NAMES COUNCIL MEETINGS

PROCESS AND PROCEDURAL RULES


DRAFT FOR REVIEW AND COMMENT


CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

Tab No.

Introductory Remarks

1

Summary Sheet for Chair of NC

2

PowerPoint: Process and Procedural Rules Presentation (Also Available: PowerPoint File for Printing. When printing, be sure to include the Notes on each slide. In PowerPoint 2000, do this by choosing Print What: Notes Page in the File-Print dialog box.)

3

Outline ofProcedures for NC Chair

4

Suggested Principles for Working Groups

5

Adaptation for LA Meeting

6

Sample Speakerís Log

7

Standard Agenda

8

Conversion Chart

9

Taxonomy of Proposals

10

Template for Motions

11

 



Cambridge, October 25, 1999

 

Dear Names Council Members:

 

††††††††††† Thank you for inviting us to participate and contribute in your efforts to come up with a workable Domain Name System.We hope to facilitate the objectives of the Names Council, namely, advising the ICANN board with respect to policy issues relating to the Domain Name System.[1]We have therefore provided a set of procedural rules that the Names Council can adhere to when formulating consensus recommendations.Enclosed are our suggestions for the Names Council meeting procedures, as well as our conception of how the Names Council formulates recommendations and presents them to the ICANN board.While the rest of this package will explain in detail the procedures we suggest and the reasons for their adoption, this brief letter will attempt to highlight some of the themes and policies that underlie our choices and motivate our reasoning.We hope you find these comments and procedures to be helpful as you tackle the DNS issues ahead.

 

Principles Governing the DNSO Process

 

Participation

 

††††††††††† Participation of both Names Council members and the general public is of the utmost importance to the DNSO process.Names Council recommendations are generated from the bottom up. This means that all interested parties can generate proposals to consider topics, which must subsequently be dealt with and studied by the Names Council.It is only after broad participation at all levels that Names Council recommendations are submitted to the ICANN board. The ICANN bylaws require Supporting Organizations to be formed through community consensus to ensure that the full range of views of all interested parties is fairly and adequately reflected.[2]More specifically, the Names Council is not to act on any report or recommendation until a reasonable time for public comment has elapsed.The Names Council is responsible for ensuring that all views have been heard and considered prior to a decision by the NC.[3]In our suggested procedure, we have attempted to devise rules to encourage as much public participation as possible whilst simultaneously maintaining efficiency.

 

Transparency

 

††††††††††† Keeping the process open is the best way to keep people involved and encourage participation.This is reflected in the ICANN bylaws which recognize that the Corporation and its subordinate entities shall operate in an open and transparent manner, in accordance with procedures designed to ensure fairness.[4]The more information the public has access to, the more involved they can be. It is our intention that these rules will make the DNSO process more transparent by better defining the mechanisms under which it operates.

 

Efficiency

†††††††††††

This principle, which can be found implicitly in the ICANN by-laws, is sometimes juxtaposed to transparency and participation.First, the Names Council is responsible for managing the consensus building process. [5]Second, it is the final arbiter for evaluating and making recommendations to the ICANN board.[6]Furthermore, since Names Council members have other obligations in addition to their activities with ICANN, we recognize the importance of efficient substantive discussion of agenda proposals when the Names Council meets.Thus, our proposed procedure often places as much weight on efficiency as on participation and transparency.

 

Flexibility

†††††††††††

The role of flexibility will necessarily be limited by any set of procedures.Nevertheless, we have attempted to keep the suggested procedures sufficiently pliable to allow the Names Council to address urgent issues quickly and efficiently.

 

Highlights of the Process

 

The Chair

†††††††††††

It is the Chairís responsibility to facilitate discussion whilst remaining impartial and guiding the Names Council through the agenda.One of the issues we addressed was potential abuse of the power of the Chair, but we were also concerned that a weak Chair would impede the efficiency and overall success of NC meetings.We ultimately recommended a stronger Chair, and yet suggested that a simple majority should be able to remove the Chair. This will highlight the fact that the Chair serves only with the approval of the rest of the Names Council.We felt it to be more effective to elect a Chair for an extended period, i.e. of six months, because we expect each Chair to benefit from the cumulative experience of his duties and sustained exposure to the procedure.

