Notes from a meeting of the Administrative Committee of the ccTLD Constituency
San Jose, 22 June 1999
On the morning of July 22, 1999, members of the Administrative Committee of
the ccTLD Constituency met in San Jose, California. These were:
Nii Quaynor (AFTLD)
Kilnam Chon (APTLD)
Oscar Robles (LACTLD)
Antony Van Couvering (IATLD)
Peter de Blanc (for the NATLD)
Dennis Jennings (CENTR)
On the agenda were the following items:
1. Current Names Council Activities and possible ccTLD constituency responses
2. Procedures for electing Names Council members from the ccTLD constituency (ccTLD-C)
3. Working procedures of the Administrative Committee (AdCom) of the ccTLD-C
4. Creation of a ccTLD-Csecretariat
5. Liaison between the ccTLD-Cand the GAC
6. Functional classification of ccTLDs
Results were as follows:
1. Current Names Council Activities and possible ccTLD-C responses
It was the unanimous opinion of the Administrative Committee (AdCom) that it
was imperative that the ccTLD-C pick its members to sit on the Names Council
of the DNSO, especially considering the speed with which the Names Council
was acting on matters which were of concern to the ccTLDs, to wit:
a. Closing of working groups to participation by interested parties
b. Working on policy instead of procedural issues - this is a "provisional"
Names Council only
c. Holding closed meetings
d. Lack of outreach and notice of upcoming and past activities
e. Attempts to stifle communication by ccTLD Observers on the Names Council
of what they had observed
f. Neglect by the Names Council in its affirmative duties, such as helping
to form the General Assembly.
The AdCom therefore decided that the ccTLD constituency should select
members to the Names Council with the shortest possible delay, especially
considering that the Names Council was holding a meeting on Friday June 25.
BUT several members were concerned that appointing Names Council members
would be a poor idea, because (a) it was undemocratic; (b) the appointed
member would have the unfair advantage of incumbency in an election, and (c)
because it could create dissension within the ccTLD constituency, which
would be harmful to the interests of all members.
THEREFORE the AdCom appointed the following three interim Names Council
Members, but with two important conditions:
Bill Semich (APTLD)
Nii Quaynor (AFTLD)
Fay Howard (CENTR)
The conditions were (1) that an election would be scheduled on a fair but
aggressive schedule, and (2) that the three selected Names Council members
would not be eligible to run in that election. (It should be noted that no
formal rule was put in place regarding these members' standing for election,
but all three indicated that they would not run. This was deemed sufficient
by all members of the AdCom.)
The AdCom also asked Antony Van Couvering to relay the news of the selection
of these three members of the Names Council to the ICANN Board.
Finally, the AdCom drafted the following letter and transmitted it to the
"To the Interim Names Council.
We, the undersigned, being the members of the Initial Administration
Committee of the ccTLD Constituency of the DNSO of ICANN, hereby advise the Interim
Names Council of the DNSO, that the following was adopted at its meeting on
22 June 1999 at San Jose.
Resolved: The Administration Committee of the ccTLD Constituency requests
requires that the Names Council of the DNSO of ICANN open up the Working
Groups of the DNSO to participation by all interested and expert parties,
there be no artificial deadlines or constraints on the times at which such
parties may join the Working Groups, and that all the work of such Working
Groups be conducted openly and transparently.
On behalf of the Administration Committee of the ccTLD Constituency.
Peter de Blanc, Kilnam Chon, Antony Van Couvering, Dennis Jennings, Nii
Quaynor, Oscar Robles."
2. Procedures for electing Names Council members from the ccTLD-C
The AdCom unamimously agreed to announce and hold elections on a schedule to
produce full-fledged Names Council members in time for the ICANN meeting in
Santiago, Chile, which begins August 23, 1999.
There were several problems/issues addressed:
A. Who gets to vote
B. Who will organize the election
C. Who will serve as the "trusted third party" to administer the vote and count ballots
D. Who will cover the costs
E. What is the schedule
A. Who gets to vote - This issue was thrown around at the informal ccTLD
open meeting the day before, and at that time Josh Elliot stepped in to help
out of a difficulty that could have cost us much time and agony. To
paraphrase, he said that it remained the responsibility of IANA to determine
who the authoritative contact(s) were for each ccTLD, and that he would
provide the list. Josh will provide the AdCom with a list of email
addresses for the July 1 announcement of the election, and also for the
balloting. Josh admits that the current IANA list is not perfect; it will
not be perfect for the election either. The AdCom felt that while the
electoral roll will never be perfect, we had no choice but to push on with
the election with the best list possible. The ballots will therefore be
sent to the IANA-supplied list of administrative contacts. This was
unanimously approved by the AdCom.
B. Who will organize the election - Since Nigel Roberts has shown an
understanding and an interest in the subject, the AdCom will ask him to
organize the logistics of the election. Again, this was unanimous.
