The CCWG charter was circulated for adoption on 3 November. Since then, the following organizations have adopted the charter:
To download a PDF version of the Charter document, see here.
Cross Community Working Group (CCWG) Charter
Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability
Section I: Cross Community Working Group Identification
Charter Approval Date:
Name of WG Chair(s):
CCWG Workspace URL:
CCWG Mailing List:
Resolutions adopting the charter:
Ref # & Link:
Important Document Links:
Section II: Problem Statement, Goals & Objectives and Scope
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has requested that ICANN “convene a multistakeholder process to develop a plan to transition the U.S. government stewardship role” with regard to the IANA Functions and related root zone management. In making its announcement, the NTIA specified that the transition proposal must have broad community support and meet the following principles:
NTIA also specified that it would not accept a proposal that replaces the NTIA role with a government-led or an intergovernmental organization solution.
During discussions around the transition process, the community raised the broader topic of the impact of the change on ICANN's accountability given its historical contractual relationship with the United States and NTIA. Accountability in this context is defined, according to the NETmundial multistakeholder statement, as the existence of mechanisms for independent checks and balances as well as for review and redress.
The concerns raised during these discussions around the transition process indicate that the existing ICANN accountability mechanisms do not yet meet stakeholder expectations. Recent statements made by various stakeholders suggest that current accountability mechanisms need to be reviewed and, if need be, improved, amended, replaced, or supplemented with new mechanisms (see for instance ATRT recommendations) in light of the changing historic contractual relationship with the U.S. Government. Considering that the NTIA has stressed that it is expecting community consensus regarding the transition, a failure to meet stakeholder expectations with regards to accountability may create a situation where NTIA does not accept the IANA transition proposal as meeting its conditions. Thus reviewing ICANN’s accountability mechanisms was considered to be crucial for the transition process.
Goals & Objectives:
The CCWG-Accountability is expected to deliver proposals that would enhance ICANN’s accountability towards all stakeholders.
The term stakeholder should be considered for the CCWG-Accountability in its wider acceptance, for instance by relying on the definition provided by the European Framework for Quality Management (EFQM): a person, group or organization that has a direct or indirect stake or interest in the organization because it can either affect the organization or be affected by it. This includes but is not limited to all ICANN SOs and ACs.
The goal is for the transition proposal regarding the IANA functions to be communicated to NTIA in a timeframe which is consistent with the expiration date of the current IANA Functions Contract, which is set at 30th September 2015. The CCWG-Accountability will therefore work as expeditiously as possible to identify those mechanisms that must be in place or committed to before the IANA Stewardship Transition in light of the changing historical contractual relationship with the U.S. Government (Work Stream 1) and those mechanisms for which a timeline for implementation may extend beyond the IANA Stewardship Transition (Work Stream 2).
In order to facilitate evaluation and adoption of its proposals, the CCWG-Accountability is expected to provide a detailed description on how its proposals would provide an adequate level of resistance to contingencies (“stress tests”), within the scope of each Work Stream.
Further, Work Stream 1 may identify issues that are important and relevant to the IANA stewardship transition but cannot be addressed within this time frame, in which case, there must be mechanisms or other guarantees that can ensure that the work would be completed in a timely manner as soon as possible after the transition.
The CCWG-Accountability will investigate accountability mechanisms regarding all of the functions provided by ICANN.
In the discussions around the accountability process, the CCWG-Accountability will proceed with two Work Streams:
The CCWG-Accountability will allocate issues to Work Stream 1 and Work Stream 2. Some issues may span both Work Streams.
Suggested questions to be considered as part of Work Stream 1 include, but are not limited to:
Suggested questions to be considered as part of Work Stream 2 include, but are not limited to:
Suggested questions to be considered as part of both Work Stream 1 and 2 include, but are not limited to:
Other topics within scope of the work of the CCWG-Accountability include, but are not limited to ATRT2 Recommendation 9, and more specifically 9.2.
Link with scope of Cross Community Working Group (CWG) to Develop an IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal on Naming Related Functions, and other groups developing the IANA Stewardship Transition proposal:
This process on Enhancing ICANN Accountability is taking place alongside a parallel and related process on the transition of the stewardship of the IANA functions through the CWG to Develop an IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal on Naming Related Functions (hereinafter CWG-Stewardship). The CWG-Stewardship’s scope is focused on the arrangements required for the continuance of IANA functions in an accountable and widely accepted manner after the expiry of the IANA Functions Contract. Accountability for the administration of the IANA functions (i.e., implementation and operational accountability) is not within the scope of the CCWG-Accountability as it is being dealt with by the CWG-Stewardship. Nevertheless, the two processes are interrelated and interdependent and should appropriately coordinate their work.
