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Minutes - Special Meeting of the PTI Board | 20 December 2018

A Special Meeting of the PTI Board of Directors was held in telephonically on 20 December 2018 at 15:00 UTC.

The following Directors participated in all or part of the meeting: Lise Fuhr (Chair), David Conrad, Kim Davies (PTI President), Trang Nguyen and Wei Wang.

PTI Secretary: Samantha Eisner (PTI Secretary).

The following Executives and Staff participated in all or part of the meeting: Michelle Bright (Board Operations Content Manager (ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)); Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist (ICANN)); Aaron Jimenez (Board Operations Senior Coordinator (ICANN)); Becky Nash (PTI Treasurer); Wendy Profit (Board Operations Specialist (ICANN)); Lisa Saulino (Board Operations Senior Coordinator (ICANN)).

The PTI Secretary called the meeting to order and introduced the agenda.

  1. PTI FY20 Operating Plan and Budget: Public Comment Summary

    In September 2018, a draft Operating Plan and Budget for PTI for FY20 were presented to the PTI Board and ICANN Board Finance Committee for review and published for public comment on 28 September 2018.

    The PTI Treasurer provided a summary of the public comments received during the public comment period that was opened on 28 September to 12 November 2018. There were six submissions to the public comment forum on the Draft FY20 PTI Operating Plan and Budget. The comments were further broken down into a total of 21 individual comments and segmented by theme (i.e. financial management, document structure and format, PTI structure and separation, and general comments). The PTI Treasurer noted that more comments were received for the FY20 Operating Plan and Budget for PTI, compared to FY19 (only fifteen comments were received from three organizations).

    Many comments received pertained to financial management or document structure on both the PTI and IANA documents. These comments also provided suggestions to improve readability and understanding of such documents. Other comments relate to the level of detail provided in the documents, concern over potential PTI separation from ICANN, and other general comments regarding the PTI and IANA budget process.

    The PTI Treasurer informed the PTI Board that no substantive amendments are required to be made to the FY20 Operating Plan and Budget as a result of the public comments received.

    The PTI President noted that the comments provided in the public comment proceeding are helpful for PTI to identify areas of strength and areas for improvement that may be incorporated into the final budget documents and/or implemented in the next planning process, particularly in relation to the level of granularity of the financial information presented.

    The PTI Chair further commented that going forward, it would be beneficial for the PTI Board to review the comments received prior to the publication of the staff report of the public comment proceeding.   

    The PTI Board then took the following action:

    Whereas, the draft PTI FY20 Operating Plan and Budget was posted for public comment in accordance with the Bylaws on 28 September 2018, which was based upon community consultations, and consultations with PTI and ICANN organization, during the current fiscal year.

    Whereas, the PTI Board reviewed the inputs received on the FY20 Operating Plan and Budget during public comment and how PTI management addressed those comments.

    Whereas, the public comments received, as well as other solicited community feedback were taken into account to determine required revisions to the draft PTI FY20 Operating Plan and Budget.

    Resolved (PTI2018.12.20.01), the PTI Board adopts the PTI FY20 Operating Plan and Budget. The PTI Board directs the PTI President, or his designee, to submit the adopted PTI FY20 Operating Plan and Budget to the ICANN Board as required under the ICANN Bylaws.

    All PTI Board members in attendance unanimously approved Resolution PTI2018.12.20.01.

  2. Organizational Meeting Resolutions

    Election of Chair

    The PTI Secretary led the conversation for the election of the Chair of PTI. Wei Wang proposed the re-election of Lise Fuhr as the PTI Chair for another year, which would bring consistency to the implementation of the Stewardship Transition Proposal.

    The PTI Board collectively agreed to re-elect Lise Fuhr as the PTI Chair. The Board then took the following action:

    RESOLVED (PTI2018.12.21.02), that Lise Fuhr is re-elected as Chair of the PTI Board.

    All members of the PTI Board unanimously approved Resolution PTI2018.12.21.02.

    Election of Officers

    The PTI Chair noted that the re-election of Becky Nash as the PTI Treasurer and Samantha Eisner as the PTI Secretary are uncontested. The Board then took the following action:

    RESOLVED (PTI2018. 12.21.03), that the following persons be, and they hereby are, elected to the following officer positions of the Company, to serve until the annual meeting of the Board or until their respective successors are duly elected and qualified:

    Treasurer: Becky Nash

    Secretary: Samantha Eisner

    All members of the PTI Board unanimously approved Resolution PTI2018. 12.21.03.

