ICANN Policy Issue: GNSO Improvements

ICANN’s Board Governance Committee (BGC) created a working group to oversee improvements to the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) as part of its overall improvement program.  ICANN’s Board of Directors charged the BGC with recommending a comprehensive proposal to improve the effectiveness of the GNSO, including its policy activities, structure, operations and communications.

On 3 February 2008, the BGC issued its final report on GNSO Improvements (summary) with key proposals to reform the organization charged with making policy recommendations for top-level domains.  (ICANN GNSO Improvements page)

If adopted by the ICANN Board of Directors, the GNSO Restructuring plans will result in a much more fair allocation of votes on the GNSO Council.  Non-commercial users of the Internet have been out-numbered by business users 6 to 1 in the current GNSO constituency structure; but if the BGC recommendation is adopted, non-commercial users will only be out-numbered 3 to 1.  The ICANN Board could vote on the report and its recommendations at its June meeting in Paris.

On 19 October 2007, the BGC published a preliminary report which was discussed at the ICANN Public Forum in Los Angeles on 29 October 2007.   ICANN accepted public comments on this report and posted them here.

The report recommends adopting a working group model, revising the policy development process, restructure the GNSO Council, and ICANN oversight of constituencies.  See much more detailed info and follow the issue via ICANN’s GNSO Improvements Webpage.

The BGC considered the 2006 London School of Economics study that asked whether the GNSO has a continuing purpose in the ICANN structure and, if so, whether any change in structure or operations is desirable to improve its effectiveness. ICANN had commissioned the London School of Economics to conduct an in depth study on the GNSO and to provide recommendations for improving the efficacy of the GNSO.