair; (ii) the start and end dates and the duration of the Chair and Vice-Chair terms in accordance with the ICANN Bylaws; and (iii) the timing of publication of the election results; and

   2. To recommend a general time table for election of the GNSO Council Chair to be approved by the GNSO Council and added to the GNSO Operating Procedures.

Section 3.3.2 Submission of Reports and Motions:

Update as of 07 April 2016: 

Proposed revisions to the GNSO Operating Procedures were sent to the SCI for a consensus call through 21 April 2016, which was extended to 25 April.  There were no objections or comments to the Consensus Call.  The proposed revisions will be sent for Public Comment in coordination with possible changes relating to the Chair/Vice Chair elections (see above).

Update as of January 2016:

The SCI has created a subteam to work on this issue (Subteam A).  Current members are: Sara Bockey, Angie Graves, Wolf-Ulrich Knoben (as a participant), Lori Schulman, and Rudi Vansnick.

Actions from 19 January 2016 Call:

1.  Staff will create a flow chart of the motion process prior to the next call.

2.  The Sub Team will explore the pros and cons of having a deadline for seconders and/or having a seconder from a different SG and staff will add these steps to the flow chart and the documented steps.

3.  Timing of the next meeting -- 26 January at 1400 UTC.

Although there is currently a rule regarding the deadline for timely submission of motions for voting by the GNSO Council (see Section 3.3 of the Operating Procedures), there is none regarding: (i) whether, how and by whom a properly submitted motion is to be seconded, and (ii) treatment of proposed amendments to such motions as either “friendly” or “unfriendly”.  These have been supported by Council practice to date as opposed to operating procedural rules. The current Council practice is as follows:

Step 1: A motion is submitted to the GNSO Council by a current GNSO Council member via the Council mailing list. The proposer may expressly request that the motion be seconded by another GNSO Council member.

Step 2: A different GNSO Council member seconds the submitted motion.

Step 3: If submitted in time for the next Council meeting, the motion is placed on the Council’s meeting agenda and published on the motions page of the Council wiki space[1].

Step 4: The motion is discussed at the Council meeting. The motion proceeds to a vote[2] only if it has been seconded by a GNSO Council member (other than the proposer) prior to the vote being called.

Additional Steps When a Proposed Amendment is Submitted:

A GNSO Council member may submit a proposed amendment to the submitted motion at any time prior to the vote being called:

  • The proposed amendment is incorporated into the motion to be voted on only if both the proposer and seconder of the original motion accept the proposal as a friendly amendment.
  • If the amendment is not accepted as friendly by either the proposer or seconder, the Council first votes on whether to accept the proposed amendment (threshold: simple majority).
  • If the Council vote is affirmative, the motion as amended is then voted on by the Council in accordance with the GNSO Operating Procedures.
  • If the Council vote falls below the simple majority threshold, the proposed amendment is not incorporated into the original motion, and the Council proceeds to vote on the original motion.

09 October 2015: The SCI agreed on a documentation of the Current Practice Relating to Motions, the first of two steps in the consideration of this issue.  The SCI sent a letter along with the original Review Request and the documentation to Jonathan Robinson, GNSO Council Chair, on 09 October 2015 for consideration at ICANN 54 in Dublin.

2015

Work Completed

Sections 3.3.2 and Section 4.3.3 -- Overlap of Waivers and Resubmission:

The latest version of the Procedures incorporates approved new procedures recommended by the SCI relating to the Council’s ability to: (i) waive the general rule of a 10-day deadline for the submission of motions for voting (Section 3.3.2), and (ii) permit a motion that has been voted on but not adopted to be resubmitted for reconsideration (Section 4.3.3).   

The Council’s original request that the SCI consider these two situations did not explicitly ask that the SCI consider also the possible interplay between them (e.g. if a resubmitted motion is sent to the Council after the 10-day deadline applicable to the next scheduled Council meeting). Although the SCI discussed this issue, it did not reach consensus on whether and how to address the potential problem.

