On 26 June 2003, ICANN's Board of Directors approved a framework for theformation of local and regional At-Large groups to promote structured involvement and informed participation of the global individual Internet user community in ICANN.
ICANN's At-Large community welcomes interested,qualified groups in all geographic regions to become "At-Large Structures." At-Large Structures, or "ALSes", are groups throughout the world (either existing organizations or those newly formed for this purpose) focusing on participation by individual Internet users at the local or issue level. Interested groups complete and submit to the ALAC a short application form (available at <http://www.atlarge.icann.org/correspondence/structures-app.htm>). Groups that meet the minimum requirements listed below will be designated as "At-Large Structures."
WIn each geographic region (Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America), the ALSes have formed Regional At-Large Organizations (RALOs). The five RALOs act as the main forum and coordination point in each region for public input to ICANN, and select 10 members of the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC). The ALAC provides advice to ICANN's Board and other constituencies on the activities of ICANN as they relate to the interests of individual Internet users.
I. Minimum criteria for At-Large Structures
II. Certification process for At-Large Structures (ALS)
III. Guidelines for the form of each Regional At-Large Organizations' (RALOs) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be entered into with ICANN
IV. Procedures for Board review of ALAC certification decisions
- Commit to supporting individual Internet users' informed participation in ICANN by distributing to individual constituents/members information on relevant ICANN activities and issues, offering Internet-based mechanisms that enable discussions of one or more of these activities and issues among individual constituents/members, and involving individual constituents/members in relevant ICANN policy development, discussions and decisions.
- Be constituted so that participation by individual Internet users who are citizens or residents of countries within the Geographic Region in which the ALS is based will predominate in the ALS' operation. The ALS may permit additional participation by others that is compatible with the interests of the individual Internet users within the region.
- Be self-supporting (not rely on ICANN for funding).
- Post on the Internet (on the ALAC's website or elsewhere) publicly-accessible, current information about the ALS's goals, structure, description of constituent group(s)/membership, working mechanisms, leadership, and contact(s).
- Assist the RALO in performing its function.
Certification process for At-Large Structures (ALS):
1. Submit a completed ALS application (in English, and/or in any other languages which the application form may be made available in) and provide any requested or relevant documentation.
2. The ICANN Staff will conduct due diligence, reviewing the application and performing necessary tasks in an effort to ensure that the established ALS criteria has been/will be met and to facilitate the easy review of applications by the At-Large community. This due diligence could include, without limitation: requesting references, interviewing the applicant's contact(s), gathering/requesting additional information on the applicant, and (for existing organizations) requesting information on applicant's leadership and operations, verifying general funding sources, and requiring the applicant to demonstrate the identity of their individual constituents. The information resulting from the due diligence conducted will then be provided to the then-current members of the RALO in the Geographic Region that the applicant organization is based in.
3. Upon completion of due diligence, all the then-current members of the aforementioned RALO will have an opportunity to review the application and related documentation and may then comment in confidence about the applicant in such a way that the anonymity of the source person or entity of the comments may be kept confidential if the source of the comments so wishes; the substance of the comments will be available to the members of the RALO, the ICANN Staff, and the ALAC members until the conclusion of Step 5 at which point the comments will no longer be accessible.
4. Upon completion of the due diligence review periodThe regional Secretariat will then provide to the At-Large Advisory Committee its view of the advice of the various members that have commented on the application as the regional advice of the region. This will take the form of a recommendation to accredit, not to accredit, or if no comments were received from members of the region, a statement that no regional advice is available in respect of the applicant.
5. The ALAC shall then decide whether or not to vote on the application in the following manner:
a. Where no regional advice is given, a vote shall be held and the question to be put shall be: "Shall the application for accreditation of [name of applicant] be granted?" The available responses to the question shall be: ‘YES', ‘NO', and ‘ABSTAIN'
b. Where regional advice has been given, if any member of the ALAC requests a vote on a given applicant to be held, the question to be put shall be: "Shall the advice of the region in respect of accreditation of [name of applicant] be overturned?". The available responses to the question shall be: ‘YES', ‘NO', and ‘ABSTAIN' where only one answer may be chosen. If no member of the ALAC requests a vote to be held on such an application within a number of days after the regional advice has been given (the number of days to be as determined by the ALAC from time to time), the applicant shall be certified as an At-Large Structure by unanimous consent upon the expiry of the number of days above-referenced.
6. Where a vote is held in respect of Step 5, the vote shall require a majority of a quorum (as defined by the ALAC in its Rules of Procedure) in the affirmative on the question. Decisions to certify, or refuse to certify, an ALS shall be subject to review as provided by the ICANN Bylaws, Article IV, Section 2. The ALAC will notify the applicant of its certification decision, and, if applicable, provide information on requesting a review of the decision.
7. Decisions to de-certify an ALS shall require a 2/3 majority of the members of the ALAC who cast a vote as provided in the Rules of Procedure of the ALAC, and any decertification decision shall be subject to review as provided in the ICANN Bylaws, Article IV, Section 2. Reasons for the ALAC to pursue de-certification action, and to de-certify an ALS, may include persistent non-compliance with significant ALS requirements. The ALAC will provide advance notice to the ALS in question, and the ALS will have an opportunity to be heard and respond to the ALAC prior to a decision on de-certification. The ALAC will notify the ALS of its de-certification decision and provide information on requesting a review of the decision.
8. On an ongoing basis, the ALAC, and/or the RALOs, may give informal advice and support to organizations seeking certification. The ALAC shall work informally with organizations over time to assist them with their efforts to comply with the criteria and achieve the necessary standing to seek certification.
