ICANN staff obstructing COI procedures?
Date: Tuesday July 09 2002, @10:16AM
Topic: ICANN Staff and Structure

Karl Auerbach's latest decision diary, which deals with ICANN's hastily arranged 13 June teleconferenced "Special Meeting of the Board" makes an interesting allegation: in his opinion, "ICANN's management is intentionally obstructing this Director in the performance of his duties on ICANN's Conflicts of Interest committee."

Auerbach notes that ICANN's conflict-of-interest policy unequivocally and repeatedly states that directors are bound to provide COI statements to the COI committee (emphasis added):

3.2 The Conflicts Committee shall require a statement from each Director and Officer not less frequently than once a year setting forth all business and other affiliations which relate in any way to the business and other activities of the Corporation.

[...]

5.1 When requested by the Conflicts Committee (not less frequently than once a year), each Director and Officer shall promptly submit a statement to the Committee setting forth all business and other affiliations which relate in any way to the business and other affiliations of the Corporation.

5.2 With respect to any particular matter then pending before the Corporation, each Director and Officer shall disclose to the Conflicts Committee any matter that could reasonably be considered to make the Director or Officer an "Interested Director" or "Interested Officer," as defined above.

5.3 With respect to any particular matter then pending before the Corporation, each Director and Officer shall disclose to the Conflicts Committee any relationship or other factor that could reasonably be considered to cause the Director or Officer to be considered to be an "Interested Person," as defined above.

7.2 Duty to Disclose. In connection with any actual or possible conflicts of interest, an Interested Director or Interested Officer must disclose the existence and nature of his of her material financial interest to the Conflicts Committee prior to the consideration of the proposed transaction, contract, or arrangement by the Board or any Committee of the Board.

The policy makes it abundantly clear that the COI committee is a direct and unmediated party to these disclosure statement; "officers" are mentioned only as people subject to conflicts of interest, and never as mediators in these disclosure processes. Hence the potency of Auerbach's subsequent more detailed explanation of the problem:
On May 19, 2002 I sent a written request to ICANN management for these statements.  However, my request has gone unacknowledged, much less answered.  I do not think that I would be exceeding the bounds of reason were I to come to the opinion that ICANN's management is intentionally obstructing this Director in the performance of his duties on ICANN's Conflicts of Interest committee.
This statement is particular interesting, given current concerns about COI problems in ICANN. With the resignation of Phil Davidson from ICANN's board, ICANN's COI committee was reduced to two people: Auerbach and Rob Blokzijl. However, Blokzijl was the subject of substantial discussion (see our coverage here and here) about possible conflicts of interest with regard to his and his wife's involvement in various applicants for the redelegation of .org). Since then, his involvement in two other .orgapplications has come to light: he serves on the board of directors of Organic Names and Nominet.

According to a report by Jamie Love from ICANN's Bucharest meeting , "Someone said Blokzijl and Amadeu Abril Abril have recused themselves on org at this meeting, but Amadeu was questioning some of the bidders anyway." This pattern -- of rumored and/or pseudo-recusals -- has a precedent, at ICANN's 2000 meeting in Marina Del rey, where both Abril y Abril and Blokzijl participated despite their recusals.

Notably, even though ICANN is said to have "repopulated" the COI committee several weeks ago, they have yet to update the committee's page.

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Re: ICANN staff obstructing COI procedures?
by ANNODOMINI2000 (reversethis-{KU.OC.OOHAY} {ta} {D0002DA}) on Wednesday July 10 2002, @11:39PM (#7770)
User #3359 Info | http://www.ad2000d.co.uk/
Perhaps ICANN should claim Californian Law does not really apply to them as they're an international corporation and do not recognise the authority of the Californian Courts?

Funny situation.

It's high, high time ICANN got a big pasting.