The SCI reached consensus that the current GNSO Operating Procedures are clear that the 10-day waiver of the deadline for submitting motions does not apply to resubmitted motions.  The SCI sent a letter to Jonathan Robinson, the GNSO Council Chair, on 09 October 2015 notifying the GNSO Council of the SCI's decision along with the original Review Request.



[1] Note that because the Council’s practice permits a motion to be seconded up to the point just before a vote is called, the motion as proposed can be published and placed on the meeting agenda without it first being seconded.

[2] See the following section for a further description of the actual motion that is voted on when an amendment to the original text is proposed.


2014

Work Completed

Voting Outside a GNSO Council Meeting

In 2014 the GNSO Council asked the SCI to consider “whether and how the Council could vote outside of a meeting and under what circumstances.”  After extensive deliberations, the SCI developed draft procedures for voting outside a Council meeting that would be added as a new section 4.1 of the GNSO Operating Procedures.  The draft language was put out for a consensus call per the SCI charter, which requires that all proposed changes to the Operating Procedures must have full consensus in the SCI before being published for public comment. The SCI reached full consensus on the draft language for the revision to the Operating Procedures.  The revisions were put out for public comment and no comments were received: https://www.icann.org/public-comments/gnso-op-procedures-2014-09-17-en. The SCI provided a final draft along with a motion to the GNSO Council for approval.  The Council approved the motion adopting the changes to the Operating Procedures at its meeting on 13 November 2014: Motions 13 November 2014.  The revised Operating Procedures have been published: http://gnso.icann.org/en/council/procedures.

Waiver of 10-Day Motion Deadline

In 2014 the GNSO Council asked the SCI to consider a waiver mechanism that could allow the Council to consider a motion or document after the deadline of notice or submission to the Council has passed.  After extensive deliberations, the SCI developed draft procedures that would be inserted in Section 3.3 of the GNSO Operating Procedures to deal with motions submitted after the 10-day motion deadline.  The draft language was put out for a consensus call per the SCI charter, which requires that all proposed changes to the Operating Procedures must have full consensus in the SCI before being published for public comment. The SCI reached full consensus on the draft language for the revision to the Operating Procedures.  The revisions were put out for public comment and no comments were received: https://www.icann.org/public-comments/gnso-op-procedures-2014-09-17-en. The SCI provided a final draft along with a motion to the GNSO Council for approval.  The Council approved the motion adopting the changes to the Operating Procedures at its meeting on 13 November 2014: Motions 13 November 2014.  The revised Operating Procedures have been published: http://gnso.icann.org/en/council/procedures.

Consensus Levels in the GNSO Working Group Guidelines

In 2014 the GNSO Council noted that the language relating to Consensus Levels in the current GNSO Working Group Guidelines, which form Annex I of the GNSO Operating Procedures, may require further clarification and thus the Council asked the SCI to examine this issue.  The proposed change to the GNSO Working Group Guidelines is the addition of a footnote to the section dealing with the various consensus levels for decision-making in GNSO Working Groups, to clarify their scope. This last change was occasioned by the experience of the GNSO's Working Group for the Protection of IGO and INGO Identifiers in All gTLDs, which encountered "a possible limitation in the currently defined Consensus Levels when assigning "Divergence" to recommendations regarding acronym protections…. The use of "Divergence" did not adequately represent the lack of support for the proposed recommendation when said recommendation was stated in the affirmative, for example "Do you support…?". The Chair was equally concerned [that] not adhering to current Working Group Guidelines could introduce risk to the process, because "Consensus Against" is not formally defined" (see the WG's Final Report: http:/gnso.icann.org/en/issues/igo-ingo-final-10nov13-en.pdf [PDF, 645 KB]). The draft language was put out for a consensus call per the SCI charter, which requires that all proposed changes to the Operating Procedures must have full consensus in the SCI before being published for public comment. The SCI reached full consensus on the draft language for the revision to the Operating Procedures.  The revisions were put out for public comment and no comments were received: https://www.icann.org/public-comments/gnso-op-procedures-2014-09-17-en. The SCI provided a final draft along with a motion to the GNSO Council for approval.  The Council adopted the motion approving the changes to the Operating Procedures at its meeting on 13 November 2014: Motions 13 November 2014.  The revised Operating Procedures have been published: http://gnso.icann.org/en/council/procedures.