9. Except as provided below under ‘Suspension of An Application', the ALAC and the ICANN Staff shall work concertedly to ensure that the process of reaching a decision to certify, or not to certify, an At-Large Structure shall take not longer than ninety (90) days from the date at which an application is received to the date at which the applicant is notified of the decision.
ALS applications, certification decisions on applications,and other information, as appropriate, will be publicly posted.
Suspension of An Application
At stages one through fiveof the process above, the consideration of an application may be suspendedwhere:
a. The suspension is requested by the applicant, or;
b. The RALO Secretariat of the region the applicant is based in, either at the request of Members of the RALO or otherwise under procedures which may be adopted by the RALOs as they shall determine, requires further information from the applicant which is essential to the evaluation of the application, or;
c. Members of the ALAC believe that additional information is essential to the evaluation of the application.
Wherever an application issuspended under part (a) of this section, that suspension shall be lifted uponthe request of the applicant. Where the suspension is under parts (b) or (c) ofthis section, that suspension shall only last as long as shall reasonably berequired in order to acquire the additional information necessary. Whennotifying the applicant of the additional information, it shall be obligatoryto also notify the applicant that the application is suspended until theinformation is received.
- Each RALO shall be comprised of At-Large Structures based within its Geographic Region that have been certified to meet the requirements of the RALO's Memorandum of Understanding with ICANN. There will be no more than one RALO in each Geographic Region.
- Proposed RALO MOUs shall be posted by the ALAC for public comment.
- Each RALO's Memorandum of Understanding shall include provisions designed to achieve robust participation of individual Internet users in its region. Prior to finalizing its MOU, each RALO shall provide support for their declaration that every interested citizen or resident in its region is welcome to join at least one of its At-Large Structures. A RALO may elect to also directly include individual Internet users who are citizens or residents of countries within the RALO's Geographic Region.
- Each RALO must include a minimum of 3 open and transparent At-Large Structures based in at least 2 different countries within the RALO's Geographic Region.
- The criteria and process for certification of At-Large Structures shall be included in the MOU. To the extent compatible with ICANN's stated objectives, each RALO may propose additional criteria and standards to encourage the type of structure that best fits the customs and character of various countries in its Geographic Region.
- A RALO shall be an entity that facilitates informed participation of individual Internet users via At-Large Structures, with openness, participatory opportunities (enable individual Internet users to discuss and make recommendations on ICANN issues and activities), transparency (activities documented and publicly available on the Internet), accountability (demonstrate its activities and procedures comply with ICANN requirements), and diversity (geographic, occupational, etc.) in its structure and procedures.
- Each RALO must acknowledge these requirements and commit to assisting with the submission to the ALAC of ALS applications from entities based in its Geographic Region.
- To help ensure individual Internet user participation and the protection of individual internet users' interests, each RALO shall commit to periodically reviewing (at least once annually) the results of their cooperation under the MOU and, when appropriate, will recommend improvements in the MOU and make suitable proposals for modifying and updating the arrangements and scope of the MOU.
- The RALO will define a transparent process for selecting 2 individuals from its region (the individuals may not be citizens of the same country) to serve as members of the ALAC.
- The RALO will commit to serving as the main forum and coordination point for input from individual Internet users to ICANN in its region and to working with the ALAC and ICANN in conducting the following activities:
- Keeping the community of individual Internet users in their region informed about the significant news from ICANN;
- Distributing (through posting or otherwise), in languages appropriate for its region, news about ICANN and information about items in the ICANN policy-development process of interest to individual Internet users in its Geographic Region;
- Promoting outreach activities in the community of individual Internet users in its region;
- Developing and maintaining on-going information and education programs in its region, regarding ICANN and its work;
- Making public, and analyzing, ICANN's proposed policies and its decisions and their (potential) regional impact and (potential) effect on individuals in the region;
- Offering Internet-based mechanisms that enable discussions among members of ALS in its region; and
- Establishing mechanisms and processes that enable two-way communication between members of ALS in its region and those involved in ICANN decision-making, so interested individuals can share their views on pending ICANN issues.
- Periodic review: At-Large Structures and RALOs shall participate in periodic reviews (at least once annually) of how they are contributing to the ALAC charter and fostering informed participation of individual Internet users in ICANN, and they will contribute to the ALAC's reports to the ICANN Board on the structure, activities and results of the ALAC and the At-Large infrastructure.
ALAC decisions to certify or de-certify an At-Large Structure are subject toreview according to procedures established by the Board. The ALAC has proposed, and the Board has accepted, the following review process:
- ALAC decisions to certify or de-certify an At-Large Structure are subject to review according to the procedures as provided bythe Bylaws of ICANN, Article IV, Section 2. For the purposes of interpretation of those provisions only, a review of an ALAC decision shall be considered as if it were a decision of the ICANN Board as provided in Article IV, Section 2(2)(b).
The ALAC shall ensure when communicating a decision in the negative to an applicant that all such communications provide information on:
a. The Office of the Ombusdman and how to request a review by the Ombusdman of the decision, and;
b. The reconsideration process of the Board and how to request such a reconsideration, and;
c. Make clear to the applicant that the ALAC can, in the first instance, be asked to review the decision reached if the applicant believes that the decision is incorrect on any basis, and providing contact information for the applicant to request such a review.
Applications and instructions for "At-Large Structure" designation areavailable at http://www.atlarge.icann.org/en/correspondence/structures-app.htm
Where to Go For More Information
Here are some useful URLs:
List of ALSes and Applicants: http://www.atlarge.icann.org/en/applications/
African RALO: http://www.afralo.org/
Asia/Australia/Pacific RALO: http://www.apralo.org/
European RALO: http://www.euralo.org/
Latin America/Caribbean RALO: http://www.lacralo.org/
North American RALO: http://www.naralo.org/
ICANN Homepage: http://www.icann.org