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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    IANA Commerce to Re-Award IANA to ICANN Without Considering Alternatives
    posted by michael on Tuesday March 18 2003, @08:01PM

    According to a notice (quoted below) from John S. Quarterman of MIDS fame, the Center for Civic Networking (CCN) entered a bid for the IANA function, but has been officially notified by the US Department of Commerce that despite receiving his bid, and a very detailed bid from ims, and despite an expression of concern from CENTR, Commerce has decided to re-award the IANA contract to ICANN as a sole-source (non-competitive) bid.

    That the bid was rigged from the start is no surprise. That none of the outside bidders will spend the money for a challenge is a foregone conclusion. But don't despair. Something really really good has come out of this episode: it is now clear for the first time that very competent people are ready, willing and able to step in to perform the IANA function, and that they'd do it better than ICANN. If and when ICANN is broken up into its component functions a year or three from now, this moment will be seen as the turning point in undermining the argument that ICANN is essential, and that there's nothing or no one to replace it. (Questions about this decision may also figure in Congressional hearings, although no hearings are likely until after the present hostilities have passed....)

    Update: 03/19 20:51 GMT by Michael: The official purchase order is now online.

    Here's a slightly reformatted version of the notice from John S. Quarterman. The notice was submitted to a mailing list, but not published by that list's editor:

    On 28 Jan 2003, the Dept. of Commerce, by way of NOAA, posted a "notice of intent to issue a sole-source, no-cost purchase order to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) 4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330, Marina del Rey, CA 90292. The period of performance for this effort will be three years, with a six month base period, two one-year options, and one six month option. The Government will award this purchase order on April 1, 2003." [link]

    The notice also said, "Affirmative written responses must be received no later than 10-days after publication of this synopsis."

    It was not clear whether that was 10 working days or 10 calendar days, and inquiries to NOAA did not receive a conclusive answer on that point until 6 February, when the answer was 10 calendar days.

    On 6 February, on behalf of Miles Fidelman of the Center for Civic Networking (CCN), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to putting information infrastructure to work for community economic development and civic participation, I sent NOAA a response to the pre-solicitation notice.

    Meanwhile, Carl Malamud, on behalf of the Internet Multicasting Service (IMS), a nonprofit public research corporation, sent a response to NOAA:


    In March, CCN received a letter from NOAA that said in part,

    "after careful analysis, determined that your bid did not provide information sufficient for this office to make an affirmative decision regarding your capability."

    "you failed to adequately describe how you would perform these technical functions or how you would establish the necessary relationships to perform these tasks"

    "notice clearly stated that offerers must submit detailed technical information demonstrating their ability to meet the identified requirements... sufficient for this office to establish a bona-fide capability and that failure to do so would result in this office proceeding as planned"

    This response is somewhat puzzling, since the presolicitation notice appeared to ask for qualifications, yet the reply from NOAA seems to indicate that a detailed proposal was required.

    Malamud's IMS response seemed to me to cover all the areas requested in the pre-solitication notice.

    Nonetheless, even though NOAA received at least two responses, according to the March letter from NOAA, ICANN will be issued the purchase order as originally planned.

    Perhaps you or someone can shed light on these matters, which are somewhat mysterious to me.

    John S. Quarterman {jsq@quarterman.com}
    Peter H. Salus {peter@netpedant.com}, press contact

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  • Also by michael
    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Commerce to Re-Award IANA to ICANN Without Considering Alternatives | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 4 comments | Search Discussion
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    From the IETF...
    by Anonymous on Tuesday March 18 2003, @10:25PM (#11340)
    Dateline: San Francisco

    At the IETF meeting here in San Francisco not a soul can be found who believes that ICANN is competent to perform any of the technical functions of IANA.

    There is a universal consensus here at the IETF meeting that the IANA functions should be stripped from ICANN as the result of repeatedly demonstrated incompetence.

    I wonder what claims of competence were included in ICANN's bid to NTIA, or rather NOAA? Are there any reporters out there willing to pursue a FOIA request to take a look at what ICANN submitted?

    And come to think of it - NOAA?!! Pushing the IANA contract through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration does have a strong and foul stench of laundering.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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