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Board Finance Committee (BFC) Minutes 16 May 2013

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

Other Board attendees: Steve Crocker and Bruce Tonkin

Staff Members Present: Akram Atallah – Chief Operating Officer, Xavier Calvez – Chief Financial Officer; Megan Bishop, Michelle Bright, Samantha Eisner, Amy Stathos, and Nick Tomasso

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

  1. Budget Review: The BFC reviewed the budget to date.

  2. Contingency Fund: The BFC reviewed the status of the contingency fund.

  3. Operating Fund: The BFC reviewed the status of the operating fund, and noted that the BFC will need to have a discussion with staff in the future regarding the target amount of the operating fund. Staff confirmed that the operating fund does not include operating amounts for the New gTLD Program.

  4. Reserve Fund: The BFC reviewed the status of the reserve fund.

  5. New gTLD-Related Funds: The BFC reviewed the status of the new gTLD funds, including identification of the banks holding the investments.

  6. Location of October 2014 ICANN Meeting in North America: The BFC reviewed a staff recommendation for the budget for the October 2014 ICANN Public meeting in North America. The BFC noted that due to methods of budget allocations, it was presented with the information as to the meeting facilities and production budget, and not the travel, IT and language services budget items. Staff noted that the full anticipated costs of the meeting could be combined and provided. The BFC discussed that it may be preferable to approve a meeting budget for the year, and variances from the yearly budget can be presented as exceptions. The BFC requested a paper from staff on how staff proposes to deal with future meeting budgeting issues. A BFC member voted against recommending this to the Board, as he requests that this resolution be presented along with information for all of the meetings within 2014, not just the last one.

    • Actions:

      • Staff to forward recommendation to the Board.

      • Staff to prepare a proposal for the BFC on how to address meeting budget issues in the future.

  7. SSAC Support Overview: Staff presented information to the BFC regarding SSAC support levels and requests. The BFC agreed to recommend to the Board an approval of the Fast Track budget request from the SSAC for additional travel funding for the Durban meeting. The BFC also agreed to examine the way that the SSAC is treated for budgetary purposes and will endeavor to make recommendations to the Board in time for the Board decision on the FY14 Budget.

    • Action:

      • Staff to forward recommendation to the Board.

  8. FY14 Budget Timeline: The BFC reviewed a proposed timeline for the presentation of the budget to the Board for approval. In the event the budget is not approved until the Durban meeting, there is the possibility that there would have to be approval for operating during the interim period between the beginning of the fiscal year and the time of budget approval. The BFC agreed that it is preferable for the budget to be approved at the ICANN Public meeting in Durban, in part due to community expectations of budget approval at a public meeting. The BFC approved a recommendation to the Board that the FY14 budget be approved during the Durban meeting, and during the interim, the organization be authorized to operate in a manner consistent with the budget as posted.

    • Action:

      • Staff to forward recommendation to the Board.

  9. Follow-up Questions on Budget: The BFC discussed a request from one of the members regarding how the budget is reviewed and the time the BFC has with the budget and to interact with staff regarding the budget. The BFC also engaged in a discussion about the fundamental role of the BFC as it relates to the review of the budget, and whether the review is more appropriate at a high level, or in line-by-line detail.