C. Who will serve as the trusted third party - Nigel has mentioned the
Electoral Reform Society from the UK. If not them, then we will find
another. The administrative committee agreed that we must go ahead, and
therefore we must find the trusted third party, we have no choice.
D. Who will cover the costs - Again, the election must be held, and if there
are costs, they must be covered. Hopefully some of the better-off ccTLDs or
ccTLD groupings will step forward.
E. The election schedule is tentatively scheduled as follows:
July 1 - Official notification that an election will take place by sending
and email to the wwTLD list and to the adminstrative contacts ccTLDs as
determined by an updated list to be supplied by Josh Elliot of the IANA.
July 11 - Nominations are open.
July 25 - The "campaign." Candidates make their statements and try to
convince members to vote for them
August 8 - Balloting begins
August 15 - Balloting ends, votes are counted, and winners are appointed.
3. Working procedures of the ccTLD Constituency Administrative Committee
Openness - The AdCom agreed unanimously that it did not exist as an
executive committee, but rather as a group to manage and facilitate
consensus of its members. (The Adcom recognized its limited role in spite
of the extraordinary step of selecting interim Names Council members. In
this case, the Adcom representatives felt that a strong consensus within
their groups did exist, even if the question had not been put to them
formally.) The Adcom agreed that all committee meetings would be open, and
that where possible electronic remote participation would be made available
(e.g., any member could listen in on a teleconference.) ccTLD-C members who
are not committee members will be asked to listen in, not speak, although it
was felt that this rule could be informally relaxed without objection from
other committee members.
Schedule - A teleconference was scheduled for July 1, for 9 a.m. Eastern
(U.S.) time. Arrangements for a bridge have not yet been made; it is hoped
that a company like MCI will be able to help.
Costs - For teleconferences and the like, it was determined that every
participant must bear his or her own cost, be they a committee member or
not. It was felt that other costs (e.g. the cost of a bridge) could be
apportioned on an ad hoc basis.
Members of the ccTLD-C groups - For the moment, these consist of the
selected representatives of 5 regional groups plus the IATLD. The rule is
that any group of ten or more would be recognized and could appoint a
representative. The question arose, Must the membership of these groups be
mutually exclusive? The committee determined that a member could belong to
more than one group, but that for purposes of voting the member must choose.
In other words, if a question were being put to a group in order to
determine the consensus of that group, the member would have to declare in
which group he or she was voting, and to vote in only that group. As an
example, when choosing representatives for the AdCom, Bill Semich, the
member from .NU who is both a member of the APTLD and the IATLD, would have
to choose whether to as an APTLD member or as an IATLD member; he could not
vote in both groups.
Study Groups - The AdCom decided that it could commission study groups if
necessary. Questions of cost and participation were not addressed.
4. Creation of a ccTLD constituency secretariat
The AdCom thought that it was not a good idea to create a permanent
secretariat yet. Rather, the function of the secretariat should rotate, and
at the moment should rotate on a regional basis, following the ICANN Board
World Tour. Since the next meeting is in Santiago, Oscar Robles of the
LACTLD agreed to perform the function of the Secretariat until that time.
5. Liaison between the ccTLD constituency and the GAC
Andrew McLaughlin, a member of the ICANN staff, stopped in for a half hour
to see if he could help us by answering any questions about the ICANN
bylaws. We asked him about a liaison to the GAC, which has been a large
concern of some members. Specifically, we asked him about the possibility
of a liaison. He replied that it was the view of the ICANN Board that it
was best to forego this idea, for the following reasons: (1) It would be
better to have governments work with each other, in the style that
governments do - that there would be culture clash (2) That a liaison would
be a double-edged sword - If the ccTLD constituency had an Observer in the
GAC meetings, they would want one in our meetings, and (3) It is the policy
of the ICANN Board that Governments have an advisory role only, whereas the
SOs have a much stronger position - the Board will implement SO
recommendations unless there are reasons not to (these are enumerated in the
ICANN Bylaws). Thus governmental involvement in the SOs, even through a
liaison, would constitute an expansion of their powers that the ICANN Board
feels is inappropriate. The Administrative Committee felt that until we
have some evidence that the GAC is influencing the ICANN Board
inappropriately, we should let this sleeping dog lie.
6. Functional classification of ccTLDs
There was a question about whether it would be a good idea to call TLDs
"open" or "closed" or indeed to divide them up in different ways. The idea
was quickly tabled as being inappropriate for the Administrative Committee.
This agenda item was not addressed directly, but throughout the discussion
of the other items it was several times expressed that all ccTLDs should at
a minimum be well informed of the DNSO ccTLD constituency proceedings. It
is hoped that Josh Elliot's improved list will aid in this effort.