Minutes | Board Finance Committee (BFC) Meeting 27 May 2020

BFC Attendees: Harald Alverstrand, Becky Burr, Ron da Silva (Chair), Lito Ibarra, Danko Jevtović, Ihab Osman, and Tripti Sinha

Other Board Member Attendees: Avri Doria

ICANN Org Attendees: Susanna Bennett (SVP, Chief Operations Officer), Michelle Bright (Board Content Coordination Director), Xavier Calvez (SVP & Chief Financial Officer), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), Teresa Elias (Director, Governance Operations Support), John Jeffery (General Counsel and Secretary), Aaron Jimenez (Board Operations Specialist), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Senior Director, Board Operations), Alex Morshed (Finance Manager), Becky Nash (VP, Finance), Peg Rettino (Project Specialist & Executive Assistant), Shani Quidwai (Director, Financial Planning & Analysis), Jennifer Scott (Senior Counsel), Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel), and Russ Weinstein (Senior Director, gTLD Accounts & Services)

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

  1. BFC Workplan – The BFC reviewed its Workplan, which is on target.
  2. Discussion of aligning BFC work with ICANN strategic priorities – The BFC discussed a request from the Board Governance Committee (BGC) for the BFC to discuss the process for ensuring that Board committees are responsible for aligning the committee work with the ICANN strategic priorities. The BGC also requested committees to review the strategic plan to identify the areas for which the committee has particular responsibility and to identify Board Committees, Board Working Groups or Board Caucuses that may have oversight of the progress of any targeted outcomes or strategic risks for the goals which the BFC has been designated. Specifically, the BFC reviewed and discussed the Board's proposed designations of Board committees and other groups that may logically fit as the oversight committee for each of the strategic goals set forth in the ICANN Strategic Plan. The BFC discussed that the BGC had recommended that the Board first agree on the proposed oversight committee designations for each of the Strategic Plan goals and then the designated committees could determine if another Board committee or group should have responsibility for strategic oversight of the progress of one or more of the targeted outcomes or strategic risks of the goal. The BFC agreed with the Board's proposed designations and concluded additionally that it would like to suggest to the BGC that the BFC also has subsidiary role, on an as-needed basis, for accomplishing the financial aspects of goals with primary oversight designated to other committees.

    • Action: ICANN org to prepare materials for the BFC's response to the BGC on the proposed designations.
  3. Review of FY20 Financial Update, Legal Expenses, Operating Fund and Future Updates – As requested by the BFC at its April 2020 meeting, the BFC received and reviewed an update from ICANN org regarding the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) financials, including the comparison of FY20 actual financials against the FY20 budget, a breakdown of FY20 legal expenses, historical information on the Operating Fund's balances, and ICANN org's proposed cadence for updating the BFC on ICANN org's financials through December 2020. ICANN org explained that FY20's year-to-date funding is slightly higher than expected and expenses are lower than expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in an anticipated net excess at the end of FY20. ICANN org explained it is planning on saving the cash surplus in FY21 to withstand future uncertainty related to funding delays and potential expenses. ICANN org also explained the year-to-date FY20 legal expenses and how legal expenses are funded, budgeted and managed. ICANN org provided the BFC with an update about the status of its Funds Under Management and provided a historical rolling three-month average of the Operating Fund balances for purposes of the BFC's ongoing oversight of the Operating Fund due to the uncertainty of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on ICANN org's future financials. ICANN org also shared its plan for providing the BFC with quarterly updates regarding funding and net excess/cash forecasts, inclusive of the status of risks and opportunities on those forecasts. ICANN org also indicated that it plans to provide the community with a financial update via webinar in September 2020.

Published on 20 August 2020