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ICANN Montréal Meeting Topic: Formation of At-Large Groups

Posted: 15 June 2003

Formation of At-Large Groups

One key innovation in ICANN's 2002 reform process was the establishment of a framework of local, regional, and global groups to cooperatively facilitate and promote structured involvement and informed participation of the global individual user community in ICANN and the ICANN policy-development process. The framework consists of local At-Large Structures focusing on participation by individual Internet users; one Regional At-Large Organization (RALO) in each of ICANN's five Geographic Regions composed of the At-Large Structures in its Region; and an At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) composed of members selected by the five RALOs and the Nominating Committee.

At the ICANN Montreal meeting, the status and progress of the ALAC formation process will be discussed.

Background

To build this framework, an Interim ALAC has been formed and charged with formulating recommendations to the ICANN Board regarding the criteria and procedures for formation of the RALOs and recognition of At-Large Structures.

With regard to RALOs, Article XI, Section 2(4)(g) of the ICANN Bylaws provides:

g. There shall be one RALO for each Geographic Region established according to Section 5 of Article VI. Each RALO shall serve as the main forum and coordination point for public input to ICANN in its Geographic Region and shall be a non-profit organization certified by ICANN according to criteria and standards established by the Board based on recommendations of the At-Large Advisory Committee. An organization shall become the recognized RALO for its Geographic Region upon entering a Memorandum of Understanding with ICANN addressing the respective roles and responsibilities of ICANN and the RALO regarding the process for selecting ALAC members and requirements of openness, participatory opportunities, transparency, accountability, and diversity in the RALO's structure and procedures, as well as criteria and standards for the RALO's constituent At-Large Structures.

(Under Article XI, Section 2(4)(h) of the Bylaws, individual Internet users may also participate directly in a RALO's activities in some circumstances.)

Article XI, Section 2(4)(i) of the Bylaws governs the procedures for recognizing At-Large Structures:

i. The criteria and standards for the certification of At-Large Structures within each Geographic Region shall be established by the Board based on recommendations from the ALAC and shall be stated in the Memorandum of Understanding between ICANN and the RALO for that Geographic Region. The criteria and standards for the certification of At-Large Structures shall be established in such a way that participation by individual Internet users who are citizens or residents of countries within the Geographic Region (as defined in Section 5 of Article VI) of the RALO will predominate in the operation of each At-Large Structure within the RALO, while not necessarily excluding additional participation, compatible with the interests of the individual Internet users within the region, by others. Each RALO's Memorandum of Understanding shall also include provisions designed to allow, to the greatest extent possible, every individual Internet user who is a citizen of a country within the RALO's Geographic Region to participate in at least one of the RALO's At-Large Structures. To the extent compatible with these objectives, the criteria and standards should also afford to each RALO the type of structure that best fits the customs and character of its Geographic Region. Once the criteria and standards have been established, the ALAC shall be responsible for certifying organizations as meeting the criteria and standards for At-Large Structures. Decisions to certify or de-certify an At-Large Structure shall require a 2/3 vote of all of the members of the ALAC and shall be subject to review according to procedures established by the Board. On an ongoing basis, the ALAC may also give advice as to whether a prospective At-Large Structure meets the applicable criteria and standards.

After consultation with the community, the Interim ALAC has forwarded to the ICANN Board five proposals:

The details of those proposals appear below.

Public Comments Invited

Public comments on these proposals are invited, either by e-mail sent to <alac-organization-comments@icann.org> (Forum closed) or at the ICANN Public Forum to be held on 25 June 2003 in Montréal. Taking into consideration the comments received, the ICANN Board will consider acting on the proposals at its meeting on 26 June 2003.


To: Dr. Paul Twomey, President and CEO, ICANN
From: Vittorio Bertola, Chair, Interim At-Large Advisory Committee
Subject: Formation of At-Large Groups

On behalf of the Interim At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), I am transmitting for Board consideration a memo containing the following proposals:

  1. Proposed minimum criteria for At-Large Structures;
  2. Proposed certification process for At-Large Structures (ALS);
  3. Proposed guidelines for the form of each Regional At-Large Organizations' (RALOs) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be entered into with ICANN;
  4. Proposed procedures for Board review of ALAC certification decisions; and
  5. Proposed Application for "At-Large Structure" (ALS) Designation.

