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Contractual Compliance Audit Program

The audit program is an integral part of the ICANN Contractual Compliance function. The goal is to ensure that contracted parties, registrars and registries, comply with their agreements and the consensus policies. It is the opportunity and means by which ICANN enhances community transparency through fact based and measurable reporting while proactively addressing any potential deficiencies.

ICANN strives to achieve this goal through the Informal Resolution Process [PDF, 1.01 MB] first as well as through the Formal Resolution Process [PDF, 1.1 MB] as needed.

The audit program plan guide below is provided in an effort to promote awareness and knowledge of the provisions and test steps that are being considered in an audit.

The guide is provided for information purposes only. Please exercise judgment in using the information contained within it to make conclusions or business decisions.

Please send audit related questions to

Click on the links below for additional audit information:

Audit Communication Templates [PDF, 182 KB]

EFFECTIVE 1 NOVEMBER 2017: Contracted parties selected for an audit round will receive pre-audit notifications from ICANN two weeks prior to the audit's commencement.

Audit Program Phases & Timeline [PDF, 107 KB]

Audit Program Frequently Asked Questions

Audit Outreach sessions by calendar year

Audit Reports by calendar year

View Past Audit Programs

View Audit Program Dashboard [PDF, 36 KB].

The Registry auditees [PDF, 361 KB] selected for current round of Compliance Audit Program

Contractual Compliance Audit Partners and Risk Mitigation Plan

(2011 - present) KPMG - Please click on the Risk Mitigation Plan link for an outline of controls to address potential conflicts of interest with the Contractual Compliance Audit Partner, KPMG.

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."