 

Before the Meeting: Setting the Agenda

 

††††††††††† Setting the agenda for future meetings is an area in which we made considerable changes.The foremost change is our requirement that 'proposals to consider a topic' be submitted in writing to an Intake Committee and that a small quorum of Names Council members vote them into the agenda. (All other proposals must be submitted in writing to the Chair who will then add them to the agenda, either as separate items or under one of the standard agenda items.)We understand that this procedure adds another layer to the preparations for each meeting, but we believe that our procedure will reflect this increased investment. Suggesting topics of discussion in advance provides members with more time to consider upcoming issues.Moreover, written submission of proposals encourages thoughtful formulation and allows for friendly suggestions on wording and substance prior to the meeting itself.We also believe that the meeting will run more smoothly if 'proposals to consider a topic' have already been formulated in a way that encourages debate over the substance of the topic rather than over its form.Finally, if 'proposals to consider a topic' as well as the actual agenda are posted online, interested stakeholders will have more time to understand what the Names Council is doing, thereby enhancing transparency.This will encourage interested observers to attend Names Council meetings, building trust between the interested parties, and ultimately adding to ICANNís credibility and competence as a governing organization.

 

Discussion and Debate

†††††††††††

While Names Council member participation in discussion is important, we feel that allowing unlimited discussion time would lead to prolonged debate without any resolution.In the interests of efficiency, we have limited the amount of time each Names Council member may speak on a certain topic.We have also provided for procedures to table proposals not yet ready to be discussed.Understanding that time limits may sometimes be a hindrance rather than a help, we have also included provisions for adding speaking time when desired.

Motions Practice

†††††††††††

The motions practice procedures we suggest strike a balance between our desire to adopt a structured system, and our hope of creating a simple system of procedures that can be easily utilized by everyone.Ultimately, we decided not to use Robertís Rules of Order on Parliamentary Procedure because of their complexity.Our underlying concern is the possible manipulation by experts which can add obstructive turgidity to substantive discussion.We have attempted to remove arcane and unnecessary rules, thereby stripping these procedures to the applicable elements alone.In this way we have tried to make the learning process as painless and practical as possible, although we do realize that the procedures might still take time to internalize.

 

Amendments

†††††††††††

We have eliminated all use of amendments during Names Council meetings.Instead, we have allowed for a limited number of motions that are to be submitted in writing during the meeting. When a member brings one of the four possible motions, other members may make 'friendly' amendments. The mover then has the discretion to decide whether he wishes to change his motion, or whether he wants to risk having the motion voted down. A system of 'friendly' amendments allows for a limited discussion on motions, while leaving the ultimate decision of whether or not to adopt them with the original mover. Furthermore, the agenda setting process that takes place before the actual Names Council meeting should serve as an adequate forum to make suggestions and changes to proposals.Formal amendments during a meeting are complicated, time consuming and can easily become a source of confusion.

 

The New Role of the Working Groups

 

††††††††††† Another major change we suggest is increasing the responsibility for writing and reporting on the Working Groups.In essence the Names Council should allow Working Group's to act as the 'quill' for their recommendations whilst retaining control of the Groupís mandate. Holding the 'quill' implies researching topics, organizing this into structured and detailed presentations, and acting as the resident 'experts' on particular subjects.It does not mean that the Working Group will be the sole author of the recommendation. We believe that shifting the 'quill' from the Names Council to Working Groups is critical for the practical efficacy of our suggested procedures. When necessary, however, the Names Council may still temporarily take over the 'quill' function from a Working Group.The Names Council should ideally be presented with Working Group reports, incorporating both Names Council discussion and comment, ready to be voted either up or down.Designation of Working Groups as the primary 'quill' of Names Council recommendations will enable the Names Council to concentrate on discussing substantive issues rather than trying to formulate the text of such recommendations during their meetings.

 

Public Participation

 

One issue left outstanding in our proposal is the degree of public participation at Names Council meetings. It is our understanding that currently there is time set aside at the end of Names Council meetings for questions and answers (Q&A) between Names Council members and the public.Our concern, on one hand, is that there will be insufficient time for this important part of the meeting. On the other hand, allowing the public to interject at any time during the meeting may jeopardize the effective discussion of agenda items by all Names Council members.We recommend that Names Council members continue to bear this important subject in mind, and, meanwhile, that the NC proceed to take questions from the public at the discretion of the chair.

