GNSO Guidance Process

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A GNSO Guidance Process (GPP) is an alternative to a Policy Development Process for the GNSO in ICANN. It is used in questions of implementation rather than policy; however, it can be used for policies that do not impact contracted parties.[1] To initiate a GGP, the GNSO Council must formally initiate it, produce a GGP scoping document, identify the types of expertise needed, and form a GGP team to produce a proposed GNSO Guidance Recommendations report finalized for GNSO Council approval. If approved, the report is forwarded to the ICANN Board for deliberation and approval. Once the Board approves the guidance, ICANN Organization will implement it.[2]

The GNSO Council can initiate a GGP for input relating to gTLDs about a new issue or because the ICANN Board needs more information about previous policy recommendations and the intended outcome is not expected to create a new Consensus Policy, such as a new contractual obligation. A GGP may also provide interpretation or clarity on the implementation of GNSO policy recommendations. The GGP cannot be used to relitigate a policy issue unless the circumstances have changed or new information is available. As part of its decision on the initiation of a GGP, the GNSO Council may consider how a GPP will align with ICANN’s budget, planning, and strategic plan. The GGP Team should formally solicit statements from all Stakeholder Groups and every Constituency in the early stages of the GGP and seek the opinion of other ICANN Advisory Committees and Supporting Organizations. The GGP Chair should consult with the GNSO Council Liaison to the GAC. The GGP Staff Manager serves as the intermediary between the GGP Team and ICANN Organization. GGP recommendations may concern advice to the ICANN Board or other Supporting Organizations or Advisory Committees; best practices, implementation guidelines; agreement terms and conditions; technical specifications; research or surveys needed; budget issues; requests for proposals; or policy development process activities.[3]

The first use of the GGP was evidenced at ICANN 76 when the Applicant Support Working Group working group discussed the goals and approaches to outreach, education, business case development, application evaluation assistance, and metrics on indicators of success such as awareness and interests in the Applicant Support Program, access to pro bono and other services, prioritization of underdeveloped and developing regions, and demonstrated success throughout the application life cycle.[4]