ICANN’s commitment to accountability and transparency is an ongoing full time quest. The recent posting of two financial guidelines are markers of the progress we have made in this quest. One is the Cost Accounting Guidelines and the other is the Procurement Guidelines. They are now posted on the finance section of the website here: http://www.icann.org/en/financials/general.htm. Both of these guidelines are the results of work under the guidance of both the Board Audit and Finance Committees. In addition, outside experts were consulted to ensure that these reflect best practices of other organizations.
The first of the two is the Cost Accounting Guidelines document. One important reason for posting this document now is that the new gTLD policy requires that the revenue related to processing new gTLD applications match the cost of processing those applications. ICANN strives to track and report in a transparent and meaningful fashion all other programs as well. The Cost Accounting Guidelines are intended to help build confidence that these lead to meaningful and accurate cost reports, verifiable by an independent auditor, while avoiding excessive administrative costs to prepare.
Second is the Procurement Guidelines. Generic top-level domain registrants (via generic registries and registrars), ccTLD operators, and Regional Internet Registries provide the funding for ICANN. ICANN must use these funds wisely. The purpose of the Procurement Guidelines is to help ensure that ICANN follows best purchasing practices, consistently applied, and to ensure that products and services are purchased with the correct specifications, at the appropriate level of quality, and for appropriate value.
The Procurement Guidelines help support ICANN’s principles of openness and transparency by ensuring that vendors and service providers are selected fairly and objectively with the highest ethical standards and appropriate levels of disclosure.
Although these are corporate guidelines, in the spirit of accountability and transparency, community members are welcome to comment on them. We welcome constructive ideas and feedback. These two guidelines, Procurement and Cost Accounting, will be further discussed, including any feedback received, by the Board Audit and Board Finance Committees in Nairobi.
CFO of ICANN