Historical Resolution Tracking Feature » Decommissioning of the New gTLD Program Committee

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Decommissioning of the New gTLD Program Committee

Resolution of the ICANN Board
Decommissioning of New gTLD Program Committee

The ICANN Board of Directors approves the decommissioning of New gTLD Program Committee

ICANN Structures
Meeting Date: 
Thu, 22 Oct 2015
Resolution Number: 
2015.10.22.15 – 2015.10.22.16
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, in order to have efficient meetings and take appropriate actions with respect to the New gTLD Program, on 10 April 2012, the Board took action to create the New gTLD Program Committee (“NGPC”) in accordance with Article XII of the Bylaws.

Whereas, the Board delegated decision-making authority to the NGPC as it relates to the New gTLD Program for the current round of the Program and for the related Applicant Guidebook that applies to this current round.

Whereas, the reasons that led to the formation of the NGPC no longer exist as they did at formation.

Whereas, the Board Governance Committee (“BGC”) has considered the necessity of maintaining the NGPC as a standing committee of the Board, and recommended that the Board decommission the NGPC.

Resolved (2015.10.22.15), the ICANN Board New gTLD Program Committee is hereby decommissioned.

Resolved (2015.10.22.16), the Board wishes to acknowledge and thank the NGPC Chair and all of its members for the considerable energy, time, and skills that members of the NGPC brought to the oversight of the 2012 round of the New gTLD Program.

Rationale for Resolution: 

Section 1, Article XII of the ICANN Bylaws provide that the Board may establish or eliminate Board committees, as the Board deems appropriate. (Bylaws, Art. XII, § 1.) The Board has delegated to the BGC the responsibility for periodically reviewing and recommending any charter adjustments to the charters of Board committees deemed advisable. (See BGC Charter at http://www.icann.org/en/committees/board-governance/charter.htm.)

In an effort to streamline operations and maximize efficiency, the BGC reviewed the necessity and appropriateness of moving forward with the current slate of standing Board committees. At the time of formation, the Board determined that establishing the New gTLD Program Committee (“NGPC”) as a new committee without conflicted Board members, and delegating to it decision making authority, would provide some distinct advantages. First, it would eliminate any uncertainty for actual, potential or perceived conflicted Board members with respect to attendance at Board meetings and workshops since the New gTLD Program topics could be dealt with at the Committee level. Second, it would allow for actions to be taken without a meeting by the Committee. As the Board is aware, actions without a meeting cannot be taken unless done via electronic submission by unanimous consent; such unanimous consent cannot be achieved if just one Board member is conflicted. Third, it would provide the community with a transparent view into the Board’s commitment to dealing with actual, potential or perceived conflicts.

After review, the BGC determined that reasons that lead to the formation of the NGPC no longer exist as they did at formation. At this time, only two voting members of the Board are conflicted with respect to new gTLDs and as a result do not serve on the NGPC. Three of the four Board non-voting liaisons are conflicted and do not serve on the NGPC. Additionally, staff is at the tail end of implementing the current round of the New gTLD Program. All New gTLD Program processes have been exercised1, and a majority of unique gTLD strings have been delegated or are near delegation. Specifically, as of 30 September 2015, over 750 new gTLDs have been delegated. Numerous review and community activities are currently underway that will likely inform when the next round will take place and how it will be carried out.

In making its recommendation to the Board, the BGC noted, and the Board agrees, that decommissioning the NGPC does not mean that the topics addressed by the NGPC no longer exist, or are of any less import. The Board shall continue maintaining general oversight and governance over the New gTLD Program, and continue to provide strategic and substantive guidance on New gTLD-related topics as the current round of the Program comes to a conclusion. For example, there are active matters being considered by the NGPC, such as GAC advice concerning the protection for Intergovernmental Organizations, and matters that are subject to ICANN’s accountability mechanisms (e.g. Requests for Reconsideration and Independent Review Processes). As a result of this resolution, the full Board will take up these matters at future meetings and address any conflict issues as appropriate.

In taking this action, the Board also reinforces its commitment to the 8 December 2011 Resolution of the Board (Resolution 2011.12.08.19) regarding Board member conflicts, and specifying in part: “Any and all Board members who approve any new gTLD application shall not take a contracted or employment position with any company sponsoring or in any way involved with that new gTLD for 12 months after the Board made the decision on the application.”

It is not anticipated that there will be direct fiscal impacts on ICANN associated with the adoption of this resolution, and approval of this resolution will not impact security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the domain name system.

This decision is an Organizational Administrative Function that does not require public comment.

1 As of 31 July 2015, two of the seven major Program processes defined in the Applicant Guidebook are complete (i.e. Application Window and Application Evaluation), and two are approximately 90% complete (i.e. Dispute Resolution and Contention Resolution). Contracting and Pre-Delegation Testing are well over halfway complete, while Delegation is approximately 52% complete.