Other groups’ (i.e. the numbers and protocol parameters communities, as outlined in the ICG Request for Proposals) proposals are intended to cover accountability issues related to the IANA Stewardship Transition, as well as issues already being considered by RIRs and IETF communities related in their respective areas in their engagement with ICANN. These issues are outside of scope of the CCWG-Accountability. The CCWG-Accountability will communicate with these groups to ensure that the CCWG-Accountability does not cover issues going beyond its scope.
Section III: Deliverables, Timeframes, and Reporting
In working towards its deliverables, the CCWG-Accountability will, as a first step, establish and adopt a high-level work plan and tentative associated schedule, which should be publicly available. Both work plan and associated schedule, should take into account and be on activities under Work Stream 1 and Work Stream 2, and align the timelines for Work Stream 1 with the CWG-Stewardship and ICG timelines. In addition, the work plan and schedule should include time frames and methods for public consultation and expected date for submission of Draft Proposal(s) and Final Proposal(s) and revisions thereof for Work stream 1 and 2, and should establish an expected date for submission of a Board Reports. In those cases where there are incompatibilities, these should be informed to the CWG-Stewardship and/or ICG and discuss ways to address the incompatibilities.
In the course of its work the CCWG-Accountability should update and refine it work plan and schedule regularly, and make the amended work plan and associated schedule publicly available.
The following non-exhaustive list of areas of work shall guide the working group in establishing a work plan. The CCWG-Accountability may add additional tasks at its sole discretion:
Examples of individual items to be looked at may include:
The co-chairs of the CCWG-Accountability will brief the chartering organizations on a regular basis as well as their representatives on the ICG (particularly in relation to Work Stream 1).
Section IV: Membership, Staffing and Organization
Membership in the CCWG-Accountability, and in sub-working groups should these be created, is open to members appointed by the chartering organizations. To facilitate scheduling meetings and to minimize workloads for individual members, it is highly recommended that individual members participate in only one sub-working group, should sub-working groups be created. Each of the chartering organizations shall appoint a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5 members to the working group in accordance with their own rules and procedures. Best efforts should be made to ensure that individual members:
In appointing their members, the chartering organizations should note that the CCWG-Accountability’s decision-making methodologies require that CCWG-Accountability members act by consensus, and that polling will only be used in rare instances and with the recognition that such polls do not constitute votes.
Chartering organizations are encouraged to use open and inclusive processes when selecting their members for this CCWG-Accountability. Best efforts should also be made to ensure that the CCWG-Accountability and any sub-working groups, if created, have representation from each of ICANN’s five regions.
In addition, the CCWG-Accountability will be open to any interested person as a participant. Participants may be from a chartering organization, from a stakeholder group not represented in the CCWG-Accountability, or may be self-appointed. Participants will be able to actively participate in and attend all CCWG-Accountability meetings, work groups and sub-work groups. However, should there be a need for a consensus call or decision, such consensus call or decision will be limited to CCWG-Accountability members appointed by the chartering organizations.
All members and participants will be listed on the CCWG-Accountability’s Wiki. The mailing list of CCWG-Accountability will be publicly archived. All members and participants in this process are required to submit a Statement of Interest (SOI) following the procedures of their chartering organization or, where that is not applicable the GNSO procedures may be followed or alternatively a statement should be provided which at a minimum should include name, whether the participant is representing a certain organization or company as part of his/her participation in this effort, areas of specific interest in relation to this effort, material relationship with other parties affected by ICANN and primary country of residence.
Volunteer co-chairs appointed by the chartering organizations, should a chartering organization decide to appoint a co-chair to the CCWG-Accountability, will preside over CCWG-Accountability deliberations and ensure that the process is bottom-up, consensus-based and has balanced multistakeholder participation. ICANN is expected to provide day-to-day project administration and secretariat support and, upon request of the CCWG-Accountability co-chairs, professional project facilitators or expert assistance.
In addition to the working relationship between groups developing the IANA Stewardship Transition proposal which is detailed in a subsequent section, the CCWG-Accountability will include a liaison from the ICANN Board, who would be an active member of the CCWG-Accountability, bringing the voice of the Board and Board experience to activities and deliberations. The CCWG-Accountability will also include an ICANN Staff representative to provide input into the deliberations and who is able to participate in this effort in the same way as other members of the CCWG-Accountability. Should there be a need for any consensus call(s), neither the Board liaison nor the Staff representative would participate in such a consensus call.
Group Formation, Dependencies, & Dissolution:
Each of the chartering organizations shall appoint members to the CCWG-Accountability in accordance with their own rules and procedures.
