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Openness and Transparency: ICANN Takes an Important Step in the Right Direction

Over the years I have been critical of ICANN’s inability on several occasions to match its words on openness, transparency and accountability with its actions. Therefore, it was a very pleasant surprise to see ICANN post the Board briefing documents in connection with two of its last three Board meetings (June 25th and April 22nd).

In connection with my 10-1 Reconsideration Request I had specifically requested that:

In addition, it is specifically requested that the staff briefing papers that are provided to the ICANN Board in advance of their Board meeting be publicly posted on the ICANN website in connection with the proposed Agenda seven (7) days before a meeting of the Board.

While these Board briefing papers have been posted after the Board meeting, and not before as I had originally requested, it is an important step in the right direction and for that these actions by ICANN should be applauded. Also encouraging in connection with the most recent 5 August 2010 Board meeting was the availability of the adopted resolution within 24 hours after the meeting. While I had requested that these resolutions be posted immediately after the conclusion of the meeting in my Reconsideration Request, this is still a positive change that needs to be recognized and applauded.

Keep up the good work!

By Michael D. Palage, Intellectual Property Attorney and IT Consultant

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Less impressed Kieren McCarthy  –  Aug 18, 2010 1:01 AM

I’m less impressed Mike.

The proof is in the eating. And in this case there are very few nutrients and lots of added water. I’m written a blog post covering the actual contents in depth: http://bit.ly/crJSe6.


With the link working... Kieren McCarthy  –  Aug 18, 2010 1:02 AM

And with the link live... http://bit.ly/crJSe6 Kieren

I'd be interested in reading your comments Kevin Murphy  –  Aug 18, 2010 1:06 AM

I’d be interested in reading your comments after you’ve read the documents.

Kevin,During my three year tenure on the Michael D. Palage  –  Aug 18, 2010 1:24 AM

Kevin, During my three year tenure on the ICANN Board I tried to make these documents public on numerous occasions. While there is 21% of the material that has been redacted per Kieren's analysis, it actually gives the community a better picture of the volume of material that an ICANN Board member must digest before a Board meeting, in addition to a flurry of ICANN Board mailing list traffic. As stated in my response to Kieren, this is a step in the right direction, one that I have been waiting for over six years. Hopefully I will not have to wait another three years for the next Transparency and Accountability Review Team for ICANN to take the next step in the right direction.

I am trying to be optimistic .... Michael D. Palage  –  Aug 18, 2010 1:14 AM


Kudos on your detailed analysis. In fact I probably agree with your overall grade (B-). However after years of Big Red Fs, I hope that you can appreciate my excitement.  As I said in my article, it is a step in the right direction. Is the journey complete - no. But I sure like the journey lying ahead beginning with a B- as opposed to a F.

As always I appreciate your insight and feedback.

Fair enough Kieren McCarthy  –  Aug 18, 2010 2:01 AM

Well, we can agree that it's progress. I am frustrated though by the fact it comes from the Board because it feels under threat and under pressure. And more frustrated that some of the staff have given as little as possible despite a clear Board resolution (although the new policy head may be a welcome exception). The whole dynamic is wrong. I'm sick of obvious improvements having to be dragged out of reluctant people. Kieren

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