CCWG-Accountability Work Stream 2

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Work Stream 2 (CCWG-Accountability Work Stream 2 or WS2) is phase 2 of the CCWG-Accountability's process. Work Stream 2 focuses on mechanisms that could be implemented after the completion of the IANA Functions Stewardship Transition.


In June 2016, the CCWG-Accountability Team began organizing WS2 issues into nine independent topics. By ICANN 61 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in March 2018, all eight WS2 team sub-groups had completed public consultations of their draft recommendations and submitted final reports and received the approval of the CCWG-Accountability plenary. The final report released in June 2018 included over 100 recommendations for the ICANN Community, Board, and Org to undertake.[1] Implementing WS2 was included as a priority for fiscal years 2022 and 2023. By the end of Q1 of 2022, ICANN Org had completed 13 recommendations for ICANN org were complete, leaving 39 recommendations still in progress. The org expects to complete implementing the guidance on ICANN Board deliberation transparency (Recommendation 8.3), enhancing staff accountability mechanisms, publishing service level targets (Recommendations 7.1-7.3), and developing a web page on ICANN's human rights efforts (Recommendation 3.1).[2]

Areas for Improvement


  • ICANN and SO/ACs should define, measure, promote, and support diversity.[3] Toward this end, ICANN Organization began its search for a diversity SME in December 2021 to be hired by April 2022.[4]

Guidelines for Good Faith

  • The Guidelines for Standards of Conduct Presumed to be in Good Faith Associated with Exercising Removal of Individual ICANN Board Directors outline the procedures for petitioning and carrying out a review and vote to remove a board member.[5]

Human Rights Framework of Interpretation

  • The team recommended a Framework of Interpretation for the ICANN Bylaw on Human Rights.[6]


  • ICANN should be required to apply for and secure an OFAC license if the other party is otherwise qualified to be a registrar (and is not individually subject to sanctions). During the licensing process, ICANN should be helpful and transparent in the licensing process and communication with the potential registrar.
  • ICANN should commit to applying for and securing an OFAC license for all applicants that would otherwise be approved (and are not on the specially designated nationals list).
  • ICANN should clarify to registrars that their RAA with ICANN does not cause them to be required to comply with OFAC sanctions.
  • ICANN should explore various tools to remind registrars to understand their applicable laws and reflect those laws in their customer relationships.
  • ICANN should pursue one or more OFAC general licenses. If unsuccessful, ICANN should find other ways to remove “friction” from transactions between ICANN and residents of sanctioned countries.[7]


  • The Office of the Ombuds should
  1. Clarify the role and processes to manage expectations
  2. improve its standing and authority
  3. Strengthen independence
  4. Become more transparency
  5. Develop a Policy for non-dispute roles[8]

Reviewing the Cooperative Engagement Process

  • The reviewing of the Cooperative Engagement Process (CEP) was merged with the Independent Review Process – Implementation Oversight Team (IRP-IOT) in June 2017.

SO/AC Accountability

  • Every SO/AC/Group should document and publish its processes, guidelines, and decisions on its webpage. They should make the rules of eligibility and criteria for membership should be outlined and shared. SO/AC/Groups should consider term limits.[9]

Staff Accountability

  • ICANN Org should:
  1. describe the organization’s performance management system and process; how departmental goals map onto ICANN’s strategic goals and objectives; and the Complaints Office's connection to the Ombudsman Office;
  2. evaluate and possibly include other communication mechanisms;
  3. enhance accountability mechanisms;
  4. work with the community to develop and publish service level targets and guidelines (similar to the Service Level Agreement for the IANA Numbering Services) that clearly define the services provided by ICANN to the community; and
  5. standardize and publish guidelines for timeframes for acknowledging requests made by the community and for responding with a resolution or updated timeframe for when a full response can be delivered.[10]


  • ICANN should
  1. improve its Documentary Information Disclosure Policy (DIDP),
  2. document and report on its interactions with governments,
  3. improve the transparency of Board deliberations, and
  4. improve ICANN’s Anonymous Hotline (Whistleblower Protection).[11]