Historical Resolution Tracking Feature » Enhancing Openness and Transparency – Board Deliberations

Important note: The explanatory text provided through this database (including the summary, implementation actions, identification of related resolutions, and additional information) is an interpretation or an explanation that has no official authority and does not represent the purpose behind the Board actions, nor does any explanations or interpretations modify or override the Resolutions themselves. Resolutions can only be modified through further act of the ICANN Board.

Enhancing Openness and Transparency – Board Deliberations

Resolution of the ICANN Board
Enhancing Openness and Transparency – Board Deliberations

Enhancing Openness and Transparency – Board Deliberations

ICANN Structures
Meeting Date: 
Sun, 15 May 2016
Resolution Number: 
2016.05.15.13 – 2016.05.15.14
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, the Board believes that providing increased access to Board deliberations is important, and that increased openness is an important means of working toward that goal.

Whereas, the ICANN Board discussed at its Amsterdam workshop how to improve its functioning and agreed that enhancing the visibility into the Board deliberations and decision-making processes was an important part of becoming more accountable and more transparent.

Whereas, the Board noted the call from the community for increased openness and transparency.

Whereas, the Board believes that a positive first step towards increased openness is publicly posting transcripts and/or recordings of its deliberative sessions to the extent that such information or dialogue is not subject to confidentiality restrictions or privilege.

Resolved (2016.05.15.13), the Board directs the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to work with the Board to develop a proposed plan for the publication of transcripts and/or recordings of Board deliberative sessions, with such plan to include an assessment of possible resources costs and fiscal impact, and draft processes to: (i) ensure the accuracy of the transcript; and (ii) for redaction of portions of the transcript that should be maintained as confidential or privileged.

Resolved (2016.05.15.14), the Board expects to evaluate the plan in Helsinki, and if satisfactory to begin testing of the proposed processes relating to publication of transcripts and/or recordings of the Board's deliberative sessions as soon as practicable after Helsinki.

Rationale for Resolution: 

In support of the continued call for visibility into Board deliberations and processes, the Board has determined to make available transcripts or recordings, where appropriate, of the Board's deliberative sessions. This effort to enhance openness is likely to also support the ICANN community in enhancing ICANN's accountability, as it will reduce questions of how and why the Board reaches its decisions. This decision also directly supports ICANN's previous efforts and the continued goal of operating as openly and transparently in its decision-making. ICANN is also acting consistently with the ICANN's Bylaws, as set out in Article III, section 1 of the ICANN Bylaws, that, "ICANN and its constituent bodies shall operate to the maximum extent feasible in an open and transparent manner and consistent with procedures designed to ensure fairness." (ICANN Bylaws at https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/governance/bylaws-en - III.)

There will be issues before the Board for which confidentiality is still required, and that may require redaction of parts or withholding of full transcripts, and it is important that the community and the Board understand how those decisions will be taken. To that end, the Board is directing the development of a plan, which would include proposed processes by which those redaction decisions for confidentiality and privilege are to be made. That plan should be developed as soon as practicable, and should be ready for Board consideration during ICANN56 in Helsinki.

This decision will not have any impact on the security, stability or resiliency of the DNS. Implementation of this decision may involve increased costs, including, risk and fiscal impact for ICANN.

This is an organizational administrative function for which public comment is not required, but such input may be useful at a later point depending upon the plan