Working Relationship with the ICG, the CWG, and other groups developing the IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal
The co-chairs of the CCWG-Accountability will discuss and determine, along with representatives of the ICG, the CWG-Stewardship, and other groups developing the IANA Stewardship proposal, the most appropriate method of sharing information and communicating progress and outcomes, particularly in relation to Work Stream 1. This could, for example, be done through regular Chairs calls. In particular, the co-chairs will agree the method by which the final Work Stream 1 deliverable of the CCWG-Accountability, the “Enhanced ICANN Accountability Related to the IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal”, will be provided from the CCWG-Accountability to the ICG and CWG-Stewardship. The delivery of this Work Stream 1 Proposal is expected to occur following approval of the ICANN Board as outlined in Section V of this charter (see also https://www.icann.org/resources/board-material/resolutions-2014-10-16-en#2.d).
In addition to input from the community, the CCWG-Accountability is expected to solicit and consider the input from the up to seven Advisors selected by the Public Experts Group (PEG) to provide independent advice, research and identify best practices, at an early stage of its deliberations. In addition to input that is specifically solicited by the CCWG-Accountability, the CCWG-Accountability is also expected to give due consideration to any additional advice or input that the Advisors provide as part of the CCWG-Accountability deliberations. The Advisors are expected to contribute to the dialogue similar to other CCWG-Accountability participants. However, should there be a need for any consensus call(s), the Advisors would not participate in such a call.
In addition to the advisors selected by the PEG, the CCWG-Accountability may also identify additional advisors or experts to contribute to its deliberations in a similar manner as the Advisors selected by the PEG. Should additional costs be involved in obtaining input from additional advisors or experts, prior approval must be obtained from ICANN. Such a request for approval should at a minimum include the rationale for selecting additional advisors or experts as well as expected costs.
The CCWG-Accountability should integrate one Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT) past participant to bring perspective and avoid duplication of work. Should there be a need for any consensus call(s), the ATRT Expert would not participate in such a consensus call (unless the ATRT Expert is also selected as a member by one of the chartering organizations).
Staffing & Resources
The ICANN Staff assigned to the CCWG-Accountability will fully support the work of the CCWG-Accountability as requested by the co-chairs, including meeting support, document drafting, editing and distribution and other substantive contributions when deemed appropriate by the CCWG-Accountability. ICANN will provide access to relevant experts and professional facilitators as requested by the CCWG-Accountability Chairs. ICANN staff, in a coordinated effort with the CCWG-Accountability, will also ensure that there is adequate outreach to ensure that the global multistakeholder community is aware of and encouraged to participate in the work of the CCWG-Accountability.
Staff assignments to the Working Group:
ICANN will provide sufficient staff support to support the activities of the CCWG-Accountability.
The CCWG-Accountability is encouraged to identify any additional resources beyond the staff assigned to the group it may need at the earliest opportunity to ensure that such resources can be identified and planned for.
Section V: Rules of Engagement
In developing its Proposal(s), work plan and any other reports, the CCWG-Accountability shall seek to act by consensus. Consensus calls should always make best efforts to involve all members (the CCWG-Accountability or sub-working group). The Chair(s) shall be responsible for designating each position as having one of the following designations:
a) Full Consensus - a position where no minority disagrees; identified by an absence of objection
b) Consensus – a position where a small minority disagrees, but most agree
In the absence of Full Consensus, the Chair(s) should allow for the submission of minority viewpoint(s) and these, along with the consensus view, shall be included in the report.
In a rare case, the chair(s) may decide that the use of a poll is reasonable to assess the level of support for a recommendation. However, care should be taken in using polls that they do not become votes, as there are often disagreements about the meanings of the poll questions or of the poll results.
Any member who disagrees with the consensus-level designation made by the Chair(s), or believes that his/her contributions are being systematically ignored or discounted should first discuss the circumstances with the relevant sub-group chair or the CCWG-Accountability co-chairs. In the event that the matter cannot be resolved satisfactorily, the group member should request an opportunity to discuss the situation with the Chairs of the chartering organizations or their designated representatives.
SO and AC support for the Draft Proposal(s)
Following submission of the Draft Proposal(s), each of the chartering organizations shall, in accordance with their own rules and procedures, review and discuss the Draft Proposal(s) and decide whether to adopt the recommendations contained in it. The chairs of the chartering organizations shall notify the co-chairs of the WG of the result of the deliberations as soon as feasible.
Supplemental Draft Proposal
In the event that one or more of the participating SO’s or AC’s do(es) not adopt one or more of the recommendation(s) contained in the Draft Proposal(s), the Co-Chairs of the CCWG-Accountability shall be notified accordingly. This notification shall include at a minimum the reasons for the lack of support and a suggested alternative that would be acceptable, if any. The CCWG-Accountability may, at its discretion, reconsider, post for public comments and/or submit to the chartering organizations a Supplemental Draft Proposal, which takes into accounting the concerns raised.
