[Internal-cg] Contracting

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Mon Apr 27 02:46:37 UTC 2015

> -----Original Message-----
> My understanding is that the IETF folks are encountering some of the same
> things as CRISP. Do we think it would help if the ICG put out a statement of
> some sort indicating that we continue to expect all interested parties,
> including ICANN staff, to express their opinions about the transition
> proposals openly and transparently within the community processes? 

I do think it would be very helpful, and particularly at this time. As we get closer to the end game I think there will be enormous pressure among certain parties to move some of the key issues into private negotiations. This could lead to some major disillusionment and de-legitimization of the process.

> And that includes opinions about the acceptability of principles and mechanisms
> associated with contractual arrangements between the communities and the
> IANA functions operator?

Yes. I believe that it should include opinions about contractual terms. But this raises a more fundamental issue. Suppose an operational community comes to consensus on something like (just to use a concrete but potentially fictitious example) "we want our contract with the IANA functions operator to be up for renewal through an open RFP every 5 years." Should ICANN staff or legal now be able to come back and negotiate with the operational community and say, "we think it should be up for renewal only every 7 years," or "we think there should be presumptive renewal?" In other words, is ICANN expected to acquiesce in these operational community proposals if they have consensus and pass through the ICG process, or is ICANN have the latitude to enter into negotiations regarding their terms? 

Whether ICANN expresses its opinions publicly or not is important, but equally important is the principle whether the output of the stewardship transition process is binding on ICANN, or merely the first step in what will become essentially a private bargaining/negotiation process between ICANN and whoever purports to negotiate on behalf of the OCs. 


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