IANA CWG Chair Tells ICANN 2nd Draft Proposal Incomplete, Needs Work

On 25 April 2015, the ICANN Board held a panel discussion during its Workshop in Los Angeles on the IANA Stewardship Transition proposals from the three communities designated by the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) pursuant to the ICANN convened process as directed by the U.S. Department Commerce's NTIA in its March, 2014 announcement (audio above, edited transcript further below):

Numbering Resources (CRISP Team) RIRs "Numbers"
Protocol Parameters (IANAPLAN Working Group) IETF "Protocols"
Domain Names (CWG-Stewardship) ccNSO, SSAC, GNSO, ALAC, GAC "Names"

Numbers and Protocols submitted their respective proposals in January, 2015, as requested by the ICG timetable. However the Names proposal is still "a work in progress"--its 2nd draft proposal was posted for comment last week (comment period ends May 20). Complicating things further, the Names proposal has "dependency" on the outcome of work now underway by another separate group within ICANN-- CCWG-Accountability--which is developing its own separate proposal for "enhancing ICANN accountability."

CWG-Stewardship and CCWG-Accountability have been working "overtime" to meet unrealistic deadlines and timetable imposed by ICANN (note comments of Jonathan Robinson below about "exhaustion") even though Larry Strickling of NTIA has said there is no September 2015 deadline and "the community should proceed as if it has only one chance to get this right." Instead, both working groups, CWG-Stewardship and CCWG-Accountability, are "rushing" to meet the ICANN Board/Staff-imposed timetable so the IANA contract, which terminates in September, does not have to be renewed with NTIA. Apparently ICANN is extremely fearful of the Republican-controlled U.S. House and Senate, as well as the possibility of a Republican winning the Presidency in 2016. Or perhaps it is the possibility of international intervention that has them "spooked." In any event, note below the continuing inquiry of the Board: "what can the Board do to help to keep the project on time?"

Participating in the discussion from the respective communities via remote were:
- Andrew Sullivan, (IAB) (Protocols)
- Jonathan Robinson, Co-Chair, CWG-Stewardship & GNSO Chair (Names)
- Jari Arkko, ICG Member and IETF Chair (Protocols)
- Izumi Okutani, Chair, CRISP Team (Numbers)
- Axel Pawlik, NRO Chair (Numbers)

Sally Costerton, Senior Advisor to the President, Global Stakeholder Engagement moderated the discussion.

ICANN Board Workshop–Community Panel Discussion on IANA Stewardship, April 25th: (transcript edited, emphasis added)

Andrew Sullivan: ".... the IETF is pleased to welcome everybody else into the same sort of arrangement that we've had. We've got an arrangement that has never involved the NTIA, and it's running and it's working...."

Jonathan Robinson: "... from a CWG [CWG-Stewardship] transition perspective. And you know that this week we put out a substantially coherent proposal for public comment, 28-day public comment. It's got some rough edges, so that worries me a little. It's not entirely complete. There does need to be some work. And the concern with that is that it depends how those responding to that decide that the refinements both that the group undertakes and that the public comment expects the group to undertake, whether those are deemed to be not so material as to require another public comment. So that's clearly the big issue. Whether or not from a timing point of view we can deal with one public comment, process those public comments, put them into a revised proposal, get them out to the community ahead of Buenos Aires, and then get chartering organization support for that proposal ... Another one [issue] is that one or more chartering organizations feels that they simply haven't had the opportunity to digest the process and deal with the content and the ramifications of it. I think that would be tough because the organizations have had a lot of prior exposure, both through membership of the CWG and repeated communications and output of the group. And then the third issue that we face is this dependency and linking with that of the accountability track.So for me, those are the three challenges. And the challenge with the third one is that group had begun their work a little after the CWG on the stewardship, and yet there is a strong linking between the two. And so that will provide us with potential challenges if there isn't a belief that that work is sufficiently mature from the CWG
on accountability
... I think the Board can help by giving insight into timing. There's some push-back from the community, with good reason in part, from exhaustion and effort and, you know, requirement to commit. So I think to the extent that the timing pressures can be explained and understood, that's helpful."

Sally Costerton: "... one of the questions that came up was the impact of any delay in submission to the NTIA ..."

Jonathan Robinson: "I'm not sure I understand the question. I can speak broadly to timing and timing related issues or...."

Sally Costerton: "The question is whether you had any observations about the impact of any delay, if there is a delay, from the dates that have been stated by the NTIA."

Jonathan Robinson: "I don't think I want to speculate as to the impact of the delay ...."

Izumi Okutani: [CRISP proposal] "... One of their points that we observed as -- caused a misunderstanding about our proposal is that the numbers community want to move away from ICANN as the IANA operator. And concerns have been expressed that this might cause instability in the IANA function. And I really want to encourage them that this is not true ... But at the same time, we find it is very important that our community has the ability to choose the IANA operator, which is actually (indiscernible) already stated in the NTIA's contract with ICANN on the IANA function today. So NTIA has the ability to choose the IANA operator, and we're just replacing the
NTIA with the RIR
, which is representing the numbers community. And this is very much in line with the requirements that the NTIA had put in transitioning this stewardship to the open global multistakeholder community...

Sally Costerton: "... I turn this over now to the ICANN board members. And I'm happy either for
you to address a general comment to the room or to the individual -- to the individual participants.
Would anybody like to kick off?... Never have I ever seen us so quiet here..."

Erika Mann: "... I just have a very, very simple question. How do you see the -- if there would be
progress made so that we could have a -- could move forward with the transition period as we ideally hoped in September. So what I would really love to hear from your point of views and the different views and communities you are reflecting on, if you could highlight maybe the major barriers in achieving this and what would have to be done, if at all possible, from the side of the Board and management to help you achieve this?

Sally Costerton: "Thank you, Erika. So who would like to answer Erika's question, which what can the Board do to help to keep the project on time?
If at all. 
Who would like to comment on that?
Nobody would like to comment on that.
Okay. ..."

(read the complete transcript here)

Also, apparently ICANN is now having second thoughts about the proposals from Numbers and Protocols.

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