[ALAC-ExCom] Response to Denise, c.c. other recipients of Denise’s mail re Board Discussions and our Liaison’s Role in same, on the Consumer Constituency Petition.
langdonorr at gmail.com
Wed Aug 26 21:03:46 CDT 2009
*Response to Denise, c.c. other recipients of Denise’s mail re Board
Discussions and our Liaison’s Role in same, on the Consumer Constituency
Thank you very much for checking with us on these matters.
As to the first matter, I can confirm that the ALAC voted to endorse the
Consumer Constituency by consensus at its 28th April 2009 teleconference. You
should by now have received the official notification by the Staff of the
ALAC’s strong support for the proposed GNSO Consumer Constituency; as the
ALAC voted by consensus to endorse the proposal on 28th April 2009 we
request that the Board approve this constituency petition.
In connection with this however, I have the unhappy duty to inform you that
it has come to our attention that the ALAC Board Liaison did not inform the
Board of the ALAC’s position on this proposed constituency, although she was
aware of it, and that she may have made statements in connection with the
Board discussion about the proposed Consumer Constituency that were contrary
to the view of the At-Large Community. Further, she may have made
statements about other constituency proposals on which the ALAC has taken no
position (CityTLD, IDNgTLD, CyberSafety).
I’m very concerned to learn that our Board Liaison has addressed the Board
with regard to the Consumer Constituency proposal with anything less than
full-throated support. Coupled with the delay in transmission of our vote
result regarding the ALAC support for the Consumer Constituency, we are
concerned that unnecessary delay in the Boards consideration of this matter
may have resulted and we are particularly keen to ensure that the Board is
made aware of this matter and to ensure that if Wendy did not make it clear
to them that the ALAC supported this petition –and always has- (which was
the only statement that should have legitimately been made on ALAC’s
behalf), it is a matter that as ALAC Chair I personally view very dimly
indeed. The Board should also be made aware that according to our records,
Wendy attended the meeting where this matter was discussed and decided upon,
including the time that decision was taken, and that allowing for some
telephonic disaster, the MP3s were also available.
As you know, At-Large has sought to bring consumer organisations into
At-Large for years now. Leaders of the international consumer movement in
At-Large are parties to the Constituency proposal as you know, and others in
At-Large are working hard to recruit more consumer groups to join the
To be frank, the ALAC Board Liaison has no business making personal
statements without making clear that is all that they are. They also don’t
have any business making personal statements that they can be in no doubt
are directly contrary to the stated positions of the Advisory Committee who
elected them and indeed the community that they purport to represent,
without clearly highlighting the dichotomy between them and their electing
body, as clearly seems to be the case here. It should also be noted that
along with my fellow elected Officers of the ALAC we can imagine situations
where there WILL be such a variation of opinion and an astute Board member
will recognize it whether the personal opinion is spoken at that moment or
not. We prefer a standard in our liaison where rather than have the Liaison
recues themselves as they would in a traditional conflict-of-interest
situation, and we lose our voice on the matter completely during the Boards
discussion, that a statement to the record of the ALAC view is “this” and
they have endorsed etc., etc., be read to the meeting and then purely
personal or dissenting views can be inserted for consideration in the debate
with all parties recognising them as such.
If our fears and information on how we have been represented in this matter
are confirmed, by you or an authority with access to the details at the
relevant Board Meeting, then we will take this very serious situation,
including our disappointment and loss of our collective trust in our current
Board Liaison, I find this situation both serious and distressing, and it
does bring into question what else may have happened “in our name” over the
last two years. I plan to raise this issue up with the ALAC, the RALO
Leadership and perhaps broader At-Large Community. Those copied on this
e-mail as well as the Chairman of the ICANN Board (for his onward
transmission to the whole Board), will be copied.
ALAC has *no position* on the Cybersafety Constituency, however, a number
of ALAC members have statements indicating that they did not support this
proposal, and to the best of my knowledge, there have been no statements
made by ALAC members in support of it.
ALAC has *no position* on the IDN gTLD petition, however, ALAC members have
made supportive statements in our meetings, and no views averse to the
proposal have been raised. We also have *no position* on the CityTLD
Denise, considering the situation, it would be very helpful if you could let
us know what if anything Wendy said about the NCSG Charters when they were
discussed. I would appreciate it if Staff would let us know:
- · What comments Wendy made on these various issues in whatever
detail is available;
- · In what guise did she make them (personal statements, on
behalf of the ALAC, or unstated one way or the other).
