June 8, 2017
Our readers will be aware that several new proposed community gTLDs including .music and .gay, are currently on hold as ICANN carries out an investigation into how its own staff handled the Community Priority Evaluations process (CPE).
However, according to an update issued by ICANN late last week, it now appears that the investigation could be finished before the end of June and applicants of the new gTLDs could have their applications released within a few weeks.
Following criticism for failing to reveal the identity of the investigation team, ICANN finally revealed that FTI Consulting’s Global Risk and Investigations Practice (GRIP) and Technology Practice have both been investigating claims by applicants that ICANN staff interfered in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) supposedly independent Community Priority Evaluations (CPE) process over several months. The supposed interference led to complaints from losing applicants following several divergent or incomprehensible decisions from the EIU.
FTI are also reviewing the consistency which which the CPE criteria were applied, as well as the research process undertaken by the EIU in order to reach its decisions.
According to the statement, ICANN has already provided FTI with all documents requested. FTI hopes to receive all requested documents from the EIU before the end of this week after which it hopes to be in a position to inform ICANN of its findings within two weeks, i.e. before the end of June.
IP Twins will of course keep our readers updated of all further developments.