Charter for the At Large Membership Study Committee

22 January 2001

Charter for the At Large Membership Study Committee

1. Introduction

The At Large Membership Study Committee will undertake a comprehensive study of the concept, structure and processes relating to an "At Large" membership for ICANN, as provided by Article II, Section 5, of the ICANN Bylaws.

The Study Committee will seek input from all interested parties and work to achieve a broad consensus on effective means by which the diverse global Internet communities and stakeholders may participate in ICANN's policy development, deliberations, and actions.

The Study Committee will work without preconceptions as to a preferred outcome. Previous decisions and conclusions regarding an "At Large" membership will be informative but not determinative.

2. Scope of the At-Large Study

The Study Committee will work toward a consensus solution for At Large participation in ICANN that

(a) provides an appropriate mechanism for input by the general Internet community, while

(b) also permitting effective and efficient management of ICANN and the achievement of its specific technical and administrative mission.

In addition to other inquiries it may deem appropriate, the Study Committee shall specifically address the following questions, which are required by the Bylaws section cited above:

(a) Should the ICANN Board include At Large Directors?

(b) If so, how many such At Large Directors should there be?

(c) How should any such At Large Directors be selected?

(d) If selection by an At Large membership is recommended, what processes and procedures should be used to create that At Large membership? What minimum criteria, if any, should be required for membership? Precisely how should an At Large membership select At Large Directors?

(e) If an At Large membership is to exist, what should its structure, role and functions be? How should it be funded?

The Study Committee may also consider the proper relationship between an At Large membership and ICANN's three Supporting Organizations, the open policy development bodies charged with the formation of consensus policies on the unique identifiers and addresses that ICANN is responsible for coordinating.

3. Participation in the At Large Study

The Study Committee will encourage the participation of organizations and individuals worldwide, including the development of independent studies and analyses from across the global Internet's diverse communities and stakeholders.

The Study Committee, with appropriate staff support, will provide multiple mechanisms for community input, including public forums, mailing lists, and one or more public meetings. In addition, the Study Committee may wish to facilitate the development of consensus in other ways, including the preparation and distribution of concept papers and draft recommendations, and the promulgation of specific questions and other inquiries to those participating in this effort.

The Study Committee will maintain a public website with information about its work and schedule, and links to relevant information, including independent studies and analyses.

4. Study Committee Reports

At regular intervals, the Study Committee shall issue reports on its progress, including such preliminary findings and points of community consensus as may be appropriate.

In its work and in its reports, the Study Committee will seek to facilitate the transformation of the various inputs that it receives into a comprehensive set of recommendations that can attract broad support throughout the Internet's communities.

The Study Committee shall issue its final report in draft form for public comment at least sixty days prior to its formal presentation to the ICANN Board. The pertinent parts of public comments on the draft final report shall be included in the final report.

5. Operation and Budget of the Study Committee

The Chair and two Vice Chairs will be responsible for the management of the study. The Chair and Vice-Chairs will have the authority to call meetings, set agendas, and direct the work of the Executive Director. The Committee will work on the basis of consensus, taking votes only as needed, at the discretion of the chair.

Working with the Chair, the ICANN CEO will arrange financial support for the Study Committee's activities, including at least one dedicated staff person (the Executive Director). Prior to the ICANN Melbourne meeting, the Study Committee will make recommendations to ICANN Board on the necessary level of funding for the completion of its work, including external grant support if found necessary and appropriate. The study committee members will serve without compensation except for their costs associated with committee meetings and travel and other out of pocket expenses.

For purposes of funding and administration, the Executive Director will report to ICANN's CEO; in all other respects, the Executive Director will report to the Chair of the Study Committee.

6. Access to At Large Membership Data

Subject to ICANN's stated data privacy protections and appropriate non-disclosure agreements, the Study Committee (or its designee) will be afforded full access to ICANN's At Large Membership databases. It is expected that the Study Committee will undertake a statistical analysis, and will make publicly available aggregate data relating to the At Large Membership registration and voting process in 2000.

7. Study Timetable

The Study Committee will present its first preliminary report at the first ICANN meeting in 2001, to be held in Melbourne, Australia on March 10-13, 2001, including the Committee's views on the schedule and process which it thinks are necessary to accomplish its mission, with the understanding that any such schedule must conclude with an ICANN Board decision that can be fully implemented, as required by the current bylaws, no later than the ICANN Annual Meeting in 2002.