AFRINIC Accountability Assessment

1. Overview

During 2015, AFRINIC engaged the services of an independent law firm, BLC & Associates Ltd. of Ebene, Mauritius, to conduct a general assessment of AFRINIC’s governance structures, and analysis of specific risks of capture by various constituents and stakeholders. To ensure the independence of the assessment, a law firm was chosen that is not engaged in providing regular legal advice to AFRINIC.

Input to this assessment included documents filed with the Registrar of Companies in Mauritius, documents available on the AFRINIC web site, and documents that were inspected at the AFRINIC offices in Ebene, Mauritius.

2. Describe the existing mechanisms or best practices which provide for RIR
accountability to its community

AFRINIC allocates Internet number resources to its members following policies that are determined by the community and ratified by the Board. All policy proposals are discussed in a public mailing list and at a public meeting, and only if the Policy Development Working Group (PDWG) co-chairs determine that the proposal has rough consensus is the proposal forwarded to the Board for ratification. The PDWG co-chairs are elected by the community during public meetings, and serve two-year terms. Changes to the Policy Development Process (PDP) itself is subject to the same process of discussion, rough consensus, and Board ratification.

AFRINIC’s finances are audited annually, and the audited financial statements are presented to the membership at an Annual General Members’ Meeting (AGMM), in strict compliance with the Companies’ Act of the Republic of Mauritius.

AFRINIC’s Board of Directors consists of nine people, of whom eight are elected by the membership of AFRINIC, and one, the CEO, is appointed by the Board. Each elected Director serves for three years, and may then run for re-election. Every year, at the AGMM, elections are held for two or three of the eight elected seats, in a defined rotation sequence.

With the exception of the CEO, no Director may be an employee of the company.

3. Describe any identified areas for potential improvement of the RIR accountability mechanisms

The accountability assessment identified several areas in which minor improvements or clarifications could be made to AFRINIC’s Bylaws or Constitution. These include the rights of different classes of members, independence of Directors, the process for electing Directors, the process for changing the Bylaws or Constitution, and the process for changing number resource policy.

4. Outline the process by which improvements to the RIR accountability mechanisms will be made

The issues that were identified can be addressed through changes to the AFRINIC Bylaws (also known as the Constitution). An outline of suggested changes was presented to the AFRINIC membership at the AGMM in June 2016. The changes are still under discussion, and are expected to be decided on by the membership in November 2016.

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