Accountability and Transparency
ICANN has a proven commitment to accountability and transparency in all of its practices. Indeed, ICANN considers these principles to be fundamental safeguards in ensuring that its international, bottom-up and multistakeholder operating model remains effective.
The mechanisms through which ICANN achieves accountability and transparency are built into every level of its organization and are mandated in its new Bylaws.
ICANN Accountability & Transparency
-  Includes extensive other ways that ICANN is accountable.
-  Organizational review is not mandated by ICANN Bylaws and other mechanisms are used to review commitments.
Post IANA Transition - Following the transition of the IANA stewardship functions and the termination of the Affirmation of Commitments on 1 October 2016, ICANN has adopted new Bylaws that strengthen the Internet community’s accountability mechanisms vis-à-vis ICANN. These new enhanced community powers are enshrined in ICANN’s new Bylaws. Additional information on these new accountability mechanisms and how these were developed are available here.
Please note: all reviews that started prior to 1 October 2016 were/are conducted under the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC). With the coming into force of the Transition, the AoC ceases to be in effect, and under the new Bylaws, the Reviews formally known as "AoC Reviews" are now referred to as "Specific Reviews". Unless stated otherwise, all review-related information on this site is derived from the new Bylaws.
Examples of ICANN’s Accountability and Transparency Practices
ICANN's commitment to fulfilling – and exceeding – these obligations is demonstrated in numerous ways throughout our organization. Here are some notable examples:
|Type of Activity||Description||Related Links|
|Quarterly Stakeholder Calls||Provide updates on the latest policy and implementation developments, ICANN’s operational achievements and financial standings.||Most recent report from Stakeholder Calls|
|Open Participation in ICANN Activities|
ICANN's Supporting Organizations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs) publicly post detailed information about their activities and deliberations, along with clear instructions on how one can participate.
|Public Comment||Open public comment provides information on the issues ICANN stakeholders currently have posted for public comment, with opportunity for all stakeholders to provide input and feedback. Operational consultation offers another vital element of ICANN's accountability and transparency in the opportunity for operational consultation and feedback on various ICANN topics.||Open Public Comments
While ICANN’s working language is English, multilingualism is essential for a global multistakeholder organization. In order to facilitate access to ICANN and broad participation in its work, it is the policy of ICANN to provide language services (including translation and interpretation) in the six United Nations languages and additional languages where appropriate, while taking into account budget constraints.
|ICANN's Policy and Procedures on Language Services|
|Implementation of Review Recommendations|
Once the Board accepts recommendations resulting from Specific Reviews and Organizational Reviews, the implementation of these recommendations is publicly tracked with periodic status reports posted.
|Links and information about Board-approved Review recommendations and implementation progress are available on detailed review pages.|
|Organizational Effectiveness Committee of the ICANN Board||Oversight of the Bylaws-mandated Organizational Reviews||Organizational Effectiveness Committee|
|Project Portfolio Management System|
Provides visibility into ICANN's workload, progress and status of ongoing projects.
|Project Portfolio Management System|
ICANN's work is guided by the Strategic Plan and Five-Year Operating Plan which were developed by the community with the ICANN Organization, and organized in a hierarchy of Objectives, Goals, Portfolios, and Projects.
Dashboard efforts continue to evolve. The ICANN Accountability Indicators shows how the organization is progressing on its five objectives and sixteen goals per our strategic and operating plans.
|ICANN Accountability Indicators|
|ICANN's Anonymous Hotline Policy and Procedures|
In response to a recommendation from the second Accountability and Transparency Review, NAVEX Global conducted a review of ICANN’s Anonymous Hotline Policy and Procedures, identified gaps and provided recommendations for possible improvements to enhance the Anonymous Hotline to a best practice reporting mechanism.
ICANN has made various modifications to the Anonymous Hotline Policy and Procedures, as applicable and appropriate, to meet the recommendations and modifications proposed by the reviewer. ICANN is currently in its final states of further updating and modifying the Anonymous Hotline Policy and Procedures to address the remaining recommendations.
ICANN Publication Practices
ICANN and its constituent bodies operate to the maximum extent feasible in an open and transparent manner and consistent with procedures designed to ensure fairness. In furtherance of this transparency value, ICANN's general publication practices are intended to ensure that information contained in documents concerning ICANN's operational activities, and within ICANN's possession, custody, or control, is made available to the public unless there is a compelling reason for redaction or non-disclosure. There are exceptions to this general practice and, if redaction is required or there are grounds for non-disclosure, the smallest amount of material necessary will be redacted or withheld. A summary of the standards and the basis for which materials may be redacted or withheld from publication is available here.
Implementation of AoC Review Recommendations
Implementation of all current/future Specific Review recommendations accepted by the Board is publicly tracked and periodic status reports posted. Historic information from the AoC Reviews (the pre-Transition term for Specific Reviews) can also be found here.
Implementation of Board-Approved Recommendations
Click on the name of the Review in the chart to access the latest status update on the progress of implementation of recommendations