The new “Affirmation of Commitments” was, naturally, a major topic at the Seoul ICANN meeting. In the short meeting held to discuss it, ICANN seemed more interested in discussing methodology than in talking about the purpose and scope of the reviews. The audience, however, wanted to talk about accountability. The following comments, circulated afterwards by Becky Burr, reflect the tone of much of the discussion:
“ICANN needs to act on accountability before it can review its accomplishments in this area. If anyone doubts the need for ICANN to develop accessible, practical, affordable accountability tools, they should read the transcript from the recently completed hearing in the first test of ICANN's existing independent review process. ICANN has not posted the transcript, but it is available on the ICM website.
Last February, the President's Strategy Committee (PSC) recommended creation of an experts committee to develop accountability mechanisms for the community's consideration. The PSC recommendation reflected months of work and significant community input. Rather then implement that recommendation, staff sought comment on bylaw changes to create a deficient tribunal to replace the deficient independent review process. The approach, described by staff as an implementation of the PSC recommendations, was developed in a completely non-transparent process and, according to the ICANN posting, without Board input. (“The Board has not yet considered these proposals nor do these proposals represent the views of the Board.”)
I hope members of the ICANN community can overcome comment fatigue and let the Board know by 27 November that it should reject the staff proposal and implement the PSC recommendation to create an experts committee.”