LACNIC Transparency Guidelines
LACNIC is a private non-profit organization that manages Internet number resources based on the application of policies defined by the community through open, participatory and bottom-up processes. As a membership-based organization, it owes itself to its members – the organization’s principals – as well as to the community at large as the ultimate beneficiary of Internet development.
The application of transparency and accountability principles is desirable in any organization for reasons of good management and honesty. However, in the case of an organization such as LACNIC, given its purpose of managing Internet number resources for Latin America and the Caribbean in benefit of the community, it is also an obligation.
This historical responsibility is even greater today, now that, together with the other RIRs, we have assumed the stewardship of the IANA functions (now PTI) in relation to Internet number resource management (NRO Review Committee) after the U.S. government allowed the contract with ICANN to expire.
Although LACNIC's bylaws do not specifically mention the word “transparency”, the organization has incorporated elements of control and accountability since the very beginning, in line with the responsible administration of community resources. Examples of this include:
- Article 15: Summoning an Assembly. “Member Assemblies shall be summoned (...) The Annual Report, General Balance Sheet, Inventory, Expense and Income Account, Fiscal Commission Report and any other documents to be considered under the agenda items shall be submitted to members fifteen days in advance for their consideration.”
- Article 26: Obligations of the Board of Directors: “To present the Annual Report, General Balance Sheet, Inventory, Expense and Income Account and Fiscal Commission Report before the Ordinary General Assembly. All these documents must be made available to the members with the anticipation required by article 15 for summoning Ordinary Member Assemblies.”
- Article 28: Obligations of the President: “...To oversee the evolution and administration of LACNIC, complying with and enforcing the Bylaws, regulations and resolutions of the Assemblies and the Board of Directors...”
- Article 27 - Powers of the Fiscal Commission:
- ´To control all accounting books and documentation that support bookkeeping entries, overseeing management, controlling the state of the cash flow and the existence of funds, bonds and stock, in accordance with the laws and Bylaws in force.”
- “To pass judgment on the Annual Report, Inventory, General Balance Sheet, and Expenses and Income Account submitted by the Board of Directors for the consideration of the Ordinary Member Assembly at the end of each fiscal year.”
In line with the above, LACNIC has been preparing and publishing an Annual Report since its first fiscal year (2002), detailing all the activities carried out by the organization, statistics for the Internet number resource registry managed by LACNIC, and the corresponding financial statements. Since 2004, an independent auditing firm which rotates every three or four years prepares an opinion on the financial statements of LACNIC. This opinion is also published.
Every year, this information is sent to each of the members and is then presented at the Member Assembly for its discussion and approval during the first annual event. Once approved by the Assembly, the documentation is published on the LACNIC website and made available to the public in general (our extended community and collaborators).
In 2013, a “Transparency” section was added to the LACNIC website to provide organized and useful information for this purpose. Creating this section involved reviewing all the information published on the website and selecting which content should be made available under this heading. This process also allowed identifying new information resources as well as an overall improvement of the presentation and accessibility of existing information.
In the end, this work made it possible to meet the requirements derived from the involvement of the Internet numbers community during the IANA functions' stewardship transition process promoted by the United States government.
The past and current relevance of this historical exercise and our institutional commitment in this regard are adequately reflected in the current Mission Statement (2016):
“To manage Internet number resources for Latin America and the Caribbean through the participatory development of policies, based on a culture of excellence, transparency and continuous improvement, adding value to our community by:…”
As an organization, we are increasingly exposed to our community and other regional actors, so it is appropriate to establish Transparency Guidelines to ensure the consistency and continuity of our work in this area.
This involves an ongoing concern for identifying, documenting and making available all the information that LACNIC's different interest groups, Members, Community and Collaborators have the right to see in relation to aspects of their personal interest.
The Board considers that it is of the utmost importance to provide our Members and the Community, as the case may be, with timely and useful information on the processes related to the Internet number resource registry, including the normal operation of its governing bodies and the management of its financial resources.
In addition, we are committed to maintaining straightforward communication with our collaborators and creating an informed environment for the aspects of their interest.
To facilitate access to and the availability of information, the LACNIC website will have a specific section (Transparency) where all the information identified as relevant for these purposes will be gathered. From this section, it will be possible to access any updated content generated by the organization over the years.
In order to maintain a channel of communication for the community served by LACNIC and beyond, and as a way to offer support in case there is any difficulty in finding information or receiving suggestions for improving this section, we will maintain the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org mentioned in the Transparency section of the website.
This section will be permanently monitored to ensure that it remains up to date and that new items are added as soon as their relevance is identified.