DCA Trust: We did not take ICANN GAC to IRP, We took the ICANN Board to IRP!

“…if the ICANN Board accepts its responsibility in this matter, then it can rightfully provide the type of adequate redress that DCA Trust believes it is entitled, to as the prevailing party in the IRP.  We believe that the ICANN Board can act without involving the ICANN GAC in this process.”

In a strongly worded letter, DCA Trust to ICANN-October 14, 2015 Bekele, CEO of DCA Trust addressed the points raised in a letter by the ICANN’s Board Chair to GAC Chair, and warning the ICANN GAC to be careful not to be a scape-goat in the Board decision and it own role in the .Africa mess-up, where the International IRP Panel faulted ICANN Board for what was termed as “both the actions and inactions of the Board with respect to the application of DCA Trust relating to the .AFRICA gTLD were inconsistent with the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of ICANN.”

The ICANN Board Chair had written to GAC on 29 September 2015 to inquire if GAC would want to want to refine its Beijing advice.   Bekele however shot back with a response, which was also covered here: ICANN Dublin: Am unto your tricks Mr Chairman, says Bekele’s letter to Crocker

She said:

“Your letter to the GAC seems to convey the notion that the failures of the ICANN GAC necessarily caused the ICANN Board to lose the IRP against DCA Trust. We wish to disagree with such assumptions. DCA Trust instituted an IRP against ICANN in order to challenge the wrongful decisions that had been taken by the ICANN Board against DCA Trust’s .Africa application. We did not institute an IRP against the ICANN GAC.”

The .Africa applicant also recalled an earlier letter of July 17, 2015 to ICANN on the same issues that said

We disagree with the present attempts by the ICANN Board based on its Resolution 2015.07.16.04 to send the issue back to the Governmental Advisory Committee to enable the ICANN GAC body “refine that GAC Advice and/or provide the Board with further information regarding that advice and/or otherwise address the concerns raised in the Declaration” (See ICANN announcement of July 16, 2015); which would wittingly give DCA’s competitors an opportunity to muster a new threat of Community Objection or GAC Objection Advice against DCA’s application.

Bekele further stated:

“…when put side by side with Resolution No. 2015.07.16.05, this also reveals without any shadow of doubt, that the ICANN Board is already acting in concert with our competitors to ensure that our application will fail the resumed GNP evaluation; or, in the event that our application passes the resumed evaluation, to use the GAC process to create further difficulties to ensure that our application is unsuccessful.”

As much as GAC was also faulted heavily for its decisions without rationale on .africa, DCA blames the ICANN Board solely for taking the GAC advice on face value, that means the board did not bother to make any reasonable steps to investigate the GAC consensus for any misgivings not to take the case for investigation by an independent third-party expert.

Her letter further says

We therefore think that the implications of wrongful actions/inactions that emanated from wrongful decision-making should be on the ICANN Board and not on the ICANN GAC. We went to IRP because of the ICANN Board actions and inactions against our application and we prevailed.

Consequently, we believe that the ICANN GAC should not be made the scapegoat for any wrong and inequitable decision that was previously taken by the ICANN Board. On this major pivot therefore, we think that the ICANN Board is presently trying to shift blame and abdicate its responsibilities on this matter by choosing to take DCA Trust’s .Africa application back to the ICANN GAC – to pose further challenges to our application.

It appears that the prevailing applicant is in double whether the ICANN system can be able to independently solve the case without prejudice since “sending the DCA Trust application file back to the GAC would create room for irregularities to occur, like what happened during the last episode.” And further that

“this invitation to the GAC to refine/clarify and provide further information on our application is to re-open an issue that we have already overcome. Therefore, the new moves are designed to reintroduce additional obstacles on the path of our application.”

Bekele finished her letter by stating:

“The time for GAC Advice and Objections on applications has already passed. Therefore, the process that the ICANN Board has commenced with the ICANN GAC is quite irregular and will cause further violations of policy and existing governing/legal instruments (Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, etc.)”


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