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Minutes | Board Finance Committee (BFC) Meeting 6 November 2020

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

BFC Member Apologies: Mandla Msimang

Other Board Member Attendees: Avri Doria, Lito Ibarra, Göran Marby

ICANN Org Attendees: Michelle Bright (Board Content Coordination Director), Xavier Calvez (SVP, Planning and Chief Financial Officer), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), Kirsten Crownhart (Financial Planning & Analyst Manager), John Jeffrey (General Counsel & Secretary), Elizabeth Le (Associate General Counsel), Becky Nash (VP Planning), Brett Peterson (Director Accounting), Shani Quidwai (Sr. Director Finance), and Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel)

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

  1. BFC Workplan – The BFC reviewed its Workplan for FY2021, which is on target.
  2. Operating Fund Excess Allocation – The Committee received a briefing regarding the status of the funds under management, in particular, the Operating Fund. The ICANN Investment Policy states that the Operating Fund should be at a level of funds to cover three months of operating expenses and that any amount above that minimum target should be transferred. Using the three month average of operating fund level as of 30 June 2020 of USD 61 million less the target level of expected expenses for three months (USD 32 million), the approximate excess above target in the Operating Fund is USD 29 million. The key drivers for the excess include: (i) lower staffing costs as ICANN org has slowed down hiring given the uncertainties of impact to the org caused by the pandemic (ii) travel-related savings for the ICANN67 and ICANN68 meetings that were conducted virtually; (iii) lower than anticipated levels of day-to-day operations due to the pandemic; and (iv) a reimbursement transfer of USD 20 million from the New gTLD Program application funds. The BFC engaged in a discussion regarding different allocation options of the Operating Fund net excess. These options include allocation to the Reserve Fund, potentially creating a project fund to address activities and projects not included in the core organization expenses but are nonetheless included in the Strategic/Operating Plans thus require funding, and maintaining a short term financial buffer in the Operating Fund to address economic uncertainties from COVID-19, which can be allocated at a later stage to the Reserve Fund if and when the economic uncertainty reduces to acceptable levels. The BFC requested additional information from ICANN org on a possible project fund for further consideration by the Committee.
    • Actions :

      • ICANN org to provide additional information regarding a possible project fund for further consideration by the BFC.

Published on 27 November 2020