Good afternoon I attach the .nz comments on the propsed ICANN Bylaw changes in both html and word 97. They will also be available on our website linked from http://www.isocnz.org.nz/summit99.html Cordially Sue Leader Executive Director ISOCNZ (The Internet Society of New Zealand Inc) http://www.isocnz.org.nz Email:Exe.Dir@ISOCNZ.org.nz Voice: +64-4-801-6256Title: Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Proposed amendments to ICANN ByLaws (October 8 1999)
NZ COMMENTS ON THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE ICANN BYLAWS -
OCTOBER 8 1999
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed amendments to ICANN Bylaws (October 8 1999). We again record our concern over the extremely short timeframe of 14 days allowed for comments on the Proposed Amendments. We note that this continues the trend we raised in our submission on the DNSO WG-A Report (dated July 30 1999) (http://www.isocnz.org.nz/nzwga_aug99.html).
The Internet Society of New Zealand [ISOCNZ] is a not for profit, incorporated society. Its membership is open. Membership subscription costs NZ$50 per year. A full description of the principles of ISOCNZ may be obtained at its website at http://www.isocnz.org.nz .
As you know .nz has had extensive involvement with the process associated with the creation of ICANN:
i. ISOCNZ monitored the formation of the IAHC and the MoU
ii. ISOCNZ monitored both the Green and White papers
iii. ISOCNZ made written comment on the Green and White papers (see –
iv. Domainz also made submissions to the Green Paper (see
v. ISOCNZ and Domainz were part of the Boston Working Group (BWG) submission to the US Government, late 1998. As the BWG submission was only one of two formal responses to the IANA draft that preceded formation of ICANN, NZ was involved in a number of audio conferences with Ira Magaziner and the US Dept of Commerce
vi. ISOCNZ and or Domainz attended three of the international meetings prior to establishment of ICANN
vii. ISOCNZ has, through Domainz, participated in the WIPO process, attending the Sydney meeting and presenting submissions in response to RFC-2 (see: http://www.domainz.net.nz/newsstand/wipo2.html ).
viii. ISOCNZ made written submission on WIPO RFC-3 (see http://www.isocnz.org.nz/WIPOresponse2.html) [The New Zealand Ministry of Commerce made comment to WIPO endorsing ISOCNZ’s submission.]
ix. ISOCNZ and Domainz attended March 1999 Singapore ICANN meeting
x. ISOCNZ had representation at the April 1999 FICPI/AAPA meeting, Wellington, New Zealand
xi. ISOCNZ organised a New Zealand National Summit on the proposed changes to the governance of the Internet arising out of WIPO RFC-3 and the ICANN Singapore meeting. A national position was created (see http:///www.isocnz.org.nz/nzposition.html)
xii. ISOCNZ and Domainz attended the May 1999 Berlin ICANN Meeting and made representations on the WIPO recommendations (see http://www.isocnz.org.nz/nzoralicann599.html)
xiii. ISOCNZ attended the August 1999 Santiago ICANN Meeting and made representations on the WG-A Dispute Resolution Process Report (see http://www.isocnz.org.nz/nzwga_aug99.html)
PROCEDURAL COMMENT – PROCESS
.nz views with concern the decision of the Board, or the staff acting on behalf of the Board, to present Amended Bylaws for public comment before the policy decisions behind the amendments have been debated. This results in commentators arguing over language rather than substance.
.nz requests that the Proposed Amendments be withdrawn and re-presented only after the underlying policy issues have been opened for public comment.
PROCEDURAL COMMENT - TIMEFRAMES
As noted in the Introduction, the timeframes for response to the Proposed Amendments are, we believe, needlessly tight and do not allow for proper consultation with our stakeholders.
It would seem that the further along the process of setting up a representative structure gets, the shorter the consultation periods allowed. This does not, in our view, accord well with either the democratic process, nor with gaining well researched, broad-based, consultation with stakeholders. In addition we are of the opinion that the short timeframe for comment breaches the spirit of Section 3 (b) (ii) of the existing Bylaws
.nz requests that when the Proposed Amendments are reopened for comment they be so for a period of not less than four weeks in total to ensure that proper consultation with stakeholders can take place.
COMMENT ON THE CONTENT OF THE REPORT
.nz has concerns over three main areas of the proposed amendments.
(c) Membership Advisory Committee
As the new advisory committee with responsibility for the At Large Membership has not been formally established as per August 26 ICANN Board Resolutions:
"FURTHER RESOLVED [99.89] that the President is authorized to convene a Membership Implementation Task Force, which shall generate and implement strategies for outreach and recruitment of a broad and numerous membership that is globally representative of the Internet user community;…."
.nz believes that the Membership Advisory Committee should not be removed from the Bylaws until the Membership Implementation Task Force has been convened.
(d) Advisory Committee on Independent Review
As the written policy implementing the Principles for Independent Review has not been formally established as per August 26 ICANN Board Resolutions:
"RESOLVED [99.92] that the Board accepts the principles for independent review submitted by the Committee, and directs the President and staff to prepare a written policy implementing those principles prior to ICANN's annual meeting in November"
.nz believes that the Advisory Committee on Independent Review should not be removed from the Bylaws until the Written Policy on Principles for Independent Review has been adopted.
.nz is very concerned about the proposal to remove the rights of members as members of a Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation as stated in this section which reads:
" The Corporation shall not have members as defined in the CNPBCL (as defined herein), notwithstanding the use of the term "Member" in these bylaws. Instead, the Corporation shall allow individuals (described in these bylaws as "Members") to participate in the activities of the Corporation through the selection of an advisory body known as the At Large Council. Such individuals ("Members") will have the rights, and only the rights, set forth in these Bylaws, and shall not be members as Defined in the CNPBCL."
It is our understanding that the Board's worry is that retaining 'corporation' membership rights for members may have risks in relation to litigation. .nz is concerned that the essential right of the membership of a democratic non-profit organisation to exercise their right to exercise a 'no confidence' vote in the governing body will be eliminated with the inclusion in this section. If the Board wishes to deal with a particular issue in regards to the rights of corporation members under California law, we believe that a specifically worded amendment should be drafted rather than this all-encompassing removal of rights. We are seeking further advice on the exact interpretation of California law on this point.
.nz requests the removal of Article II - Membership, Section 1 - General, of the Proposed Amendments.
.nz appreciates the opportunity to comment on the Proposed Amendments to the ICANN Bylaws. We have indicated the major areas of concern above, ranging from presentation of proposed amendments before the underlying policy intentions have been discussed, through insufficient consultation times, and onto comments about the content of the Report. We look forward to the Board's comments and explanations at the Los Angeles meeting.
.nz Administration Contact
On behalf of ISOCNZ