Monday, June 23, 2014

Westlake Governance to conduct GNSO independent review



The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Monday named Westlake Governance Limited to conduct an independent review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), reports ITRealms.

This review, ITRealms gathered is part of ICANN's commitment to continuous improvement, accountability and transparency.

ITRealms notes that GNSO serves an important function as an organisation within the ICANN community responsible for developing and recommending to the ICANN Board substantive policies relating to generic top-level domains (gTLDs).

ITRealms recalled that the purpose of the review is to evaluate organizational effectiveness of the GNSO, acknowledge areas that are working well, identify areas that need improvement and propose needed changes. This review, like reviews of other structures within ICANN, is mandated by ICANN's Bylaws.

The GNSO Review, ICANN officials confirm would address the new, improved approach to conducting reviews. Stressing that the GNSO will be a protagonist in this inclusive process: in keeping with ICANN's bottom-up, multistakeholder approach, this review process will incorporate a "self-review" by the GNSO community and its direct involvement.

“An online survey will collect feedback from other ICANN structures and community members, the Board and staff. Westlake will collect both quantitative and qualitative data through various work methods to develop a sufficient basis for formulating findings and recommendations. The review will begin immediately and is expected to conclude in January 2015,” ICANN official told ITRealms.

The selection of an independent examiner was done in accordance with the process defined in SIC Systematization of Organizational Reviews Processes and involves organizational review staff and the Structural Improvements Committee of the Board.

“Seven proposals were carefully evaluated and the evaluation results and scores were presented for consideration and action by the ICANN Board Structural Improvements Committee. The selection criteria included: Knowledge and Expertise (including knowledge of ICANN), Qualifications of the Professional Team Assigned (including ability to act independently, without conflict of interest); Proposed Methodology; Ability to Deliver High Quality, Useful Report and Recommendations; and Costs.


Westlake Governance is a globally-focused, New Zealand-based consulting firm, serving clients from a wide cross-section of not-for-profit, commercial and government-owned sectors. The firm has performed reviews of ICANN's At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC).

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