ICANN: Proposed Modification of GNSO PDP Manual to Address the Suspension of a PDP

ICANN logoPurpose (Brief): The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Standing Committee on Improvements Implementation (SCI) is recommending a modification of the GNSO Policy Development Process (PDP) Manual, which is an integral part of the GNSO Operating Procedures, to address the possible termination or suspension of a PDP.
Current Status: As required by the ICANN Bylaws, a public comment forum is hereby initiated on the proposed changes prior to GNSO Council consideration.
Next Steps: Following the closing of the public comment forum, the SCI will review the comments received; revise its recommendations, if deemed appropriate, and; submit these to the GNSO Council for approval

Detailed Information

Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose:

Having encountered the need to suspend a PDP for a limited amount of time, the GNSO Council realized that currently the Policy Development Process (PDP) Manual does not contain a specific provision on how to deal with such a situation. As a result, the GNSO Council requested the SCI in April 2012 to review whether there should be a modification to the GNSO PDP (PDP) Manual to address the possible suspension of a PDP following its initiation. After reaching consensus the SCI opened a public comment period on 22 October 2012 on proposed modifications to the PDP Manual.  Upon the close of that period on 03 December 2013, the SCI further deliberated on the procedures and reached consensus on further modifications to the PDP Manual to address termination and suspension of a PDP.  These proposed modifications to the existing provision on terminating a PDP (section 15) are as follows, with additions in bold and deletions stricken:

The GNSO Council may terminate or suspend* a PDP prior to the publication of a Final Report only for significant cause, upon a motion that passes with a Supermajority Vote in favour of termination or suspension. The following are illustrative examples of possible reasons for a premature termination or suspension of a PDP:

  1. Deadlock. The PDP Team is hopelessly deadlocked and unable to identify recommendations or statements that have either the strong support or a consensus of its members despite significant time and resources being dedicated to the PDP;
  2. Changing Circumstances. Events have occurred since the initiation of the PDP that have rendered the PDP moot, or no longer necessary; or warranting a suspension; or
  3. Lack of Community Volunteers. Despite several calls for participation, the work of the PDP Team is significantly impaired and unable to effectively conclude its deliberations due to lack of volunteer participation.

If there is no recommendation from the PDP Team for its termination, the Council is required to conduct a public comment forum first prior to conducting a vote on the termination of the PDP (as described above).
In the case of a proposed termination of a PDP prior to the issuance of a Final Report or suspension of a PDP upon the recommendation of the PDP Team, the GNSO liaison to the PDP Team shall promptly submit to the Council a written Termination Summary or Suspension Summary specifying the reasons for the recommended action to be taken and, if applicable, the points of view represented in the PDP Team and the consensus status (as defined by the GNSO Working Group Guidelines) at the time such action is recommended. In the event that no PDP Team has been formed or there is no recommendation from the PDP Team for a proposed termination or suspension by the GNSO Council, any GNSO Council member may propose termination or suspension of a PDP.  In the case of such a proposal, the GNSO Council will publicly specify the reasons for the recommended action and will conduct a public comment forum on the proposed termination or suspension prior to conducting the vote.

Upon the request of any Council Member, Advisory Committee or the ICANN Board, the GNSO Council will prepare a formal report on the proposed termination or suspension of a PDP outlining the reasons for the proposed action, current status of the PDP and expected next steps, if any.

*Suspension is a stated time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of the PDP, i.e. all activities are temporarily halted upon a decision of the GNSO Council. A mere change in milestones or schedule of the PDP is not considered a suspension.

As required by the ICANN Bylaws, the SCI is requesting community input on these proposed modifications to the GNSO Operating Procedures.

Section II: Background: 

The Standing Committee on Improvements Implementation (SCI) was established by the GNSO Council on 7 April 2011 to be responsible for reviewing and assessing the effective functioning of recommendations provided by the Operational Steering Committee (OSC) and Policy Process Steering Committee (PPSC) and approved by the GNSO Council. For further information about the SCI and its activities, please see https://community.icann.org/display/gnsosci/Home.

Section III: Document and Resource Links: 

Current version of the GNSO PDP Manual – see gnso.icann.org/council/annex-2-pdp-manual-16dec11-en.pdf [PDF, 126 KB].

Comment / Reply Periods
Comment Open Date:
7 March 2013
Comment Close Date:
6 April 2013