In a letter dated October 1, 2012, sent to the CEO of ICANN, Fadi Chehadé and the Chairman of the Board, , Dr. Stephen D. Crocker, DotConnectAfrica (DCA) sent a third letter on what it considers to be a “Matter of Conflict of Interest on .AFRICA (DotAfrica) new gTLD Applications regarding Mr. Mike Silber and Mr. Chris Disspain, Members of the ICANN Board and the New gTLD Program Committee’s participation.
“DotConnectAfrica had sent two (2) separate letters dated July 9, 2012 to report a matter of Conflict of Interest on .Africa new gTLD applications regarding Mr. Mike Silber, a member of the ICANN Board from South Africa, and Mr. Chris Disspain, a member of the ICANN Board from Australia.”
“In our letters, we gave a full explanation of the matter, and adduced reasons to justify our fears that Mr. Mike Silber and Mr. Chris Disspain might be deeply conflicted over the DotAfrica (.Africa) gTLD issue, and how this would cause them to be strongly prejudiced against DCA’s application because of their relationship to a competing applicant for DotAfrica (.Africa).”
“We had requested that to avoid any Conflict of Interest, Mr. Mike Silber and Mr. Chris Disspain should recuse themselves from participating in any future Board-level, Executive-level or Committee-level discussions and or decisions regarding any of the .AFRICA (dotAfrica) gTLD application(s) submitted to ICANN.”
“However, to our chagrin and complete bewilderment, we note from information available on the ICANN Web Site that Mr. Mike Silber and Mr. Chris Disspain are freely participating in meetings of the New gTLD Program Committee of ICANN.”
“We understand that on 10 April 2012, the Board established the New gTLD Program Committee, which is comprised of all voting members of the Board that are not conflicted with respect to the New gTLD Program.”
“According to the report of the preliminary meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee held in Los Angeles, we have noted that Mike Silber and Chris Disspain, both ICANN Directors regarding whom we had previously raised possible Conflict of Interest (COI) concerns to ICANN, had participated in all or part of the meeting. ”
“We are therefore seriously disappointed that nothing was done about the previous letters that we wrote to ICANN regarding Messrs. Mike Silber and Chris Disspain.
“We therefore wish to express our indignation in the strongest terms that despite the earlier communication sent to ICANN, both Mr. Mike Silber and Mr. Chris Disspain are still participating in New gTLD discussions at ICANN, even though we have explained the relationships and affiliations that possibly exist between these ICANN Board members to UniForum ZA Central Registry, a competing applicant for the .Africa new gTLD.”
“Consequently, we would like to seek immediate reassurances from ICANN that both Mr. Mike Silber and Mr. Chris Disspain shall be required to recuse themselves in any ICANN Board-level discussions and decisions regarding .Africa; or DCA shall be forced to seek certain remedies and protect itself from any possible harm to its application by the continuing presence and influence of Mr. Mike Silber and Mr. Chris Disspain on the New gTLD Program Committee.”