Following submission of the Supplemental Draft Proposal, the chartering organizations shall discuss and decide in accordance with its own rules and procedures whether to adopt the recommendations contained in the Supplemental Draft Proposal. The Chairs of the chartering organizations shall notify the Co-Chairs of the CCWG-Accountability of the result of the deliberations as soon as feasible.
Submission Board Report
After receiving the notifications from all chartering organizations as described above, the Co-Chairs of the CCWG-Accountability shall, within 10 working days after receiving the last notification, submit to the Chair of the ICANN Board of Directors and Chairs of all the chartering organizations the CCWG-Accountability Board Report, which shall include at a minimum:
a) The (Supplemental) Proposal as adopted by the CCWG-Accountability; and
b) The notifications of the decisions from the chartering organizations
c) Documentation of the process that was followed, including, but not limited to documenting the process of building consensus within the CCWG-Accountability and public consultations.
In the event one or more of the chartering organizations do(es) not support (parts of) the (Supplemental) Proposal(s), the Board Report shall also clearly indicate the part(s) of the (Supplemental) Final Proposal(s) which are fully supported and the parts which not, and which of the chartering organizations dissents, to the extent this is feasible.
Board consideration and interaction with CCWG-Accountability and chartering organizations
It is assumed that after submission of the Board Report, the ICANN Board of Directors will consider the Proposal(s) contained in this Report in accordance with the process outlined in its resolution of 16 October 2014 (see https://www.icann.org/resources/board-material/resolutions-2014-10-16-en#2.d):
Resolved (2014.10.16.17), the Board commits to following the following principles when considering the Cross Community Working Group Recommendations on Enhancing ICANN Accountability and Governance:
Before submitting a modified recommendation to the ICANN Board of Directors, as envisioned under 5. of the Board resolution, the CCWG-Accountability will submit a Draft Supplemental Board Report to the chartering organizations containing:
a) The modified recommendations, and associated detailed rationale,
b) The Board decision, and associated detailed rationale
c) The recommendation as contained in the Board Report
Following submission of the Draft Supplemental Board Report, the chartering organizations shall discuss and decide in accordance with their own rules and procedures whether to adopt the modified recommendations contained in the report. The Chairs of the chartering organizations shall notify the co-chairs of the CCWG-Accountability of the result of the deliberations as soon as feasible.
After receiving the notifications from all chartering organizations, the co-Chairs of the CCWG-Accountability shall, within 10 working days after receiving the last notification, submit to the Chair of the ICANN Board of Directors and Chairs of all the chartering organizations the CCWG-Accountability Supplemental Board Report, which shall include at a minimum:
a) The modified recommendations, and associated detailed rationale.
b) The notifications of the decisions from the chartering organizations.
c) Documentation of the process that was followed, including, but not limited to documenting the process of building consensus within the CCWG-Accountability and consultations with the chartering organizations.
If, in accordance with 6., the Board determines not to accept a modified recommendation, the CCWG-Accountability shall follow the procedure regarding the Supplemental Board Report, as just described, to reach agreement with the Board.
Modification of the Charter:
In the event this charter does not provide guidance and/or the impact of the charter is unreasonable for conducting the business of the CCWG-Accountability, the co-chairs have the authority to determine the proper actions. Such action may, for example, consist of a modification to the Charter in order to address the omission or its unreasonable impact, in which case the Co-Chairs may propose such modification to the chartering organizations. A modification shall only be effective after adoption of the amended Charter by all chartering organizations, in accordance with their own rules and procedures.
Problem/Issue Escalation & Resolution Processes:
All participants are expected to abide by the ICANN Expected Standards of Behavior.
The co-chairs are empowered to restrict the participation of someone who seriously disrupts the working group. Generally, the participant should first be warned privately, and then warned publicly before such a restriction is put into place; in extreme circumstances, this requirement may be bypassed. This restriction is subject to the right of appeal as outlined above.
In the event that no consensus is reached by the CCWG-Accountability, the co-chairs of the CCWG-Accountability will submit a Report to the chartering organizations. In this Report the co-chairs shall document the issues that are considered contentious, the process that was followed and will include suggestions to mitigate prevention of consensus. If, after implementation of the mitigating measures consensus can still not be reached, co-chairs shall prepare a Final Report documenting the processes followed, including requesting suggestions for mitigating the issues that are preventing consensus from the chartering organizations. The Final Report will be submitted to the ICANN Board and the chartering organizations requesting closure of the CCWG-Accountability by the chartering organizations.
Closure & Working Group Self-Assessment:
The CCWG-Accountability will consult with their chartering organizations to determine when it can consider its work completed. The CCWG-Accountability and any sub-working groups shall be dissolved upon receipt of the notification of the Chairs of the chartering organizations or their designated representatives.
Section VI: Charter Document History