On the 20th January 2015 the Board Governance Committee of the ICANN board passed a resolution as follows:-
“Ombudsman’s “Own Motion” Investigation – The BGC discussed and considered the ICANN Ombudsman’s request for authorization to undertake his “own motion” investigation on the New gTLD Program’s Community Priority Evaluation (“CPE”) process. Consideration of, and authorization for, Ombudsman’s “own motion” investigations is within the BGC’s scope of responsibilities under its Charter. The Ombudsman has advised that he has received a number of different complaints about the CPE process. Because the filing of an Ombudsman complaint triggers a stay on the status of other applications in the same contention set, the Ombudsman has suggested that it would be appropriate for him to undertake his “own motion” investigation into the issues raised in these complaints as well as the overall CPE process, rather than continue investigations on individual complaints, so as to limit interference with individual applications. The BGC voted to authorize the Ombudsman to proceed with the “own motion” investigation he has proposed on the New gTLD Program’s CPE process.”
So at first instance I want to make the community aware that I am commencing the investigation. I want to hear from all of those affected by the Community Priority Evaluation process, including those who are satisfied with the process and those who were unhappy with what happened. I have already talked to the ICANN team involved with this, who have been very helpful. I also intend discussing this with the EIU team to ensure that their perspective is considered. I would be happy to receive submissions from anyone who has an opinion about the process. At present I am in an information gathering phase and want to absorb as much detail. Please contact me at ombudsman@ICANN.org. If you want to make an anonymous contribution, your details will be protected by me. Ombudsman confidentiality will apply to all discussions unless you are happy for them to be made public.
I will make a preliminary report by the end of April, provided I have sufficient information by then of course.