You should know that the ALAC have taken several steps related to the
appointment of the next Board Liaison that should greatly enhance the
accountability and transparency of statements made by future liaisons, as
well as the ‘bottom-up’ nature of the appointments process. It is our hope
that these measures will make it much more difficult for the current
situation to repeat itself.
We will separately be transmitting information on these measures to the SIC
and to the Board, and we will of course copy you and your staff.
Finally, may I add that the preliminary Board minutes related to the issues
you have very helpfully apprised us of are extremely uninformative; they do
not even make reference to her (or anyone else) having spoken at all – which
is very un-transparent and lacking in accountability.
I hope you will convey to the relevant members of staff that the report as
currently written is far from useful, so that they can take this into
account when finalising the report.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any further information.
Cheryl Langdon-Orr (CLO)
<inserted text copy from email to Chairman of ICANN Board>
*Letter to the Chair of the Board on Status of Liaison Statement on Consumer
and Other Constituency Proposals*
Via email to: "Peter Dengate Thrush" <peter.dengatethrush at icann.org>,
"Denise Michel" <michel.denise at gmail.com>, <secretary at icann.org>, "ALAC
Working List" <alac at atlarge-lists.icann.org>,
You should by now have received the official notification by the Staff of
ALAC’s strong support for the proposed GNSO Consumer Constituency; the ALAC
voted by consensus to endorse the proposal.
In this connection, I have the unhappy duty to inform you that it has come
to our attention that the ALAC Board Liaison made statements in connection
with the Board discussion about the proposed consumer constituency that were
directly contrary to the view of the At-Large Community. It appears that she
also made statements about other constituency proposals, many of which we
have taken no settled view upon (CityTLD, IDNgTLD).
If she did not make it clear that the ALAC and At-Large strongly support the
Consumer Constituency proposal, she should have. Any adverse comments or
questions that she raised were entirely personal in nature.
To be frank, ALAC Liaisons to any part of ICANN have no business making
personal statements without making clear that is all that they are; if Wendy
failed to do in this case then she was acting inappropriately. All ALAC
Liaisons are very clearly instructed to make it clear when they are making
statements on behalf of At-Large, and when they are making personal
statements. Our Liaisons (all of them) also don’t have any business making
personal statements that they know are directly contrary to the formally
stated positions of the community that they represent without making the
conflict-of-interest situation crystal clear.
For the avoidance of doubt, any statement made to the Board by the ALAC
Board Liaison which is not clearly stated as “on behalf of At-Large”, is
automatically a personal view only. I encourage you and/or your colleagues
on the Board to enquire of me, or the Vice-Chairs and Rapporteur of the ALAC
if you have any question about the nature of any statement made by our
There is no possibility that Wendy could not have known of the support of
the At-Large for the Consumer Constituency. At-Large has sought to recruit
consumer organisations into the community for years now, and several
internationally known consumer representatives and organisations are
long-term At-Large Community members and leaders. In addition, leaders of
the international consumer movement in At-Large are parties to the
Constituency proposal as you know, and others in At-Large are working hard
to recruit more consumer groups to join the constituency should the Board
On a positive note, in preparation for the appointment of a Board Liaison
for the upcoming year, At-Large began some months ago considerably upgrading
the process by which the ALAC Board Liaison is chosen, and fleshed-out in
considerable detail the obligations and requirements for eligibility for
this important position. We ask for a statement from all candidates that
they are able to meet the obligations, as part of our nominations process,
and we recognise that there is nothing (so far) in our planned processes
where we do anything resembling due diligence or even try to evaluate/judge
how well the candidates meet the eligibility requirements (many of which are
subjective in any case); We will shortly be apprising you of these via our
Based on this experience this may need considerable review in the future but
with the planned advent of voting At-Large elected Board Members I suspect
the point becomes somewhat moot, but it is something to be considered as we
flesh out that electoral process in the future.
We believe these measures considerably increase the transparency and
accountability of those who speak in our community’s name, and that
unfortunate incidents such as the one that causes me to write to you today
will be very effectively prevented. Moreover, I think you will find that
the new processes and requirements are a considerable step forward in the
development of processes that could be used by the At-Large Community to
select voting Directors in the happy circumstance that the Board decides to
approve At-Large appointing one or more Directors, as we believe that it
Finally, please do forward this note on to the full Board, in advance of or
at, this month’s ICANN Board Meeting and discussions.
(Digitally signed in the PDF copy attached to this transmission)
Cheryl Langdon-Orr (CLO)
ALAC Chair 2007-2009
26th August, 2009
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