An informal ICANN community/staff working group interested in our budgeting process came together for the first time during the ICANN52 meeting in Singapore.
This was an unprecedented meeting. The ten community members and five staff members interacted for four hours, after an already long day of meetings, on key assumptions such as our preliminary revenue forecast, our growth assumptions and our priorities for the coming year.
It was important because the group met after the conclusion of the 5-year Operating plan public comments, and before the actual development of the detailed budget for the next fiscal year (FY16), allowing us to take into account input before we develop the budget.
"Early consultation is one of the hallmarks of the bottom-up multistakeholder process and it is really beneficial," said Jimson Olufuye, one of the community members present.
Personally, I was impressed by the level of collaboration exhibited by the participants, as we exchanged views on the main budget assumptions. Open discussions and strong engagement from all laid the grounds for deep mutual understanding, quality input and useful recommendations.
Chuck Gomes, a community member with the gTLD registry community, echoed my feelings when he sent me a note saying "I found it very productive."
We view this as a classic case where transparency and community engagement benefited a vital process.
I'm grateful to all who were involved in this initial effort and we will continue to work with the community as we develop and finalize the Operating Plan and Budget.