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NomCom leadership refuses to respond to criticism
by Kieren McCarthy | 15 Oct 2012 |
One day after ICANN's crucial nominating committee was faced with serious accusations of misconduct, its leadership has responded… by refusing to discuss any of the allegations made against them.
Councillors of ICANN's main policy body, the GNSO, were surprised yesterday when chair Vanda Scartezini and chair-elect Yrjo Lansipuro refused to respond to allegations made by former chair-elect Rob Hall.
Hall resigned after he said he was "sickened" by the committee's behavior as it chose three members of the ICANN Board earlier this year. He claims that committee members had engaged in serious lobbying; ignored formal advice from the ICANN Board; promoted colleagues ahead of better qualified candidates; and used the committee as a source of free travel and accommodation to ICANN meetings.
"These are some very serious allegations," a GNSO councilor told Scartezini and Lansipuro, "what measures will you take to ensure they are precluded next year?" Lansipuro responded that he "did not recognize" the committee as described by Hall, nor the "person who was quoted".
A second councilor pushed back: "This criticism of the way the NomCom operates is not new. I am wondering whether the NomCom plans to respond to such allegations and set things straight."
Scartezini refused. "The NomCom is an independent group supported by ICANN. We supply information to the Board about what is going on. It is not for the NomCom to react. The NomCom will not feed any gossip."
GNSO chair Stephane van Gelder interjected: "My advice would be for the committee to try to understand if there is some truth in these allegations - something that is missing from your reaction."
Scartezini again stonewalled: "You will have a chance to comment on Wednesday at a public session… We are a group of volunteers, we are not there to accept accusations."
That response was not met with enthusiasm. "I would expect a more thorough response," one councilor noted.
After the meeting, new chair-elect Yrjo Lansipuro again refused to answer questions about the allegations, stating that he was under a confidentiality contract and was not allowed to discuss what had happened.
Lansipuro did note that the previous committee has made recommendations, and the new committee for 2013 would consider them. However, he admitted that those recommendations would not be made public. Nor will the agenda of the committee meeting where they are due to be discussed; nor that meeting's time, place or date.
Asked if the Nominating Committee's leadership intended to ignore Hall's criticisms, Lansipuro answered simply: "Yes."