 

Final Comments

 

When reading our suggestions we advise the reader to keep in mind that our procedures are directed towards plenary Names Council meetings, rather than teleconferences or online discussion.Our suggestions concentrate on dealing with agenda items that consist of submitted 'proposals to consider a topic'.These proposals are to be distinguished from all others.Although, the bottom-up process does not apply to the latter, we suggest that our rules on discussing a 'proposal to consider a topic' apply to all discussion during a Names Council meeting.Finally, when looking at the PowerPoint presentation, please look for the text under each slide.This text can be found by pressing one of the icons at the bottom right of the page. The icon to bring up the notes and explanation of the slide has a white square and two lines under it.

 

††††††††††† Again, we thank you for giving us the opportunity to participate and contribute to this exciting project.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Alexis Coppedge

Shaheed Fatima

Tony Lim

Hanneke van der Tas

 

The Berkman Center for Internet and Society



SUMMARY SHEET:

FOR CHAIR OF NAMES COUNCIL

 

 

 

 

1.     Chair is chosen by majority vote for a term of six months

2.     Chair begins meeting with statement of agenda

3.     Late amendments to agenda must be written and receive a majority vote to be added

4.     Chair directs meeting and all comments are directed to the Chair

5.     The Chair moves through agenda items

6.     There are two kinds of agenda items

a)     Proposals to consider a topic (bottom-up process applicable)

b)     All other agenda items (NC can decide to apply bottom-up process)

7.     Agenda items consisting of proposals to consider a topic subjected to immediate vote (exception: procedural motion to take a non-binding vote)

8.     Chair maintains an ordered list of members who wish to speak and recognizes them in turn

9.     Each member may speak two times per topic for a maximum of 3 minutes each time.

a)     No member may speak twice until all members have had a chance to speak once

b)     Members cannot reserve time for themselves or other members

c)     Additional time may be provided by motion and vote

d)     Clarification questions may be raised (yellow card)

10.  There are four types of motions

a)     Procedural motions (allowed at all times) (red card)

b)     Motion to formulate Working Group mandate (only after vote to submit agenda item to working group)

c)     Drafting motions (only applies to WG reports)

d)     Substantive motions (not allowed for agenda items consisting or proposals to consider a topic)

11.  Only 'friendly' amendments to motions or proposals allowed: the mover can decide whether to adopt them or not

12.  Proposals are debated and voted on as submitted; simple majority vote is needed to pass






PowerPoint: Process and Procedural Rules Presentation (Also Available: PowerPoint File for Printing. When printing, be sure to include the Notes on each slide. In PowerPoint 2000, do this by choosing Print What: Notes Page in the File-Print dialog box.)





OUTLINE FOR THE CHAIR

Agenda Items Consisting of 'Proposals to Consider a Topic'

 

1.The Chair Moves to Agenda Item Consisting of 'Proposal to Consider a Topic'

2.Vote (On How to Deal with 'Proposal to Consider a Topic')

  1. The Chair Moves to vote on how NC wishes to deal with proposal
  2. Procedural motion for non-binding vote possible at all times
  3. Voting options:

1.      Vote to discard issue (3/4 majority needed)

2.      Vote to send directly (without discussion) to working group (majority needed)

  1. If proposal is neither discarded nor sent to a working group, discussion follows automatically
  2. Voting procedures: NC members raise hands to vote
  3. The Chair announces the result of the vote

3. Discussion of 'Proposals to Consider Topic' (also applicable to ALL other Agenda Items)

a.Discussion of 'proposal to consider a topic' - obtaining and assigning the floor

1.      A member raises his hand to identify himself

2.      Chair established order of speaking

3.      Chair recognizes speaker

b. Discussion of 'proposal to consider a topic' - procedural rules

1.      All members have the chance to speak twice

2.      Every member can speak for a maximum of three minutes each turn

3.      Members may not reserve unused time, or reallocate it to another member

4.      No member may speak again until all others have had the chance to speak once

5.      Discussion must be limited to the merits of the agenda item

c. Discussion of 'proposal to consider a topic' - types of motions

1.      Procedural motions (altering standard procedure), e.g.:

a.      Recess

b.      Non-binding vote to take temperature

c.      Add time for discussion

d.      Tabling of agenda item in favor of:

