[At-Large] [ALAC] TR: ANNOUNCEMENT : Results from Round 2 voting for At-Large selected Board Member for seat #15 of ICANN Board

Thomas Narten narten at us.ibm.com
Thu Dec 2 01:12:51 UTC 2010

Evan Leibovitch <evan at telly.org> writes:

> Still, I'd like to know where in the bylaws or CoI guidelines it says that
> participation in low-level policy development negates one's ability to
> discuss that policy at the Board level.

It's not clear cut, and it's not in the bylaws per se. But it gets
into ethics..  If a board member pushes hard on an issue at a lower
level (e.g., by actively participating in the development of
something), the community has at times viewed that as board
interferance or board heavyhandedness. Sometimes when a board member
speaks on an issue, it is misinterpreted as a hard board position. Or
something close. This can have the real negative impact of interfering
with the work getting done in an approriate fashion.

Likewise, most organizational structures that review
work/policies/output look rather dimly on individuals having a formal
vote on topics they have a clear interest in. It is hard to argue one
is unbiased in something when said person has invested personal
time/interest in an item they are then called upon to approve.

Hence, board members need to be careful not to be seen as unduly
interfering in ongoing work. Likewise, to remain fair and unbiased,
they have to be careful not to find themselves in situations where
they are approving their own work.

That is not to say that this means directors can't/shouldn't ever
participate, but it does mean they have to do so much more
carefully. And to avoid any appearance of doing the wrong thing,
staying out of policy development is simply the safest. 

Hope this helps. (And this is just my view, of course.)


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