Resubmitting a Motion

In 2013 the GNSO Council determined that the current GNSO Operating Procedures do not contain a specific provision on the possibility of resubmitting a motion for voting by the GNSO Council.  The GNSO Council requested that the SCI should consider whether there should be a modification to the GNSO Council Operating Procedures to address the issue of the resubmission of a motion. Accordingly, the SCI developed procedures to be inserted in Section 4.3 (Motions and Votes) of the GNSO Operating Procedures that provide for the resubmission of a motion to the GNSO Council for consideration at a subsequent meeting of the Council, if three criteria are met:

a.     providing of an explanation for the resubmission;

b.     timely publication of the resubmitted motion; and

c.     seconding of the resubmitted motion by a Councilor from each of the two GNSO Houses. 

The proposed new procedures also included limitations and exceptions for the resubmission of a motion concerning the timing of its submission, disallowing any material changes to the original motion, and clarifying that a previously-submitted motion not voted upon by the GNSO Council is considered a new motion (and not resubmitted) if it is brought before the GNSO Council again.

The revised GNSO Operating Procedures were put out for public comment for a period of a minimum of 21 days beginning on 10 February 2014 and ending on 03 March 2014 as required by the ICANN Bylaws.  As there were no comments received in the public forum the SCI deemed that no further changes were necessary nor was a public comment reply period needed.  At its meeting on 26 March 2014 the GNSO Council approved a motion adopting the revised Operating Procedures and instructed ICANN staff to post the new version of the GNSO Operating Procedures, effective immediately upon adoption.

Working Group Survey

In 2013 the GNSO Council determined that the current GNSO Working Group Guidelines, which form Annex I of the GNSO Operating Procedures, do not contain a mechanism for Working Groups (WGs) to self-assess their work.  Accordingly, the SCI developed and tested a WG self-assessment questionnaire, as a result of which the SCI is recommending that procedures for administering the self-assessment be added as a new Section 7.0 to the GNSO Working Group Guidelines, which form Annex I of the GNSO Operating Procedures. The revised GNSO Operating Procedures, including the proposed additions to the Working Group Guidelines, were put out for public comment for a period of a minimum of 21 days beginning on 10 February 2014 and ending on 03 March 2014 as required by the ICANN Bylaws.  As there were no comments received in the public forum the SCI deemed that no further changes were necessary nor was a public comment reply period needed.  At its meeting on 26 March 2014 the GNSO Council approved a motion adopting the revised Operating Procedures including a Working Group self-assessment and instructed ICANN staff to post the new version of the GNSO Operating Procedures, effective immediately upon adoption.

 


2013  

Termination or Suspension of a Policy Development Process

In 2012 the GNSO Council determined that there was a need to suspend a Policy Development Process (PDP) for a limited amount of time, but that the PDP Manual did not contain a specific provision on how to deal with such a situation. The GNSO Council requested the SCI in April 2012 to review whether there should be a modification to the GNSO PDP Manual to address the possible suspension of a PDP following its initiation.  The SCI deliberated on provisions for suspension of a PDP and reached consensus on proposed modifications to be incorporated in Section 15 of the GNSO PDP Manual, which also is included as Annex 2 in the GNSO Council Operating Procedures.  The revised PDP manual, including the proposed provisions for suspension of a PDP, was put out for a minimum 21-day public comment period on 06 March 2013 ending on 06 April 2013 as required by the ICANN Bylaws.  The SCI determined that the result of the public comment period required no further changes, but in order to clarify the definition of a suspension the SCI amended the footnote to include the word “stated” and to delete the words “until further notice”.  On 16 May 2013 the GNSO Council approved a motion adopting the revised PDP Manual including the providing for the suspension of a PDP.  The ICANN staff posted the new version of the PDP Manual with the revision in Annex 2.

