[EURO-Discuss] Regional advice on France at Large application needed

Nick Ashton-Hart Nick.Ashton-Hart at icann.org
Sat May 3 01:21:21 EDT 2008

My apologies for taking so long to reply to this message; as I believe I mentioned all three members of the At-Large staff are present in Marina del Rey for meetings and have been only rarely able to check email.

Let me try and provide a bit of extra detail in hopes that this is useful. Firstly, my apologies for choosing the wrong document to attach to you. The one attached has all the same content excepting that the introductory note is different (and correct) and the word 'proposed' has been removed from the title. Note that this document is currently being translated into several languages; once it has been checked these will all be made available and posted online.

Further, the process is outlined on the website - the best link is that at http://www.atlarge.icann.org/correspondence/structures-app.htm.

You will note that the application process does not generally involve the applicant very much; the due diligence process is intended to provide a basic verification of the information provided by the applicant.

It is not customary to publicise the DD form itself, as it often may contain information which the applicant might not prefer to be posted publicly, as I suspect is the case with this form. The Staff can ask questions of the applicant when there does not seem to be any other way to answer the questions on the form - which is the case when an organisation appears to be brand-new, does not have much information posted on the website (or does not have a website at all), or where little information is available by other means such as searching the web. These factors did come into play with this application and a member of staff spent three hours over two calls with M Morfin as you have heard from the email correspondence. Unfortunately, that call did not produce further clarification in respect of the questions raised by the application and the due diligence process.

Other comments can be found inline below.

On 29/04/2008 05:27, "JFC Morfin" <jefsey at jefsey.com> wrote:

Dear Nick,
as a multilinguist (practicalities of diversity in the semiotic area)
I am always puzzled when I must read English as opposed to American.
The differences are so great for a non English speaker that I am
never really sure of the intended meaning :-) .

At 06:54 29/04/2008, Nick Ashton-Hart wrote:
>Dear All:
>The france at large application was not discussed in New Delhi
>actually; applications are not immediately discussed as that
>short-circuits the application evaluation process. I refer you to
>the document provided on the email to which you replied.

Difficult for me for example to know who is the "you" and what are
the documents belonging to this set. It seems - since you spent 900 %
times more on this application than on others, while I did not spend
more time than asking if it was proceeding - that the replies where
not from france at large and questions were not sent to france at large.
france at large being the oldest ALS in existance, being for the reason
very innovative  in its structure, evolution and reflexion, asking no
guidance not even answer from it when not understanding or misreading
its documentation or biased comments may lead to Guidlines unwilling

I draw your attention to the clarifications at the top of this reply.

>As to the content of the due dilligence document, and the questions
>related to it, I refer you again to the ALS Application Evaluation
>process in the document previously attached.

OK. I was uncertain about what your English implied. We are in
agreement that the only reference is the "Proposed" Guidelines
subject to the non-dated Review of the Office of the General Counsel.
And that the "Due Diligence Form" you refer to is the Part III.2
document and the untitled form filled by the new commer Massimilino
Minisci that you have yourself completed. This documente is dated
March 27, I was not sent a copy in one month and I obtained by chance
on the public list.

The fact that a member of staff is new does not have a bearing on the due diligence process or the results reached by that process, since that process is based upon basic fact checking using sources including independent online research independent of the applicant's web presence.

>As to the speed of the application process, that is also covered in
>the referenced document. Your application is not being handled in
>any extraordinary way process-wise. It is not overdue for decision either.

I understand that you are extending your new department and this is
not an easy task. I make no claim whatsoever. I just note that you
did not substantiated why france at large due process demanded more
working time not to be overdue. You obviously understand that these
mails will be published on our site as we are a transparent
organisation. All I can do is to delay the publication to be able to
put a header saying that the Staff and others were disturbed for
reasons we ignored and do not understand and that has satisfactorily

The At-Large department is not new and the fact that some members of staff are new is also not relevant (and in any case, I myself am not new to ICANN). The due diligence process is administrative, and not subjective. The staff role is limited to trying to verify the statements on the application form as required by the community-developed process.

Your application and the information about it has also been reviewed by long-standing members of the community  and from their statements they have drawn their own conclusions as you have heard.