                                     i.      E-mail/Listserv discussion

                                    ii.      Teleconference

                                   iii.      Next meeting

2.      No substantive motions to amend proposal to consider a topic allowed

3.      Motions to formulate working group mandate

4.      'Drafting' motions

5.      'Friendly' amendments to above motions; at mover's discretion to adopt or not

4.The Chair Moves to Vote on 'Proposal to Consider Topic'

1.      Chair moves to vote after conclusion of the discussion

2.      Voting options:

a.      Vote to fast-track: no need for WG input (NC I); send on for public comment

b.      Vote to send on/back to Working Group (this time after NC discussion has taken place)

                                     i.      NC can discuss formulation (designation, formulation of WG task, and setting of time limit) of Working Group immediately

                                    ii.      NC can table formulation of Working Group

c.      Vote to send on for public comment (NC II)

d.     Vote to send on to ICANN Board

e. Table

3. If none of above: 'proposal to consider' a topic is automatically discarded

4.      Voting procedures: NC members raise hands to vote

5.      Chair announces the result of the vote

 

5.Consequences of Vote to Send Proposal to Consider Topic on to Working Group (Immediately/After Discussion): Motions to Formulate Working Group Mandates

a.Designation of Working Group: Motions to designate Working Group members

b.Formulation of Working Group task: Motions to formulate Working Group mandate

c.Setting of time limit: Motions to set time limit

5.The Chair moves to the Next Agenda Item

 

OUTLINE FOR THE CHAIR

All other Agenda Items

 

1.      The Chair moves to the Next Agenda Item

2.      Discussion of Agenda Item

a.Discussion of agenda items in general - obtaining and assigning the floor

i.      A member raises his hand to identify himself

ii.      Chair established order of speaking

iii.      The Chair recognizes speaker

b.Discussion of agenda item in general - procedural rules

i.      All members have the chance to speak twice

ii.      Every member can speak for a maximum of three minutes each turn

iii.      You may not reserve unused time, or reallocate it to another member

iv.      No member may speak again until everyone has had the chance to speak once

v.   Discussion must be limited to the merits of the agenda item

c. Discussion of agenda item in general - types of motions

i.      Procedural motions (altering standard procedure), e.g.:

A.      Recess

B.       Non-binding vote to take temperature

C.      Add time for discussion

D.      Tabling of agenda item in favor of:

                              i. E-mail/Listserv discussion

                              ii. Teleconference

                              iii.Next meeting

E.      Substantive motions allowed

F.      Motions to formulate working group mandate

G.      'Drafting' motions

H.   'Friendly' amendments to above motions; discretion of mover to adopt or not

3.The Chair Moves to Vote on Agenda Item

4.The Chair moves to the Next Agenda Item

 

 

 

 

 


WORKING GROUP PRINCIPLES

We understand that there is a Working Group dealing with Working Group issues. Nevertheless, we have some suggestions of guiding principles for the formation of the Groups and their relationship with the Names Council.

We envision Working Groups acting as the primary quill throughout the DNSO process.†† According to this model, they should research, organize and express all views relating to the topic under consideration. Where a Working Group report is sent on for public comment, we believe it should be the Group's responsibility to gather, evaluate, and incorporate public opinion into its report. As an advisory body to the Names Council, the Working Group should describe all possible courses of action regarding a 'proposal to consider a topic'. Working Group reports should ideally be detailed and adhere to all principles stated in the ICANN bylaws.

 



ADAPTATION FOR LOS ANGELES MEETING

 

Since the deadlines for submitting proposals to the Intake Committee have passed and the agenda has already been set, the LA meeting should begin to follow the proposed procedures with the adoption of the agenda. In other words, all amendments/additions to the agenda must be submitted to the Chair in writing. The Chair will then read the amendments/additions to the agenda to the Names Council before proceeding with a vote.



