ICANN Ombudsman Blog Creating Dialogue Affirming Fairness

September 26, 2009

Ombudsman thanks community for input

Filed under: Uncategorized — Frank Fowlie @ 10:04 am

Dr. Frank Fowlie would like to thank members of the community for their thoughtful comments on a recent posting civility.  The Ombudsman reminds the community of the ICANN Accountability and Transparency Frameworks and Principles, found at: http://www.icann.org/en/transparency/acct-trans-frameworks-principles-10jan08.pdf



Those who take part in ICANN multi-stakeholder process including Board, staff and all those involved in Supporting Organization and Advisory Committee councils undertake to:

Act in accordance with ICANN’s Bylaws. In particular, participants undertake to act within the mission of ICANN and in the spirit of the values contained in the Bylaws.


Adhere to the conflict of interest policy laid out in the Bylaws.


Treat all members of the ICANN community equally, irrespective of nationality, gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion or beliefs, disability, age, or sexual orientation; members of the ICANN community should treat each other with civility both face to face and online.


Act in a reasonable and informed manner when participating in policy development and decision-making processes. This includes regularly attending all scheduled meetings and exercising independent judgment based solely on what is in the overall best interest of Internet users and the stability and security of the Internet’s system of unique identifiers, irrespective of personal interests and the interests of the entity to which an individual might owe their appointment.


Listen to the views of all stakeholders when considering policy issues. ICANN is a unique multi-stakeholder environment. Those who take part in the ICANN process must acknowledge the importance of all stakeholders and seek to understand their points of view.


Work to build consensus with other stakeholders in order to find solutions to the issues that fall within the areas of ICANN’s responsibility. The ICANN model is based on a bottom-up, consensus driven approach to policy development. Those who take part in the ICANN process must take responsibility for ensuring the success of the model by trying to build consensus with other participants.


Act in accordance with ICANN policies.


Protect the organization’s assets and ensure their efficient and effective use.


Act fairly and in good faith with other participants in the ICANN process

September 24, 2009

Fifth Ombudsman Annual Report Posted

Filed under: annual report — Frank Fowlie @ 1:48 pm

The ICANN  Office of the Ombudsman has published its fifth Annual Report.  The announcement for the report may be found at:http://www.icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-24sep09-en.htm

 The announcement states:


Ombudsman Releases 2009 Report

Dispute resolution annual summary by ICANN’s independent officer

24 September October 2009

ICANN’s Ombudsman has released his 2009 report, summarizing the previous 12 months of dispute resolution efforts that he oversees in his role as an independent officer of the organization.

The report is an annual stocktaking of the office and how it has helped individuals and organizations bring disputes to resolution without recourse to more formal mechanisms such as the courts.

Highlights of the report include:

  • A summary of the 96 intakes and 31 complaints or requests for assistance received
  • Recommendations on actions to be taken by the ICANN Board
  • Details of outreach and training events
  • Statement on respectful online communication
  • A section on evaluation and recommendations against five ombuds criteria
  • Statistics on Ombudsman activities for the 2008–2009 year
  • Case studies and a description of how the Ombudsman’s Office saves ICANN money and staff time by handling persistent complainants
  • A review of the first five years of operations.

“My office is a vital link in providing private, confidential, cost free, timely and expert dispute resolution for community members in their disagreements with ICANN,” said Ombudsman Frank Fowlie.

The Ombudsman is an independent, impartial, and neutral officer of ICANN. He acts as an Alternative Dispute Resolution office for anyone wishing to lodge a complaint about a staff or board decision, action or inaction.

The annual report has been produced in English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic.  The report is found at: http://www.icann.org/ombudsman/reports.html.


For those who have been tracking the discussion on the ICANN Ombudsman Blog concerning civility, you may wish to refer to Page 7 of the Annual Report to review the Statement on Respectful Online Communication.

September 23, 2009

Ombudsman posts presentation

Filed under: Outreach — Frank Fowlie @ 1:40 pm

The ICANN Ombudsman, Dr. Frank Fowlie, has posted his presentation to the 2009 United States Ombudsman Association Annual Conference.  The Presentation may be found at: http://www.icann.org/ombudsman/distance-dispute-res-usoa-sep09-en.pdf

September 11, 2009

Ombudsman recieves Research Award

Filed under: Evalaution,general — Frank Fowlie @ 11:07 am

Frank Fowlie’s doctoral dissertation on developing a design model for the evaluation of ombudsman operations has received the “Outstanding Research Thesis Merit Award 2008” from La Trobe University.  The ICANN Office of the Ombudsman continues to be a leader in the area of ombudsman evaluation and effectiveness.

The paper may be found at: http://www.icann.org/ombudsman/blueprint-for-evaluation-of-an-ombudsman-nov08.pdf

September 8, 2009

Ombudsman posts investigation report

Filed under: cases and findings — Frank Fowlie @ 10:40 am

The Office of the Ombudsman has posted an investigation report at: http://www.icann.org/ombudsman/documents/report-call-for-volunteers-irt-sep09.pdf

The Ombudsman has found that there was a systemic unfairness regarding the communication of a volunteer opportunity within a supporting organization.  In this case there had been a call for volunteers to self identify as potential members of the Implementation Recommendation Team (IRT).  The Ombudsman found that a particular constituency had not informed its members of the opportunity to participate until after the closing date for nominations, and that this was an unfair administrative process.  In the Ombudsman’s opinion, the person raising the complaint likely would not have been a successful candidate due to the similarity of the complainant to other applications from the same nation, profession, and relative business interests.  The Ombudsman makes no finding with respect to the work of the IRT.

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