ICANN says sorry for crappy hotel complaint

Kevin Murphy, December 2, 2011, 14:12:57 (UTC), Gossip

ICANN has apologized to the government of Senegal for its uppity letter of complaint about a hotel used for its recent Dakar meeting.

As I blogged (with sarcasm) earlier this week, ICANN marketing chief Barbara Clay had written to Senegal’s telecommunications minister Moustapha Guirassy to complain that the Hotel des Almadies was not up to the expected standards.

The poor service “damaged ICANN’s reputation as well as the reputation of the Hotel and Senegal”, the letter, which has since been removed from ICANN’s web site (read it here), stated.

Clay has now written to Guirassy to apologize. The letter (pdf) reads:

The letter was sent without appropriate clearance by ICANN’s leadership and so it was not an official statement of ICANN’s position.

ICANN’s leadership, and indeed the entire ICANN community, deeply appreciate the generosity shown by Senegal in hosting our 42nd public meeting. ICANN’s leadership – and I personally – truly regret any embarrassment or distress my letter may have caused you or the Government of Senegal.

I hope you will accept this sincere expression of regret.

The $124-a-night Almadies came in for a torrent of complaints from ICANN’s At Large Advisory Committee and others due to the substandard rooms, poor wifi, rats, smells and lack of security.

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Comments (2)

  1. I feel pity that Ms. Clay is taking the fall, when if you read the original letter, it seems that more are to blame. Notice there’s no “apology” from the ALAC freeloaders, either.

    Page 3 of the original PDF (labelled page 1 of the ALAC report) clearly says that:

    “On 16 November 2011, the report was transmitted to the ICANN CEO, Rod Beckstrom, the Chairman of the ICANN Board, Steve Crocker, and a copy to the ICANN Board Secretary.”

    The introduction (still page 3 of the PDF) also says it was produced “By The Staff of ICANN”.

    If you go back to pages 1 and 2 of the PDF, it’s on ICANN official letterhead, it’s written “on behalf of ICANN”, uses “we” and “our” multiple times, and so on. It says that “ICANN wishes to lodge a formal complaint.”

    So you either have:

    (1) a rogue employee of ICANN, pretending to speak on behalf of the organization (in which case she should be terminated or disciplined). The “apology” should have come from Beckstrom, not her.

    or

    (2) a forced apology, to take the fall for the organization.

    It’s ironic that in her apology, she speaks on behalf of ICANN’s leadership, too. (i.e. “ICANN’s leadership — and I personally — truly regret…..”). If she wasn’t speaking for the entire organization in the first letter, how is she speaking for them all now? Any credibility she used to have has been destroyed, either by herself (scenario #1) or by her superiors (scenario #2) via the forced apology.

  2. Icann watcher says:

    You don’t really think that this correspondence was not vetted with ICANN senior management, Do you?

    Given the heavy-handed style of the current CEO, I would bet the farm that any correspondence to any agency of any government or any representative of any government has to be reviewed by the CEO.

    my guess is that Ms. Clay has been duly instructed to “take the bullet” or “take a hike”

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