SAMPLE SPEAKERS LOG[7]

 

 

 

 

Member Name

First Pass

Second Pass

Abril, Amadeu

 

 

Chicoine, Caroline

 

 

Cohen, Jonathan

 

 

Echeberria, Raul

 

 

Englund, Jon

 

 

Harris, Antonio

 

 

Hotta, Hirofumi

 

 

Jennings, Dennis

 

 

Kleinman, Kathryn

 

 

Lindsay, Richard

 

 

Park, Youn Jung

 

 

Poblete, Patricio

 

 

Roberts, Nigel

 

 

Schneider, Michael

 

 

Shapiro, Ted

 

 

Sola, Javier

 

 

Stubbs, Ken

 

 

Swinehart, Theresa

 

 

Telage, Don

 

 

 


SAMPLE NAMES COUNCIL AGENDA

 

 

 

 

We suggest the following outline of the manner in which Names Council business should be conducted in order to help with the structure and flow of pending plenary meetings. This is intended to act as a flexible guide rather than as the concrete way in which business must be ordered. Any variables that arise may be incorporated into the agenda as, and when, is deemed appropriate.

----------------------------------------------

 

1.     Welcome/recognize any new NC members

2.     Adoption of agenda

3.     Constituencies updates

4.     Working Groups updates

5.     Consideration of Policy Proposals

6.     Outstanding electoral issues

7.     Internal administration

8.     Budget

9.     Forthcoming teleconferences and meetings

10.  Forthcoming plenary meeting

11.  Other business

12.  Q&A from the public

 

 



CONVERSION CHART

 

In order to facilitate the tallying during the voting process, the following are suggested conversions from proportions to raw numbers of Names Council member votes required.

Proportion of Votes

Number of Members (assuming 19 total)

3/4 majority

15

2/3 majority

13

Majority

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Taxonomy of Proposals

 

The main distinction we have made is between 'proposals to consider a topic' and all other proposals.'Proposals to consider a topic' can be submitted by the ICANN Board, the General Assembly, other Supporting Organizations, Names Council members(s), and, finally, by one or more of the Constituencies.'Proposals to consider a topic' are meant to go through the bottom-up process in order to become Names Council recommendations to the ICANN Board. This means that they must be submitted to the Intake Committee. The flowchart and rules set out in the accompanying PowerPoint presentation apply to these proposals once they have become agenda items.

 

All other proposals do not necessarily have to comply with the bottom-up process. Should the Names Council wish, it may vote that these proposals should also be subjected to the bottom-up procedure. The rules we suggest for application during Names Council meetings do apply to the discussion of these proposals. These proposals, not requiring consideration of a topic, can be added to the agenda independently or in conjunction with 'standard' agenda items. In order to be added to the agenda they must be submitted in writing to the Chair who must subsequently actually put them on the agenda. These proposals can also be made during the discussion of an agenda item. In this case, they are put before the Names Council in the form of substantive motions. These motions must be in writing.

 

Proposals not constituting 'proposals to consider a topic' could relate to any one of the following items:

 

 


Template for Motions

Procedural Motions

I move we ________________.

Motions to Formulate Working Group Mandate

I move that we designate existing Working Group ______ to prepare a report on the topic currently under consideration.

I move that we designate a new Working Group to prepare a report on the topic currently under consideration.

I move that following Names Council member be elected to the position of new Working Group Chair __________________________.

I move that we formulate the Working Groupís task as follows________________.

I move that we have following option considered by Working Group_____________________.

I move that the Working Group add the following to its report _____________________.

I move that we set the following time limit for the Working Group ______________, and present the following within that time frame __________________.

'Drafting' motions

I move that we strike following option from the Working Group report ___________________.

I move that we replace this Working Group proposal with the following ___________________.

Substantive motions

I move that the Names Council adopt following proposal _______________________.

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] ICANN Bylaws, Article VI-B, Section 1(a): Description

[2] ICANN Bylaws, Article VI, Section 3: Supporting Organization Formation

[3] ICANN Bylaws, Article VI-B, Section 2(b)

[4] ICANN Bylaws, Article III, Section 1. General

[5] Article VI-B, Section 2(b)

[6] Article VI-B, Section 2(c)

[7] To be updated by the Secretariat.