ICANN's bylaws require the Board to establish the criteria and standards for the certification of At-Large Structures and Regional At-Large Organizations, based on recommendations from the ALAC (#1 and #2), as well as the procedures for Board review of ALAC certification and de-certification decisions (#3). The ALAC would also appreciate receiving any feedback the Board may have on the proposed application form (#4), which was developed to facilitate the formation of At-Large Structures, which eventually will form the RALOs.

As set-forth in ICANN's bylaws, underpinning the ALAC will be a network of self-organizing, self-supporting At-Large Structures throughout the world involving individual Internet users at the local or issue level. The At-Large Structures (either existing organizations or newly formed for this purpose) will organize into five Regional At-Large Organizations (one in each ICANN region - Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America/Caribbean, and North America). The Regional At-Large Organizations will manage outreach and public involvement and will be the main forum and coordination point in each region for public input to ICANN.

Public input has been solicited on formation of At-Large Structures and RALOs since 9 April 2003. Public comments were received on drafts of the proposed criteria and accreditation process and the proposed MOU guidelines. The ALAC responded publicly to these comments in detail, and the final proposals, reflecting consideration and incorporation of comments as appropriate, have been posted on the ALAC's website for public comment since 4 June 2003.

The ALAC requests expedited Board action on the proposed minimum criteria and certification process for At-Large Structures, the proposed guidelines for the form of each RALO's MOU, and the proposed procedures for Board review of ALAC certification and de-certification decisions. The ALAC is eager to launch the At-Large infrastructure building process and to expand our work with the At-Large community to involve and represent in ICANN a broad set of individual user interests.

Should you require any further information, please contact the ALAC at <committee@alac.icann.org>. Thank you for your assistance with this important matter.

Formation of At-Large Groups
9 June 2003

I. Proposed minimum criteria for At-Large Structures;

II. Proposed certification process for At-Large Structures (ALS);

III. Proposed guidelines for the form of each Regional At-Large Organizations' (RALOs) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be entered into with ICANN;

IV. Proposed procedures for Board review of ALAC certification decisions; and

V. Proposed Application for "At-Large Structure" (ALS) Designation.

As set forth in ICANN's bylaws, underpinning the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) will be a network of self-organizing, self-supporting At-Large Structures throughout the world involving individual Internet users at the local or issue level. The At-Large Structures (either existing organizations or newly formed for this purpose) will organize into five Regional At-Large Organizations (one in each ICANN region - Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America/Caribbean, and North America). The Regional At-Large Organizations will manage outreach and public involvement and will be the main forum and coordination point in each region for public input to ICANN.

The Interim At-Large Advisory Committee submits for Board consideration the following proposals to establish the criteria and standards for the certification of At-Large Structures and Regional At-Large Organizations, and procedures for Board review of ALAC certification and de-certification decisions. Also included, for the Board's information, is the proposed application form, which was developed to facilitate the formation of At-Large Structures, which eventually will form the RALOs.

I. Proposed minimum criteria for an At-Large Structure:

  1. Commit to supporting individual Internet users' informed participation in ICANN by distributing to individual constituents/members information on relevant ICANN activities and issues, offering Internet-based mechanisms that enable discussions of one or more of these activities and issues among individual constituents/members, and involving individual constituents/members in relevant ICANN policy development, discussions and decisions.
  2. Be constituted so that participation by individual Internet users who are citizens or residents of countries within the Geographic Region in which the ALS is based will predominate in the ALS' operation. The ALS may permit additional participation by others that is compatible with the interests of the individual Internet users within the region. `
  3. Be self-supporting (not rely on ICANN for funding).
  4. Post on the Internet (on the ALAC's website or elsewhere) publicly-accessible, current information about the ALS's goals, structure, description of constituent group(s)/membership, working mechanisms, leadership, and contact(s).
  5. Assist the RALO in performing its function.

