ICANN: Proposed Fundamentals Bylaws Changes to Move the Board Governance Committee’s Reconsideration Process Responsibilities to Another Board Committee

31 Mar 2017 - 10 May 2017


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is seeking public comment on proposed revisions of its Fundamental Bylaws.

The proposed revisions would move the responsibility for oversight of ICANN's Reconsideration Request process, as set out in Article 4, Section 4.2 of the Bylaws, from the Board Governance Committee (BGC) to a new Board committee purpose-built for oversight of ICANN's accountability mechanisms. The new Board Committee would be calld 'Board Accountability Mechanisms Committee', and would be formed solely of Board Directors and Liaisons. 

One of ICANN's key accountability mechanisms is the Reconsideration process, where injured parties can ask the Board to reconsider ICANN staff or Board actions. Currently, the BGC is delegated, through the ICANN Bylaws, the responsibility for reviewing and evaluating Reconsideration Requests. However, in the past several years, the BGC's work relating to Reconsideration Requests has increased significantly. As a result of the increased volume of Reconsideration Requests, the BGC was required to focus more of its time on Reconsideration Requests, taking away from the time the BGC had to focus on core governance duties. Under the new ICANN Bylaws (effective 1 October 2016), the Reconsideration process has been expanded and it is anticipated that the volume and complexity of accountability mechanisms filed, including Reconsideration Requests, will likely increase. In order to maintain ICANN's commitment to accountability, the BGC recommended that its Reconsideration responsibilities be transferred to another committee of the Board, and that new committee can also be dedicated to the oversight of ICANN's other accountability mechanisms as deemed appropriate by the Board.

Under the Bylaws, Article 4, Section 4.2 is part of the Fundamental Bylaws, the group of Bylaws that can only be amended if the ICANN Board and ICANN's Empowered Community approve. Posting the proposed revisions for public comment is a key part of the Fundamental Bylaws approval process.

If, after public comment, the Board approves these proposed Fundamental Bylaws amendments, the Empowered Community will then have an opportunity to consider whether it supports the amendments. If there are no delays or extensions to the public comment proceeding, the timing will allow for the Empowered Community to host a Community Forum on the amendments during ICANN's 59th public meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa (June 2017).

To contribute to this consultation, visit the dedicated webpage.