Board Finance Committee (BFC) Minutes 10 September 2014

BFC Attendees: Sébastien Bachollet, Cherine Chalaby (Chair), Chris Disspain, Bruno Lanvin, George Sadowsky and Mike Silber

Other Board member Attendees: Steve Crocker, Erika Mann and Fadi Chehadé

ICANN Executive and Staff Member Attendees: Susanna Bennett (Chief Operating Officer), Megan Bishop (Board Support Coordinator), Xavier Calvez (Chief Financial Officer), John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Board Support Content Manager), David Olive (Vice President, Policy Development Support), Ashwin Rangan (Chief Innovation and Information Officer), Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel), and Theresa Swinehart (Sr. Advisor to President on Strategy)

Invited Attendees: Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Markus Kummer and Asha Hemrajani

The following is a summary of discussions, actions taken and actions identified:

  1. BFC Meeting Schedule for FY15 – The Committee discussed the proposed schedule of BFC meetings for FY15. The plan is to have nine meetings, one at each face-to-face meeting, as well as several telephonic meetings. The meetings are scheduled around specific activities relating to the preparation of the FY16 Operating Plan and Budget.

  2. Minutes – The BFC approved the minutes from the meeting on 19 August 2014.

  3. FY15 Operating Plan and Budget – The Committee briefly discussed the status of final approval for the FY15 Operating Plan and Budget, which was approved on 9 September 2014 by the Board.

  4. FY16 Operating Plan and Budget process – Staff made a presentation to the BFC about the revised process for developing the FY16 Operating Plan and Budget. Staff began with a discussion of the current process, along with an explanation of the changes being made to the process. The BFC discussed the changes, as well as the reasons for the changes, with specific emphasis on bringing the stakeholders into the process at the design phase, which is a much earlier stage than when stakeholders previously had been engaged in detailed budget discussions. This will provide full consistency between the structure of the five-year strategic plan and the annual delivery of the strategic plan, as well as how they relate to the annual operating plan and budget. The calendar of activities surrounding this process will be shared with the community before the schedule is approved. The BFC discussed the importance of clarity when sharing this new schedule with the community in terms of what will happen at the various stages of the revised process. The BFC also discussed making sure to have a BFC meeting some time following the mid-year ICANN Public Meeting, but prior to 30 June of each year, so as to provide for evaluation and synthesis of comments received during that mid-year meeting.

    • Action: Staff to prepare detailed calendar regarding the BFC Schedule and the FY16 Operating Plan and Budget Process.

  5. Reserve Fund – Staff noted that there is a draft report from the reserve fund working group work, which will be reviewed with the BFC, relating to risks associated with the revenue as well as input from the Board survey. A number of scenarios have been developed in formulating the risks and those will be presented to the BFC in Los Angeles. The BFC also discussed the need to determine a method of funding projects that arise during the year that were not budgeted, and whether such an initiative can or should be funded through the reserve fund. The full discussion of the purpose of the reserve fund is set to take place during the Los Angeles meeting in October 2014. The BFC also briefly discussed the level of the reserve fund.

    • Action: Staff to prepare materials and final report for presentation to the BFC in Los Angeles.

  6. ICANN Meeting costs – Staff presented a plan for providing the BFC with an overview of the entire set of costs for each ICANN Public Meeting, and breaking down variances between budgets and actuals. This would happen within three months after each meeting concludes. The BFC also discussed a proposed plan for evaluating future venue contracts, which will include a cost analysis of the suggested venue as compared to past venues used and competing venues. The BFC also recognized and understood that the new organization of Public Meetings beginning in 2016, wherein the middle Public Meeting will be less extensive than the first and third Public Meetings, will require an adjustment in cost and budget comparisons in order to make accurate comparisons between similarly-sized Public Meetings.

Published on 12 October 2014