Board Activities and Meetings
BFC Attendees: Harald Alverstrand, Becky Burr, Ron da Silva, Danko Jevtović (Chair), Ihab Osman, Mandla Msimang, and Tripti Sinha
Other Board Member Attendees: Lito Ibarra, Göran Marby, and León Sánchez
ICANN org Attendees: Michelle Bright (Board Content Coordination Director), Xavier Calvez (SVP, Planning and Chief Financial Officer), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary), Aaron Jimenez (Board Operations Specialist), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Senior Director, Board Operations), Elizabeth Le (Associate General Counsel), Alex Morshed (Finance Manager), Becky Nash (VP, Planning), Wendy Profit (Board Operations Senior Manager), Shani Quidwai (Sr. Director Finance), and Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel)
The following is a summary of discussions, actions taken and actions identified:
- BFC Workplan – The BFC reviewed its Workplan for FY21, which is on track, although not all meetings scheduled may be necessary.
- Overview of Public Comments Received on FY22 Draft Plans – The BFC received a briefing on the comments received on the FY22 Operating Plan and Budget (FY22 OP&B) from the public comment period. It is anticipated that the staff report on public comments will be published on or about 18 March 2021. Two hundred and eighteen comments from 11 groups and one individual were received spanning across nine different categories. The nine categories are: document structure and/or future improvement suggestions; financial management; functional activities; funding assumptions and projections; ICANN meetings, constituent travel and community engagement support; operating initiative plans; personnel and head count; and progress measurement and reporting. The category that received the greatest number (nearly 40%) of comments is operating initiative plans, and operating initiative resources received the second greatest number of comments. Based upon the comments received, ICANN org does not anticipate any material changes to the draft FY22 OP&B that was published for public comment. There are a few minor changes to the text recommended based on the comments received, which will be reflected on the table of changes. There will be further review and discussion of the comments received after the publication of the staff report on public comments. The BFC received an update on next steps for the FY22 OP&B following the publication of the staff report on public comments.
Investment Management Update, Temporary Instructions –The BFC received a briefing on the status of the funds under management, which have increased between February 2020 and February 2021, despite the market volatility during the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been approximately USD 500,000 to 600,000 of investment gains in the New gTLD Program Fund, which has been offset by incurring expenses. The Reserve Fund and Operating Fund have experienced significant growth in the 12-month period. The BFC also received an update on the temporary instructions that ICANN issued to the investment managers for the funds under management in response to the market volatility from the pandemic. The temporary instructions, which were set to expire on 15 March 2021, have been extended to 15 September 2021 in light of the ongoing pandemic. The BFC asked about the Investment Policy for the New gTLD Program and Auction Proceeds since those investments are growing less than inflation. ICANN org explained that the policies vary depending on nature of funds; the org agreed to evaluate and discuss further with the BFC at an upcoming meeting.
- Action: ICANN org to evaluate Investment Policy for the New gTLD Program and Auction Proceeds and discuss with BFC at an upcoming meeting.
Org Resourcing Discussion – The BFC previously asked the org to think about resourcing in light of the current and anticipated workload. ICANN org provided the BFC with the suggested structure to engage with the BFC on this subject. The Board, org and community recognize that there is a lot of work to do and there is a need for additional resources to get the work done. The suggested approach includes providing the BFC and Board with an overview of the current staffing structure, how the pipeline of projects and initiatives will be impact resources, the timing of when the projects and initiatives are anticipated to impact the org, and the financial projections and funding sources. ICANN org plans to receive the BFC's input to help enhance what org will propose to the full Board.
- Action: ICANN org to provide the BFC and Board with an overview of the current staffing structure, how the pipeline of projects and initiatives will be impact resources, the timing of when the projects and initiatives are anticipated to impact the org, and the financial projections and funding sources.
AOB – The BFC noted that it received the revised Board paper from org on the creation of the Supplemental Fund for Implementation of Community Recommendations and revisions to the Investment Policy. The Committee agreed to continue the discussion to allow the Committee members adequate time to review the revised paper.
- Action: The Committee to continue its discussion re Board paper on the creation of the SFICR and revisions to the Investment Policy.
Published on 19 April 2021