II. Proposed certification process for At-Large Structures (ALS):

  1. Submit to the ALAC, in electronic form (provided by the ALAC), a completed ALS application (in English) and provide the ALAC with any requested documentation.
  2. The ALAC will conduct due diligence, reviewing the application and performing necessary tasks in an effort to ensure that the established ALS criteria has been/will be met. This could include requesting references, interviewing the applicant's contact(s), gathering/requesting additional information on the applicant, and (for existing organizations) requesting information on applicant's leadership and operations, verifying general funding sources, and requiring the applicant to demonstrate the identity of their individual constituents.
  3. Upon completion of its due diligence, all ALAC members will review the application and related documentation; the ALAC will then vote on certifying the applicant an ALS, with each ALAC member voting ELIGIBLE or NOT ELIGIBLE.
  4. Decisions to certify an ALS require a 2/3 vote of all of the members of the ALAC and shall be subject to review according to procedures established by the Board. The ALAC will notify the applicant of its certification decision, and, if applicable, provide information on requesting a review of the decision.
  5. Decisions to de-certify an ALS require a 2/3 vote of all of the members of the ALAC and shall be subject to review according to procedures established by the Board. Reasons for the ALAC to pursue de-certification action, and to de-certify an ALS, may include persistent non-compliance with significant ALS requirements. The ALAC will provide advance notice to the ALS in question, and the ALS will have an opportunity to be heard and respond to the ALAC prior to a decision on de-certification. The ALAC will notify the ALS of its de-certification decision and provide information on requesting a review of the decision.
  6. On an ongoing basis, the ALAC may give informal advice and support to organizations seeking certification. It is intended that the ALAC work informally with organizations over time to assist with their efforts to comply with the criteria and achieve the necessary standing to seek certification.
  7. ALS applications, ALAC decisions on applications, and other information, as appropriate, will be publicly posted by the ALAC.

III. Proposed guidelines for the form of each Regional At-Large Organizations' (RALOs) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be entered into with ICANN:

  1. Each RALO shall be comprised of At-Large Structures based within its Geographic Region that have been certified to meet the requirements of the RALO's Memorandum of Understanding with ICANN. There will be no more than one RALO in each Geographic Region.
  2. Proposed RALO MOUs shall be posted by the ALAC for public comment.
  3. Each RALO's Memorandum of Understanding shall include provisions designed to achieve robust participation of individual Internet users in its region. Prior to finalizing its MOU, each RALO shall provide support for their declaration that every interested citizen or resident in its region is welcome to join at least one of its At-Large Structures. A RALO may elect to also directly include individual Internet users who are citizens or residents of countries within the RALO's Geographic Region.
  4. Each RALO must include a minimum of 3 open and transparent At-Large Structures based in at least 2 different countries within the RALO's Geographic Region.
  5. The criteria and process for certification of At-Large Structures shall be included in the MOU. To the extent compatible with ICANN's stated objectives, each RALO may propose additional criteria and standards to encourage the type of structure that best fits the customs and character of various countries in its Geographic Region.
  6. A RALO shall be an entity that facilitates informed participation of individual Internet users via At-Large Structures, with openness, participatory opportunities (enable individual Internet users to discuss and make recommendations on ICANN issues and activities), transparency (activities documented and publicly available on the Internet), accountability (demonstrate its activities and procedures comply with ICANN requirements), and diversity (geographic, occupational, etc.) in its structure and procedures.
  7. Each RALO must acknowledge these requirements and commit to assisting with the submission to the ALAC of ALS applications from entities based in its Geographic Region.
  8. To help ensure individual Internet user participation and the protection of individual internet users' interests, each RALO shall commit to periodically reviewing (at least once annually) the results of their cooperation under the MOU and, when appropriate, will recommend improvements in the MOU and make suitable proposals for modifying and updating the arrangements and scope of the MOU.
  9. The RALO will define a transparent process for selecting 2 individuals from its region (the individuals may not be citizens of the same country) to serve as members of the ALAC.
  10. The RALO will commit to serving as the main forum and coordination point for input from individual Internet users to ICANN in its region and to working with the ALAC and ICANN in conducting the following activities:
    • Keeping the community of individual Internet users in their region informed about the significant news from ICANN;
    • Distributing (through posting or otherwise), in languages appropriate for its region, news about ICANN and information about items in the ICANN policy-development process of interest to individual Internet users in its Geographic Region;
    • Promoting outreach activities in the community of individual Internet users in its region;
    • Developing and maintaining on-going information and education programs in its region, regarding ICANN and its work;
    • Making public, and analyzing, ICANN's proposed policies and its decisions and their (potential) regional impact and (potential) effect on individuals in the region;
    • Offering Internet-based mechanisms that enable discussions among members of ALS in its region; and
    • Establishing mechanisms and processes that enable two-way communication between members of ALS in its region and those involved in ICANN decision-making, so interested individuals can share their views on pending ICANN issues.
    • Periodic review: At-Large Structures and RALOs shall participate in periodic reviews (at least once annually) of how they are contributing to the ALAC charter and fostering informed participation of individual Internet users in ICANN, and they will contribute to the ALAC's reports to the ICANN Board on the structure, activities and results of the ALAC and the At-Large infrastructure.