Updates to the SCI Charter

In 2013 the SCI determined that its charter should be updated to include procedures to elect the SCI Chair and Vice Chair and in other areas.  With guidance from the GNSO Council, the SCI updated its charter as follows:

  1. It confirmed that the SCI is a standing committee and;
  2. It included other changes the SCI deemed necessary including updating it to reflect the current role of the SCI and to include procedures for Chair and Vice Chair elections and;
  3. It included the original text concerning the decision-making methodology and a noted that the methodology is under consideration by the GNSO Council.

The GNSO Council approved the revised charter at its meeting on 31 October 2013.

 


2012

Consent Agenda

At the request of the GNSO Council the SCI began discussion of a consent agenda process that could be included in the GNSO Operating Procedures.  At its meeting at the ICANN Meeting in Prague in June 2012 the SCI notified the GNSO Council that it had agreed to a process and the proposed revisions to the GNSO Operating Procedures were subsequently put out for public comment.  As there were no revisions resulting from the Public Comment process the SCI submitted a motion for approval of the revised procedures to the GNSO Council.  The motion was approved at the Council meeting on 13 September 2012 and the GNSO Operating Procedures were revised accordingly.

Voting Results Table

In 2012 the GNSO Council determined that the voting results table included in the GNSO Operating Procedures required updating following the adoption of the revised GNSO Policy Development Process.  At its meeting at the ICANN Meeting in Prague in June 2012 the SCI notified the GNSO Council that it had agreed to the revision of the voting results table and revisions to the GNSO Operating Procedures were subsequently put out for public comment.  As there were no revisions resulting from the Public Comment process the SCI submitted a motion for approval of the revised procedures to the GNSO Council.  The motion was approved at the Council meeting on 13 September 2012 and the GNSO Operating Procedures were revised accordingly.

Proxy Voting Procedure

In 2012 the GNSO Council requested the SCI to review the procedures for proxy voting.  The SCI reviewed the procedures and recommended that no changes should be made to the proxy notification procedures in the GNSO Council Operating Procedures.  Instead, the SCI requested that staff makes a technical change so that the proxy notification is sent to the GNSO Council list at the same time as it is sent to the Secretariat, which occurs when the form is submitted.  The GNSO Council approved a motion confirming this request at the Council meeting on 13 September 2012.

Deferral of Motions

On 12 December 2012 the SCI provided the following report to the GNSO Council: “The SCI was asked to consider the current GNSO Council informal practice whereby a party may request the deferral of a motion to a later date in those situations where a formal process for a deferral is not specifically provided (for example, certain deferrals are foreseen as part of the GNSO PDP. The SCI discussed this practice and whether there was a need to create a procedure to formalize this informal practice. After much debate, the SCI concluded that the current practice of allowing for the deferral of motions was done as a matter of courtesy at the discretion of the Chair of the GNSO Council.  For this reason, the SCI concluded that there was no need to create a formal procedure at this time.  However, the SCI felt that it was necessary to explicitly state that there is no rule that the Chair must always exercise his or her discretion in the affirmative or the negative. Given that the current informal practice is at the discretion of the Chair, the Chair can exercise that same discretion in considering whether to grant or deny any request and can also exercise his or her discretion when determining how to handle any specific situation that may occur with regard to this informal practice.”

Raising an Issue

On 12 December 2012 the SCI provided the following report to the GNSO Council: “The SCI was asked to consider who can raise an issue for SCI consideration. After deliberating on this matter, the SCI agreed to maintain the status quo according to the Charter of the SCI.  This means only the GNSO Council or a group chartered by the GNSO Council can request an item to be reviewed by the SCI.  However, the GNSO Council could possibly consider communicating to other SO/ACs / individuals, that if there are issues they would like to see reviewed by the SCI they will need to channel these via the GNSO Council and/or a group chartered by the GNSO Council.”

 

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