As set forth in ICANN's bylaws, underpinning the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) is a network of self-organizing, self-supporting At-Large Structures throughout the world involving individual Internet users at the local or issue level.
The At-Large Structures (either existing organizations or newly formed for this purpose) are in the process of organising into five Regional At-Large Organizations (RALO) . There will be one RALO in each ICANN region - Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America/Caribbean, and North America). The RALOs will manage outreach and public involvement and will be the main forum and coordination point in each region for public input to ICANN.
Minimum criteria for an At-Large Structure:
- 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 organised 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 is suspended under part (a) of this section, that suspension shall be lifted upon the 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.
How are Applications Evaluated?
The community has defined a written set of guidelines for evaluating ALS applications to ensure that decisions are reached in a bottom-up based, transparent and fair manner.
You may review the ALS guidelines at: http://www.atlarge.icann.org/files/atlarge/alac-sd-2-rev7-als-app-interpretation-guidelines-23jul07-en.pdf
Where to Go For More Information
Here are some useful URLs:
List of ALSes and Applicants: http://www.atlarge.icann.org/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/