IV. Proposed procedures for Board review of ALAC certification decisions:

ALAC decisions to certify or de-certify an At-Large Structure are subject to review according to procedures to be established by the Board. The ALAC proposes that review procedures be established, as proposed below:

  • A request for review of an ALAC decision to certify or de-certify an ALS would be required to be filed within 60 days after the ALAC posts notice of the action on its web site. Requests for review would be submitted by email to xxxxxx. No particular form is required, but requesting parties would include at least the following information:
  • name, address, and contact information for the requesting party (including postal and email addresses);
  • the specific action for which review is sought;
  • the date of the action;
  • the facts supporting the request for review;
  • the grounds on which the Board should conduct its review; and
  • any documents the requesting party wishes to submit in support of its request.

The ICANN Board will appoint three of its Directors to consider such requests and conduct the reviews. The Board appointed review group will notify the ALAC of the request for review. The review group may request additional information from all parties involved in the review, as well as other sources. Requests for review and the Board review group's activities and decisions will be made public on the ICANN website. The review group may, in its discretion, grant a party's request to keep certain information confidential. For any matters that the review group determines not to disclose, the review group's decision will describe in general terms the nature of the information and the reason for nondisclosure.

The review group will endeavor to complete its work and issue its final decision within 30 days of the filing of the request; its decision will be made public on the ICANN web site.

To protect against abuse of the review process, a request for review may be dismissed by the review group where it is frivolous, non-substantive, or otherwise abusive.

V. Proposed Application for "At-Large Structure" (ALS) Designation:

Contact information

  1. Organization's Name:
  2. Organization's email address:
  3. Organization's phone number (include country/city codes):
  4. Organization's address (location and postal address, if different):
  5. Organization's website (URL) (if available):
  6. Organization's contact for ALS application (email, phone, address):

Description

  1. Is your organization constituted so that participation by individual Internet users who are citizens or residents of countries within the Geographic Region in which your organization is based will predominate in your organization's operation?
  2. Describe your organization's constituents/membership (number, citizenship/location, defining characteristic - e.g. profession for professional societies):
  3. Explain the eligibility requirements (if any) for your organization's constituents/membership (if you provide a written application for admission as a member, you may attach a copy):
  4. In what language/s does your organization conduct its business?
  5. Provide support for the statement that your organization is self-supporting (by answering "yes" you confirm that it will not rely on ICANN for funding):
  6. Describe your organization's structure (e.g. governing and decision-making bodies and processes):
  7. Does your organization commit to supporting its individual constituents'/membership's informed participation in ICANN?
  8. Describe how your organization keeps its constituents/membership informed about, and enables them to participate in, decisions regarding issues of interest:
  9. Does your organization post on the Internet publicly-accessible, current information about your organization's goals, structure, description of constituent group(s)/membership, working mechanisms, leadership, and contact(s) (if this information currently is available, provide URLs)?
  10. Provide information on your organization's leadership (leaders' names, positions, emails):

Objectives

  1. What is your organization's primary goal or mission (please attach any mission or policy statement for your organization, if in writing, or provide a URL, if posted):
  2. What ICANN-related issues currently are of interest to your organization's constituents/membership:
  3. If formed, will your organization commit to assisting the Regional At-Large Organization (RALO) for the region in which your organization is based in performing its function?

Signature

(Include the name, and title, if applicable, of the individual who is authorized by your organization to sign this application and commit your organization to comply with ALS criteria.)

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