Good luck to you Karl, you seem a decent and honest bloke! (unlike most, if not all, of them)
[ Reply to This | Parent ]
Re: ICANN staff obstructing COI procedures?
by PeterBarron (pebarron@hotmail.com) on Wednesday July 10 2002, @06:15AM (#7754)
User #3240 Info | http://www.icannwatch.org/
What procedures? The ones brought into life after Karl's request, and that no other director has had to follow? The ones that instruct ICANN staff to deliberately obstruct Karl?

I think you've not only shown your cowardice to post under your own name, but you've also shown that you've not read the lawsuit.

Troll.

++Peter
[ Reply to This | Parent ]
Re: ICANN staff obstructing COI procedures?
by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Wednesday July 10 2002, @06:46AM (#7756)
User #2810 Info
I was thinking WorldCon might be appropriate. -g
[ Reply to This | Parent ]
Re: ICANN staff obstructing COI procedures?
by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Wednesday July 10 2002, @06:50AM (#7757)
User #2810 Info
ICANN didn't bring the suit, Karl did, so this isn't just an anon troll, it's lame. Karl seems to be the one following procedures as required by California law. -g
[ Reply to This | Parent ]
Re: ICANN staff obstructing COI procedures?
by PeterBarron (pebarron@hotmail.com) on Wednesday July 10 2002, @07:43AM (#7759)
User #3240 Info | http://www.icannwatch.org/
Excuse me, but when did you develop psychic powers? How do you know that is what Karl really wants to do? Unless you can prove this, it's just a guess on your part. A guess that I, and many others, do not agree with.

Karl appears to know, better than most, what his duties to ICANN are.

++Peter
[ Reply to This | Parent ]
Re: ICANN staff obstructing COI procedures?
by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Wednesday July 10 2002, @10:10AM (#7760)
User #2810 Info
Under California law Karl has the absolute right to inspect all documents of the Corporation. It doesn't say, absolute, except you have to first sign this document written by the staff, (the staff who are his employees, no less). If, and Karl has never claimed that he wants to tell the world, he did that and harmed the Corporation he would be legally liable. He knows that, he's a California lawyer, he's on record as saying that he is aware of his fiduciary duty as a Director. So this worry that he would improperly release documents is just a worry, and a red herring. It is alleging a potential future harm without any evidence, even if there were such evidence it would have no legal power to overrule existing California law. -g
[ Reply to This | Parent ]
Re: ICANN staff obstructing COI procedures?
by PeterBarron (pebarron@hotmail.com) on Wednesday July 10 2002, @11:11AM (#7763)
User #3240 Info | http://www.icannwatch.org/
How do you know? Can you prove that? Or is that just your opinion?

++Peter
[ Reply to This | Parent ]
Re: ICANN staff obstructing COI procedures?
by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Wednesday July 10 2002, @07:57PM (#7768)
User #2810 Info
ICANN was created and billed to be open and transparent. It has no competitors in the sense that Enron or Worldcom do, so the openness and transparency should be greater. There are no state secrets that will harm ICANN's competitive position because it has no competition. Even if it did, it is a non-profit. What is it that Karl could possibly find (and release, and SFAIK he has never suggested he would release such material to the public) that could possibly harm the Corporation? You are just another anon troll ICANN apologist, if you have some facts to lay on the table please do so, otherwise save your pleadings for court, where you actually have to give your name and swear in. These conspiracy theorists at WorldCom weren't believed a year ago and look what happened. If they ever peel back the ICANN onion I expect we'll find rot and corruption on a scale that beggars the imagination. -g
[ Reply to This | Parent ]
Re: Karl not following procedures?
by ANNODOMINI2000 (reversethis-{KU.OC.OOHAY} {ta} {D0002DA}) on Wednesday July 10 2002, @11:34PM (#7769)
User #3359 Info | http://www.ad2000d.co.uk/
Karl not following procedures means ICANN will be vindicated? LOL

I very much doubt it.

I have personally read the ICANN Article of Incorporation (or whatever they're officially called) and Karl's point is TOTALLY valid.

ICANN are scre*ed
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