[ALAC-ExCom] Fwd: Letter to the Chair of the Board on Status of Liaison Statement on Consumer and Other Constituency Proposals

Cheryl Langdon-Orr langdonorr at gmail.com
Wed Aug 26 21:14:39 CDT 2009

Wendy this has been sent to Peter et.al. as a result of inquiries Denise
made to us regarding the ALAC position on matters discussed at a prior Board
Meeting I await Denise's reply to my request to have the assumptions we have
made on how you presented our position confirmed or otherwise, and then no
doubt there will be further discussions with you on
this regrettable matter...  Please note that this letter to Peter along with
our reply to Denise was crafted by the Elected Officers of the ALAC after
careful consideration and discussion of the issue based on the knowledge we
had to hand. An ideal time for such a discussion between us (If you so
desire) would be at the next ALAC ExCom Meeting I'll ensure Gisella let's
you know when that will be and you can always request an
alternate arrangement...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Cheryl Langdon-Orr <langdonorr at gmail.com>
Date: 2009/8/27
Subject: Letter to the Chair of the Board on Status of Liaison Statement on
Consumer and Other Constituency Proposals
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>

To: Peter Dengate-Thrush


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
approve it.

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
At-Large Staff.

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*

*26**th** August, 2009*

Cheryl Langdon-Orr
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