Accountability and Transparency Review Team
The Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT) was one of the four Review Teams created by ICANN to comply with the requirements set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) in the Affirmation of Commitments. The primary objective of the ATRT is to evaluate ICANN's ability to perform its duties with accountability and transparency. ATRT is composed of volunteer members; 1 from both the ASO and ALAC, 2 from the ccNSO, 4 from the GNSO, 4 from governments including 2 ex-officio members, the chair of the ICANN Board and 1 or 2 independent experts. The GAC's representatives to the ATRT include Manal Ismail, an ex-officio member who is the designated nominee of former GAC chairman Janis Karklins and vice-chair of RT, Fabio Colossanti from the EU and Xinsheng Zhang from China.
ATRT Final Report on GAC's Role & Interaction with the ICANN Board
On December 31, 2010, the ATRT submitted its Final Report to the ICANN Board with 27 recommendations. The final report identified four areas to improve ICANN's accountability and transparency:
Board governance, performance, and composition The GAC's role, effectiveness, and Interaction with the Board Public input and policy development processes Review mechanisms for Board decisions Regarding the GAC's role, effectiveness, and interaction with the Board, the ATRT recommended the following:
The GAC-Board Joint Working Group needs to clarify what constitutes GAC public policy "advice" under the Bylaws by March 2011. After establishing the formal context of GAC public policy "advice," the ICANN Board should develop a more formal documented process to notify and request for GAC advice regarding public policy issues by March 2011. The ATRT recommended for ICANN to be proactive in requesting GAC advice in writing. In addition, the team also recommended the development of a database to document every request and all advice received by ICANN from the GAC. The Board and GAC should work together to ensure that GAC advice is provided and considered on time.The ATRT also suggested the creation of an independent review joint working group and a formal documentation process on how ICANN responds to GAC advice by March, 2011. The process must require ICANN to provide specific information in a timely manner regarding its position, whether it agrees or disagrees with GAC advice, and for both parties to find mutually acceptable solutions in good faith. The Board and GAC must also establish strategies to ensure that relevant provisions in the Bylaws are met. The Board should develop and implement mechanisms to engage the GAC earlier in the policy development process. The Board and GAC should work together to create and implement actions to ensure that GAC is well informed regarding ICANN's policy agenda. Both parties should also consider creating/evaluating the role and necessary skills of the ICANN Support Staff to ensure that effective communication is provided. The Board is encouraged to increase the level of support and commitment to the GAC process by: encouraging member countries, particularly developing countries, to participate in GAC deliberations; providing multilingual access to ICANN records; and developing a process to identify how and when ICANN deals with senior government officials on public policy issues on a regular or collective basis to complement the GAC process.