Public Comment is a vital part of our multistakeholder model. It provides a mechanism for stakeholders to have their opinions and recommendations formally and publicly documented. It is an opportunity for the ICANN community to effect change and improve policies and operations.
The Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback on the Public Technical Identifiers (PTI) and IANA draft Operating Plans and Budgets. Since there is substantial overlap between the two documents, we have elected to make a single integrated comment.
● FY23 Operating Plans and Budgets
The FY23 budget is fiscally prudent in that it is forecast to be in line with the prior year (FY22). This prudence is welcomed by the RySG.
The document notes that additional headcount may be required in FY23 to support IANA and insinuates that the current allocation of PTI’s resources poses a risk to timely delivery of key projects. While we appreciate the organizational practice not to allocate new positions to the functional activities until they are hired, we would welcome more detail regarding the seemingly conflicting priorities of PTI’s contractual deliverables and SLAs and other tasks and expectations, and the profile of a potential additional hire expected to solve this.
We share the hope that FY23 will see a return to face-to-face meetings and engagement at pre-pandemic levels. We understand that the budget foresees travel based at historical levels and leaves room for adjustment because of challenges related to pandemic health concerns. We recommend taking into account additional elements and scenarios when predicting the cost of post-pandemic travel (e.g. expected evolution in the cost of plane tickets).
● Document structure and comment process
The PTI Budget document continues to improve by providing additional narrative detail, structure and linkage to the strategic plan.
We appreciate the new presentation with activities grouped within four areas of focus (Operations - Operational Excellence - Technical Services - Governance). However, we wonder why the document’s structure was not aligned with the five strategic objectives in the PTI Strategic Plan (Trust - Security - Delivery of Services - Operational Excellence - Governance). More comprehensive, explicit linkage of the Operating Plan and Budget to the Strategic Plan will be a welcome development. Using the same structure and terminology in both documents would further delineate the linkage between strategic and operational thinking.
The format of the documents largely is a statement of the budget as planned and proposed. Community input and comment may be better facilitated or complemented if the authors provided specific questions around key expenditure for community input and comment
The document, as prepared, provides helpful narrative context regarding the Operational Activities and System Enhancements, and this is appreciated. But, as we indicated in previous comments, we would find it useful to have specific questions posed for our commentary response. Questions could be posed to anyone commenting or, at least, indications of the choices or compromises being made. As commenters, we are not familiar with the detailed choices or compromises being made. Therefore, absent such information, it is challenging for a commenter to provide substantial or material input. We welcome the development of the previously published Strategic Plan and the opportunity we had to comment on it at the time.
Fiscal prudence is only one key parameter and, should the IANA services require investment or critical investment decisions, the RySG would welcome the opportunity to understand and comment on what investment may be required. To this extent, the RySG welcomes interaction with the IANA staff and, potentially, a more interactive style of budget. For example, the budget as presented could offer more than one option for investment. Such an approach could offer two or even three options along the lines of a base budget, a development budget and an investment budget that the community could comment on. We anticipate that users of the IANA services may find such an approach particularly helpful in facilitating more detailed and interactive community comment and input.
 RySG Comment on the Draft PTI FY21-24 Strategic Plan, 1 June 2020, https://84e2b371-5c03-4c5c-8c68-63869282fa23.filesusr.com/ugd/ec8e4c_164c899843eb425e83f18ae3d6967214.pdf
- The FY23 budget is fiscally prudent in that it is forecast to be in line with the prior year (FY22). This prudence is welcomed by the RySG.
- We would welcome more detail regarding the seemingly conflicting priorities of PTI’s contractual deliverables and SLAs and other tasks and expectations, and the profile of a potential additional hire expected to solve this.
- The PTI Budget document continues to improve by providing additional narrative detail, structure and linkage to the strategic plan. Additional changes are suggested to facilitate more detailed and interactive community comment and input.