    Composition of the PTI Audit Committee

    The PTI Chair noted the annual requirement to reaffirm the composition of the PTI Audit Committee, and proposed to elect Gary Rolfes as the non-director member and chair; and David Conrad from the board.

    The PTI Board then took the following action:

    RESOLVED (PTI2018. 12.21.04), that the PTI Audit Committee is comprised as follows:

    Gary Rolfes, Non-Director Member and Chair, PTI Audit Committee

    David Conrad

    All members of the PTI Board unanimously approved Resolution PTI2018. 12.21.04.

  3. IANA Functions Customer Survey Results

    The PTI Chair informed the PTI Board the importance of discussing the feedback received from the customer survey as it measures the perception of satisfaction among IANA functions customers regarding the services they receive in relation to documentation quality, process quality, transparency, timeliness, accuracy, reporting and courtesy.

    The PTI Chair observed that while the results of the survey are generally positive, the completed surveys have decreased from 276 in 2017 to 178 in 2018.

    The PTI President stated that one factor which may contribute towards the declining response rate is that the survey is conducted on an annual basis. Some customers do not respond to the survey as their one-off interaction with staff may have transpired many months earlier. This issue has been addressed recently with the launch of a post-ticket survey i.e. a brief survey at the end of an interaction (within 24 hours), which would provide an additional avenue for feedback that is much more responsive to the customers' sentiments at the time the service was delivered to them. The PTI Chair further remarked that in the future, the post-ticket survey may potentially render the annual customer survey redundant. At this juncture, PTI staff would need to review and analyze the data from the responses received before making any proposed changes.

    The lack of interest could also be attributed to the fact that there has been very little turnover in the leadership positions in the community; as well as the fact that some community members have responded to the survey previously, so they may be of the view that it is unnecessary to respond to the survey the consecutive year.

    The PTI President is of the view that even though the PTI, together with the Customer Standing Committee, worked closely and actively with the community members to increase response rate, this effort did not have a significant impact. The vendor who conducted the survey also reiterated that surveys generally do not get high response rates and therefore, the percentages obtained from the survey feedback are not unusual.

    The PTI Chair concurred with the PTI President that conducting a post-ticket survey may be a practical alternative to an annual customer survey. Wei Wang further suggested the possibility of incorporating survey rates/ satisfaction rates as part of the survey SLA.

    The PTI President reiterated that the PTI has always been transparent with the community regarding the challenges faced to encourage a higher response rate. However, given that the annual survey is just one of the many avenues for the community to provide feedback to the PTI, the community may feel that there are other mechanisms for them to provide feedback, hence making the annual survey redundant.  

    The PTI President made a comment to demonstrate how the survey responses may be skewed. In terms of the satisfaction rate, more than eight in ten (82%) were satisfied, and 18% of respondents were dissatisfied with the resolution of their customer service issue. When customers ask to register something that they are not entitled to under the policy, such a request must be rejected. Thus, this may affect the numbers and percentages in the annual survey. However, given that the responses are anonymized, the survey vendor is only able to make broad assessments and analyze the narrative comments which the respondents have provided.

    David Conrad shared his concern that annual surveys tend to be skewed as people who are likely to respond to surveys are the ones who may be less satisfied one way or another, compared to those who are satisfied with the service. Therefore, the high ratings demonstrated by the annual survey suggests that the service provided could be much better than what is interpreted from the actual survey results themselves, as most customers are not inclined to respond.

    Wei Wang commented that the PTI should also look at ways to increase the number of samples, to ensure that the survey result is meaningful to the PTI.

    The PTI Chair suggested that this topic can be further discussed during the next PTI Board meeting and/or at the upcoming PTI strategy session in February 2019.

  4. Nominating Committee

    The PTI Chair discussed an email which she received from the NomCom and forwarded to the PTI Board on 21 November 2018 regarding:

    • Whether there are any changes to the skill sets and criteria that the NomCom should consider; and
    • Whether the PTI Board is available to have a face-to-face meeting with the NomCom during ICANN64 in Kobe to discuss the PTI Board position which the NomCom will be filling this year.