In reply to your question about why the application has consumed so much staff time: This was due to online review of sources, as well as multiple hours of discussions with you personally, plus the time spent in trying to reach you, discussions with members of the community about the application and the information on the DD form, and discussions with other members of staff in the regional liaison team.

With respect to publication of email: As this mailing list is itself publicly archived there is of course no issue whatever with further publication of emails. That said, If you were to publish fragments of the email correspondence, for example, rather than the entire text, I believe this would not be reasonable, as that could lead to misunderstandings.

For the recourds, I note that you did not comment on my pretended obstruction.

I am afraid that I do not understand the above statement.

Don't you think that the best would be you give me a ring as you
first intended, Or that we have a drink together if you opo in Paris
in the coming days. All this rigmarole seems really out-of-place. We
are intented to cooperate, not to squabble that way.

After three hours of dialogue between yourself and the staff which did not lead to the answers to the questions raised by your application, it is hard to imagine how further conversations would be more productive. As I am sure you are aware, there are 100 existing ALSes and I am quite sure that any number of them would like to have telephone conversations with the staff which are even a fraction as long as three hours; I'm sure you'll understand that we do have to try and balance the time spent amongst the entire community as fairly and equitably as we can. We have done far more due diligence work on this application than is customary (or required); I'm sorry that it has not led to a result which you would it to have done.

>From our perspective, there is no squabbling at all - I am simply answering your questions about an administrative process.

Cheers !

>On 28/04/2008 18:31, "JFC Morfin" <jefsey at jefsey.com> wrote:
>Dear Nick,
>thank you for you first real mail on the matter.
>At 02:47 29/04/2008, Nick Ashton-Hart wrote:
> >Dear All:
> >In respect of the points below a few clarifications:
> >
> >1. The France at large application was received on 13th February 2008,
> >during the ICANN international meeting.
>So, it was probably immediately dicussed since everyone was there.
> >As a result of the hectic nature of being at an ICANN meeting the
> >application was not acknowledged until the 28th February, which is 8
> >days longer than it should have taken. We apologised to M Morfin in
> >that email for the delay and explained the nature of the delay.
> >2. The due dilligence form was actually completed by several members
> >of the ICANN staff - the first version was done by M Minisci, the
> >Regional Liaison for Europe. The regional liaison for each region
> >always fills out the due dilligence form in the first instance as
> >they are most likely to know of new applicant organisations.
>ICANN archives can help.
> >Because of the fact that Massimiliano is quite new, and there were
> >still a number of open questions, I then performed additional due
> >dilligence. The later due dilligence form you will find has
> >additional information and elaboration in various respects.
>Please indicate what this document changes, when it was approved, in
>what way france at large does not comply with it.
> >3. Frederic did ask to speak to those persons that the application
> >identified as being other leaders in france at large. M Morfin was
> >unwilling to allow this unless he could attend each such call in person.
>I was surprised when Frederic asked me the permission to call them
>(why to ask about them if it is not to call them). I even sent them a
>mail, copied to Frederic, to introduce Frederic and explain them he
>was very very new and how to best help him.
> >It may be worthwhile for everyone to know that this application has
> >required about 10 times the amount of due dilligence as is the norm
> >for ALS applications.
>We are interested to understand why?
>Our application is online for everyone to see :
> >The due dilligence process was performed as required by the ALS
> >Application Evaluation Guidelines, attached hereto in order for it
> >to be easily found.
> >
> >The applicant is due to receive a decision on the application not
> >later than 7 May 2008. From my understanding of the intent of ALAC
> >to vote imminently on this application this deadline should be reached.
>The first question of Frederic's first short phone call was to know
>what I though went wrong to explain the delay. Since this mail raises
>no additional question, I am to consider that the reason for the
>delay (a very slow, obscure, and odd process) is elsewhere.
>The question is where this elsewhere is.



Nick Ashton-Hart
Director for At-Large
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
Main Tel: +33 (450) 40 46 88
USA Tel: +1 (202) 657-5460
Fax: +41 (22) 594-85-44
Mobile: +41 (79) 595 54-68
email: nick.ashton-hart at icann.org
Win IM: ashtonhart at hotmail.com / AIM/iSight: nashtonhart at mac.com / Skype: nashtonhart
Online Bio:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashtonhart
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