IFFOR Purpose: IFFOR is organized and shall operate to (i) foster communication between the Sponsored Community and other Internet stakeholders, (ii) protect free expression rights as defined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, and (iii) promote the development and adoption of responsible business practices designed to combat child abuse images, facilitate user choice and parental control regarding access to online adult entertainment, and protect the privacy, security, and consumer rights of consenting adult consumers of online adult entertainment goods and services (collectively the “Policy Goals”).
Office of Ombudsman Mission: The Office of Ombudsman is to receive and respond to complaints and/or concerns about IFFOR policies and the IFFOR policy process. The Office of Ombudsman is also responsible for conducting audits regarding ICM Registry’s handling of complaints related to registrant non-compliance with IFFOR Policies; as further expressly stated in the ICANN-ICM Registry Agreement the audits will result in a non-confidential summary of the nature and quantity of complaints received and processed by ICM Registry.
Qualifications and Operation of the Office of Ombudsman: The Office of Ombudsman must be experienced providers of such services, possessing such training and credentials as are recommended from time to time by the International Ombudsman Association, and must adhere to the Code of Ethics and Standards promulgated from time to time by the International Ombudsman Association (“IOA”) and available at: http://www.ombudsassociation.org/About-Us/IOA-Standards-of-Practice-IOA-Best-Practices/Code-of-Ethics.
Duties: The Office of Ombudsman shall:
- Facilitate the fair, impartial, and timely communication of complaints or concerns about IFFOR policies and the IFFOR policy process to the IFFOR Board Chair;
- Provide fair, impartial and timely response communication regarding the Office of Ombudsman’s inquiries or investigation to the complainant who initiated the compliant or concern about IFFOR policies and the IFFOR policy process;
- Exercise discretion to accept or decline to act on a complaint or concern;
- Maintain neutrality and independence, and have no bias or personal stake in an outcome; and
- Conduct written audits regarding the nature and quantity of complaints related to registrant non-compliance with IFFOR Policies received by ICM Registry. Such audits will result in a non-confidential summary of the nature and quantity of complaints received and processed by ICM Registry and shall be conducted in time intervals consistent with the terms of the ICM-ICANN Registry Agreement.
Responsibilities: IFFOR and ICM agree to cooperate with the Office of Ombudsman so that the Office of Ombudsman may carry out its mandate. To that end:
IFFOR and ICM shall:
- assist and cooperate fully with representatives of the Office of Ombudsman in the performance of its official duties;
- provide relevant information, consistent with confidentiality obligations and the preservation of privilege, to representatives of the Office of Ombudsman when called upon during an inquiry related to official matters;
- respect decisions of the Office of Ombudsman to protect the confidentiality of complainants or investigations and
- publicize the existence and purpose of the Office of Ombudsman and refer complaints, questions and/or related matters to the Office of Ombudsman, as appropriate.
The IFFOR Board of Directors shall:
- respond either in writing or at a Board meeting to the periodic reports of the Office of Ombudsman, addressing concerns raised by the Office of Ombudsman; and
- facilitate the effectiveness of the audits conducted by the Office of Ombudsman with proper support.
Access to Records, Facilities, and Personnel.
IFFOR and ICM may provide the Office of Ombudsman with access to records, files, and other sources of relevant information upon request during the course of the Office of Ombudsman’s official ICM audits, absent countervailing compelling concerns relating to confidentiality such as, without limitation, privileged communications, attorney-client communications, and/or attorney work product. In the event of disputes regarding requested documents or information, each entities’ Board shall make the final determination about disclosure of their respective relevant documents to the Office of Ombudsman.
Access to the Sponsored Community, Stakeholders, and the Public.
Neither IFFOR nor ICM will prevent or impede the Office of Ombudsman’s contact with the Sponsored Community, Stakeholders, or members of the public. They will encourage those with concerns or complaints regarding the development or implementation of IFFOR Policies to contact the Office of Ombudsman.
Jurisdiction of the Office of Ombudsman
The Office of Ombudsman does not have the power to make, change or set aside any IFFOR Policies, IFFOR or ICM Board decisions, acts, or omissions. The Office of Ombudsman also does not have jurisdiction over concerns or complaints regarding:
- internal IFFOR or ICM administrative matters;
- IFFOR or ICM personnel issues;
- issues relating to membership on the IFFOR or ICM Board;
- issues relating to vendor/supplier relationships with IFFOR or ICM;
- issues that are outside of the scope of IFFOR policies and the IFFOR policy process.
The Office of Ombudsman may decline jurisdiction over a complaint or concern in the following circumstances:
- the complaint or concern is repetitive, trivial, vexatious, frivolous, nonsubstantive, otherwise abusive, or not made in good faith;
- having due regard for all the circumstances, further action by the Office of Ombudsman is not necessary to resolve the complaint or concern;
- the complaint or concern is abandoned or is withdrawn by the complainant; or
- the complainant revokes the Office of Ombudsman process by engaging in either a formal review process or engages in an outside legal process.
Contacting the Office of Ombudsman, Confidentiality and Notice:
- The Office of Ombudsman will maintain confidentiality to the extent requested by any complainant and permitted by law and will take all reasonable steps to protect any records and files pertaining to confidential discussions from inspection by other persons, including IFFOR and ICM management;
- No inquiry, report, recommendation, or other action of the Office of Ombudsman shall be subject to examination or review in court, unless the Office of Ombudsman is subject to criminal investigation;
- Contact may be made with the Office of Ombudsman by email or phone;
- Persons reporting concerns to the Office of Ombudsman may do so anonymously; and/or
- Contact with the Office of Ombudsman does not constitute notice to IFFOR and/or ICM Registry of any particular action or cause of action.
Confidentiality: All matters brought before the Office of Ombudsman shall be treated as confidential and the Office of Ombudsman shall hold the confidential privilege, not IFFOR or ICM. The Office of Ombudsman shall take all reasonable steps necessary to ensure that if IFFOR or ICM staff or Board members are made aware of the existence and identity of a complainant, they agree to maintain the confidential nature of such information, except as necessary to further the resolution of a complaint. Nothing shall stop the Office of Ombudsman from treating information confidential if the Office of Ombudsman deems it appropriate to do so. In general terms, due to the very nature of the work of the Office of the Ombudsman, the Office of Ombudsman will resist testifying in any process which would reveal informal, confidential information given to the Office of Ombudsman during the course of an investigation.
Effective Date: The provisions of this charter are effective upon adoption by the IFFOR Board of Directors.