    The PTI Chair disclosed that she has a conflict of interest as she will apply for this position. The PTI Chair informed the PTI Board that any discussion with the NomCom should be with the whole PTI Board, and proposed that Wei Wang should lead the discussion, given that he is the other NomCom nominee, but he is not up for election.

    The PTI Secretary facilitated the discussion for this topic, based on her experience from the ICANN Board governance aspect. The PTI Secretary will release a call for information to assess the existing skill sets among the PTI Board members and how they fit with the skills that have been previously identified, and assess the potential gaps in the skill sets of the PTI Board. The PTI Secretary will update the existing document to reflect the current state of being. The PTI Secretary is of the view that it is not necessary to exclude the PTI Chair from this discussion, as it would be useful to have the PTI Chair's input to identify the existing/missing skills in the event that the PTI Chair is not reappointed.

    The PTI Chair is agreeable with the following recommendations by the PTI Secretary:

    1. Given that the deadline to respond to the NomCom is tomorrow (21 December 2018), the PTI Secretary will confirm with the NomCom staff if the PTI Board can provide its feedback within the first two weeks of January 2019.
    2. The PTI Secretary to liaise with the NomCom to arrange a face-to-face meeting between the PTI Board (or a subset thereof) and the NomCom at ICANN64.
    3. Additionally, the PTI Secretary will also arrange for the PTI Board to meet at ICANN64.
    4. The PTI Secretary to check the availability of ICANN's General Counsel during the February meeting so that the PTI Board can have a discussion with him on the PTI's obligations under the PTI Bylaws, etc.

    Pursuant to the above, the PTI Chair agreed to respond to the NomCom to state that the PTI Secretary will reach out to the NomCom regarding the 21 December 2018 deadline.

  5. Planning: PTI Board Strategy Session in February 2019

    In light of the PTI Board's upcoming strategy session on 8 February 2019, the PTI Chair informed the PTI Board that it would be timely and beneficial to discuss the "PTI and ICANN Roles and Responsibilities" at that meeting, as well as any other issues that need to be discussed by the PTI Board.

    The PTI President and PTI Secretary will formulate the agenda for the next PTI Board meeting and circulate the same to the PTI Board in early January 2019.

  6. Any Other Business

    Transition Deliverables

    David Conrad raised the issue of the status of meeting the contractual requirement that the employees currently seconded to PTI be transferred to be directly employed by PTI by 1 October 2019.

    Previously, the PTI President reported that the transition of the remaining employees is targeted to be completed by 1 January 2019, unless there still remains some concerns from the community. However, the transfer of the employees will be deferred until 1 January 2020. One of the challenges is that a mid-year transfer would be detrimental to affected staff as they will have to pay additional tax for the year (multiple W-2 forms). Although they will obtain a refund, their take-home pay will be significantly less as the refund will only occur later on.

    Responding to the PTI Chair's query on the reason for the delay in transfer of the staff, David Conrad responded that there is some outstanding paperwork that needs to be completed. The PTI Secretary agreed to provide more information to the PTI Board on the exact reasons for the delay.

    The PTI President clarified that he does not have much information to share with the PTI Board at this juncture as the decision from ICANN was taken only a few days ago. He will work with the PTI team to gather information and share it with the PTI Board as soon as practicable. The PTI Chair also requested that the PTI Board be informed of other alternatives.

    Customer Standing Committee

    The PTI Secretary updated the PTI Board that the PTI team has been working with the Customer Standing Committee (CSC) on looking at how to revise the IANA Naming Function Agreement, to make it easier to make the appropriate changes to the SLAs that are currently embodied in the agreement. The CSC has developed a full process, and the SLAs would be modified accordingly. In order for these changes to be effective, the IANA Naming Function Agreement has to be amended.

    Once the appropriate amendments have been drafted, a public comment period on the proposed amendments to the IANA Naming Function Agreement will be initiated. Once the public comment has been reviewed, the PTI team will review the areas which require the approval of both the ICANN Board and PTI Board in order to effect the change.

    As per the PTI's Chair request, the PTI Secretary will circulate this document the PTI Board for review and information, prior to the public comment period.

    The Chair called the meeting to a close.

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."