NTIA’s Strickling acknowledges Congressional prohibition on Internet transfer, ALG urges contract renewal

Jan. 29, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement responding to comments by Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary Lawrence Strickling on January 27 to the State of the Net conference’s session, “Internet Functions in Transition: Is the US and the World Ready?” where he said, “we will not use appropriated funds to terminate the IANA functions contract with ICANN prior to the contract’s current expiration date of September 30, 2015” and “If the community needs more time, we have the ability to extend the IANA functions contract for up to four years”:

“We applaud Assistant Secretary Strickling for acknowledging Congress’ explicit prohibition in the omnibus on transferring Internet governance to ICANN this fiscal year. And we urge him to extend the contract by four years to allow sufficient time to allay any concerns over the potential transfer and not jeopardize the free and open Internet. It is clear that the transfer is not ready for primetime lacking both Congressional approval and certainty over the multistakeholder process.

“Extending the contract is not only the easiest thing to do, but given Congress’ clear prohibition on performing the transition prior the contract’s expiration, is the only thing to do.

“Americans for Limited Government urges the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which Strickling heads, not to attempt to find a cute way of getting around the Congressional prohibition. It is not, as Strickling said, ‘up to the community to determine a timeline that works best for stakeholders.’ The omnibus requires the agency to inform Congress by August 17 what its decision regarding the IANA functions contract will be. After Strickling’s statement, there had better not be a head-fake, for example, by simply allowing the contract to expire and transferring ownership of the IANA functions completely to ICANN without prior notice or Congress’ assent. That would be deceptive, unwise, and unconstitutional, since only Congress can transfer government property.”

Attachments:

“NTIA cannot perform Internet governance transfer without Congress,” By Americans for Limited Government senior editor Robert Romano, January 29, 2015 at http://netrightdaily.com/2015/01/john-thunes-education-free-open-internet/

IANA Functions Contract, October 1, 2012 at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/sf_26_pg_1-2-final_award_and_sacs.pdf

I.70 1352.270-70 PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE (APR 2010)

(a) The base period of performance of this contract is from

October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2015. If an option is exercised, the period of performance shall be extended through the end of that option period.

(b) The option periods that may be exercised are as follows:

Period             Start Date                    End Date
Option I           October 1, 2015          September 30, 2017
Option II          October 1, 2017          September 30, 2019

(c) The notice requirements for unilateral exercise of option periods are set out in FAR 52.217-9 (see Paragraph I.59 above).

I.59 52.217-9 OPTION TO EXTEND THE TERM OF THE CONTRACT (MAR 2000)

(a) The Government may extend the term of this contract by written notice to the Contractor within 15 calendar days before the expiration of the contract; provided that the Government gives the Contractor a preliminary written notice of its intent to extend at least 30 calendar days before the contract expires. The preliminary notice does not commit the Government to an extension.

(b) If the Government exercises this option, the extended contract shall be considered to include this option clause.

(c) The total duration of this contract, including the exercise of any options under this clause, shall not exceed seven years.

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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