APNIC retained the law firm Maddocks Lawyers to conduct a general assessment of APNIC’s governance structures and analysis of specific risks of organisational capture by various constituents and stakeholders, and of the possibility of the deformation of APNIC’s open and transparent policymaking process.
In conducting the general assessment, Maddocks Lawyers reviewed APNIC’s corporate and governing constituent documents, and other documents that are publicly available at APNIC’s website, and interviewed APNIC’s General Counsel.
The general assessment concluded that APNIC is not subject to any substantial risk of capture by internal or external parties – such as an unrepresentative minority of members, or Governments, or APNIC’s Executive Council or secretariat staff, or other parties. However, Maddocks Lawyers believe that any remaining risk can be further reduced by a mechanism of appointment of a minority (say three) of independent (non-elected and non-member aligned members) of the Executive Council for a staggered three-year term.
The assessment noted that the following factors contributed to the low risk of the possibility of improper capture of APNIC by an unrepresentative minority of constituents or stakeholders:
- APNIC being a membership organisation with a broad and open membership base. APNIC currently has over 5,000 members, each with voting right.
- The ability of all APNIC members to vote online via “my APNIC”
The relatively short (two year) term of members of APNIC’s governing Executive Council, and the staggered election of such members of the Executive Council (with the renewal of approximately half of the Executive Council at each annual general meeting)
- APNIC not being financially or organisationally dependent upon any one person
- The ability of APNIC members to [overturn decisions of APNIC EC] under APNIC’s by-laws.
Nevertheless, the assessment recommended that APNIC consider the introduction of a small number of independent members of the Executive Council to further reduce any risk of capture.
APNIC routinely reviews its governance practices and structures. APNIC’s Executive Council has received the APNIC Accountability Assessment as input to that ongoing process, and will consider theassessment for possible improvements in APNIC’s governing structures.