Where is the ICANN Ombudsman?|
posted by michael on Thursday November 18 2004, @04:49AM
Prof. Ethan Katsh asks, Where is the ICANN ombudsman?:
ICANN, the entity responsible for managing the domain name system, has
been an object of interest for the dispute resolution community for the
manner in which it has managed (or mismanaged) its Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.
The following is an update on another ICANN dispute resolution
activity, that of appointing an ombudsman and establishing an ombuds
In less than a month, on December 15, 2004, ICANN will observe the
second anniversary of its adoption of new by-laws. Article 5 of the
bylaws reads as follows:
Section 1. OFFICE OF OMBUDSMAN
1. There shall be an Office of Ombudsman, to be managed
by an Ombudsman and to include such staff support as the Board
determines is appropriate and feasible. The Ombudsman shall be a
full-time position, with salary and benefits appropriate to the
function, as determined by the Board.
2. The Ombudsman shall be appointed by the Board for an initial term of two years, subject to renewal by the Board.
3. The Ombudsman shall be subject to dismissal by the Board only upon a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the entire Board.
4. The annual budget for the Office of Ombudsman shall be established
by the Board as part of the annual ICANN budget process. The Ombudsman
shall submit a proposed budget to the President, and the President
shall include that budget submission in its entirety and without change
in the general ICANN budget recommended by the ICANN President to the
Board. Nothing in this Article shall prevent the President from
offering separate views on the substance, size, or other features of
the Ombudsman's proposed budget to the Board.
ICANN advertised for the position of ombudsman over a year ago.
ICANN will tell us tomorrow or the next day who the individual is who
will serve as its first ombudsman. If that were to occurr, we might
continue to wonder how this appointment could have possibly taken two
years but we could also move on and hope that the ICANN ombuds office
functions as the ICANN reform process hoped it would. Yet, the
appointment of the ombudsman, at this moment, is highly troubling and
seems to be an endless process with unexplained and unexplainable
A little more than a month ago, in its tenth report to the United States Department of Commerce, submitted on October 7, 2004, ICANN stated that
The last report indicated that ICANN had retained the
services of a professional search firm in order to locate and hire a
suitable candidate for the position of Ombudsman. After an intensive
search, that candidate has been located and contract terms have been
settled. The identity of the candidate will be publicly announced in
the near future.
What the "last" report, the Ninth Report to the Department of Commerce
(April 7, 2004), also stated was that “ICANN expects to have this
position filled and for the ombudsman program to be fully launched
before June 30, 2004.” That did not happen.
There's more where that came from, so please read it.
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