During initial discussions about the IANA stewardship transition, the ICANN community identified a potential for the transition and changing nature of the organization’s relationship to the U.S. Government to affect ICANN’s accountability to its community. A Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) was convened to look at what improvements might be made to strengthen the community’s oversight of the organization.
The CCWG-Accountability includes Appointed Members from most of the ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, including the Address Supporting Organization (ASO). The ASO representatives on the CCWG-Accountability are:
- Fiona Asonga
- Athina Fragkouli
- Izumi Okutani
- Jorge Villa
- Michael Abejuela
All information on the CCWG-Accountability, including public archives of all mailing list discussions and meeting proceedings, is available at their website.
On March 4th 2016, in response to a recommendation from the ASO liaisons to the CCWG, the NRO EC, acting on behalf of the ASO, approved the CCWG proposal. Together with ICANN’s existing structures and groups, enhancements to accountability as outlined in the proposal include:
- A revised Mission Statement for ICANN’s bylaws that specifies what ICANN does
- An enhanced Independent Review Process and redress process with the power to ensure that ICANN stays within its mission
- New enumerated powers entrusted to a so-called ’empowered community’, which are enforceable against the ICANN Board to ensure that ICANN remains focused on its defined technical mission
- A community Independent Review Process as an enforcement mechanism further to a Board action or inaction
Safeguards have been designed to ensure that community powers can only be exercised after extensive community discussions and debates have been duly held. The proposal also captures further changes to ICANN’s existing structures and groups including improved accountability and diversity standards for ICANN’s Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees.
Full details of the CCWG-Accountability’s findings and recommendations, inclusive of annexes and supplementary information, are listed in the Third Draft Report available at their website.