[ALAC] [ALAC-ExCom] ALAC/At-Large Improvements Project -- important update

tijani.benjemaa at fmai.org tijani.benjemaa at fmai.org
Thu Oct 13 08:03:14 UTC 2011

Thank you very much Alan. You were and you remain a very valuable resource.

I do share your POV. It's now our duty to deeply discuss this burning issue
without any passion. The most important thing we should have in mind is the
interest of ALAC, its credibility and its visibility. Sure, we need to avoid
shocking the ALAC members by using appropriate words, but we must find a way
to make all the ALAC members as performent as possible.

Executive Director
Mediterranean Federation of Internet Associations
Phone : + 216 70 825 231
Mobile : + 216 98 330 114
Fax     : + 216 70 825 231

-----Message d'origine-----
De : alac-excom-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org
[mailto:alac-excom-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org] De la part de Alan
Envoyé : mercredi 12 octobre 2011 18:09
À : ALAC EXCOM; At-Large Worldwide
Objet : Re: [ALAC-ExCom] [ALAC] ALAC/At-Large Improvements Project --
important update

As the person who arguably started this discussion by proposing monitoring
and subsequent possible actions several years ago (and still bear the scars
from presiding over what may be the hottest-under-the-collar ALAC meeting on
record), I would like to add a few thoughts.

I agree that the word "sanctions" is far too strong and onerous a word to be
used here, but as Olivier has pointed out, we still need to discuss what
type of action the ALAC or perhaps the ALAC Chair or
officers) *might* take in the case of significant under-performance. 
And I of course agree that we do need to be as specific as possible in
identifying ahead of time what is expected of ALAC members and RALO

There are three additional perspectives that I have not seen being raised.
In my years on and watching the ALAC, I have seen all three, so they are not
just theoretical.

- For a RALO appointed ALAC member, if the RALO is happy with their
representatives performance, perhaps the rest of At-Large should accept
that. But even if they are not, it is counter to the personality (and
cultures) of some to actually confront the person who they often have to
deal with in other contexts, and who they often consider a friend. Having
the ALAC (or a someone) do the dirty work for them might be a safe way out
of the situation.

- If an ALAC member severely under-performs, it is not just their region
that suffers. This adds to the load carried by the rest of the ALAC. If (as
sadly has been the case in some past years), a significant percentage of the
ALAC are in this category, the load on the rest becomes ridiculous.

- The overall reputation and credibility of ALAC and At-Large can be
impacted the poor performance of just a few.

I am not proposing how we deal with such situations, but it is important to
consider all implications when we discuss what if anything should be done
other than collect and make available performance data (as all seem to agree
should be done).


At 12/10/2011 11:56 AM, Wolf Ludwig wrote:
>Hi all,
>I share Evan's basic question: "accountable to who?" and subsequent 
>considerations. And I would say: In a broader sense to the Internet 
>users in general, in a causal sense to the regional community that 
>selected them = the RALOs concerned by such an under-performing 
>candidate should be "in charge" of any potential "sanction"
>mechanisms because the two *RALO selected* ALAC members are - first and 
>foremost - accountable to their electorate. A defective performance of 
>a regional representative / ALAC member affects performance and 
>reputation of the particular region and cannot be in their interest = 
>be tolerated over a certain span of time (except for serious 
>circumstances such as sickness and the like).
>I understand Carlton's reservations against sanctions or punishments of 
>volunteers but as soon as limited seats (15 or 2 per region) and 
>financial (travel etc.) resources are associated with a volunteer's 
>engagement, the mandated person and his community have a special 
>responsibility and accountability towards ALAC and ICANN. Otherwise, we 
>cannot fulfill our role and commitments - what we stand for - 
>diligently representing the users at ICANN.
>The key deliberation must be: The standards and professionalism we 
>expect and demand from others, we must fulfill ourselves at first hand 
>(typical trap of credibility ;-).
>Evan Leibovitch wrote Tue, 11 Oct 2011 19:39:
> >On 11 October 2011 19:04, Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com> wrote:
> >
> >> Take imaginary example candidate A, ALAC member, does not attend 
> >> calls, does not attend meetings, or when he travels, uses their 
> >> time outside of the ALAC room. A does not get involved in ALAC & 
> >> other working groups. A is basically using their affiliation to 
> >> ALAC as something that looks good on their CV. Admittedly, this is 
> >> an extreme, but Carlton, at the moment, nothing can be done about 
> >> that person, and that imaginary person is occupying a seat on the 
> >> ALAC, one of the only 15 seats of people supposed to act in the 
> >> best interests of the 2.1Bn Internet users out there. That person 
> >> is failing those 2.1Bn people. That person is not accountable.
> >>
> >I guess the big question -- at least MY big question -- is, 
> >accountable to who?
> >
> >If that person was sent by a RALO, the RALO should be able to handle 
> >this issue through a recall or other similar measure.
> >
> >If the person was appointed by the NomCom, the procedure is different 
> >but a mechanism is still required. By definition a NomCom ALAC 
> >appointee is not accountable to ALAC or the region, however it 
> >reflects badly on the NomCom and ICANN itself if non-performing ALAC 
> >members are chosen and allowed to under-serve for an entire two-year
> >
> >What bothers me the most is the prospect of ALAC passing judgment 
> >over its own members. If a RALO elects someone who reflects their 
> >viewpoint, and that viewpoint is that only a small number of issues 
> >matter, this is indeed the RALO's choice to make and ALAC has no 
> >right to engage in top-down second-guessing. Education and persuasion,
certainly, but not sanctions.
> >
> >I fully agree on requesting that every RALO has some kind of recall 
> >mechanism for their elected officials -- not just ALAC members but 
> >also RALO chairs, secretariats and liaisons as applicable. Indeed I 
> >have long advocated this within my own RALO. I am also greatly in 
> >favour of staff's providing attendance and other performance metrics 
> >that allow a RALO to act appropriately on factual inputs. But I am 
> >very much against any scheme that has ALAC members being accountable to
other ALAC members.
> >
> >It's bad enough that the ICANN Board has no legal, fiduciary duty to 
> >the public, but only to ICANN itself. Let's not justify, let alone 
> >propagate that mistake within our own bounds.
> >
> >But in any case, this debate is premature. We're at an intermediate
> >> stage, with more than 50 recommendations in this report, some of 
> >> which are completed, some of which need to be taken to the next 
> >> stage. The debate on sanctions/no sanctions will happen later.
> >
> >
> >I don't think there's any problem with that. As I've mentioned, it's 
> >simply that the wording in the report right now could easily be 
> >interpreted by a casual reader to infer that we have already had the 
> >discussion, agreed on a regime of sanctions, and are simply 
> >discussing appropriate implementation going forward. WE know the 
> >debate is incomplete, but that is not what the report indicates.
> >
> >- Evan
> >_______________________________________________
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