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Minutes | Board Finance Committee (BFC) Meeting 1 September 2021

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

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

ICANN org Attendees: Chris Bare (Director, Strategic Initiatives), Xavier Calvez (SVP, Planning and Chief Financial Officer), Sally Newell Cohen (SVP, Global Communications and Language Services), Dan Halloran (Chief Data Protection Office and Deputy General Counsel), John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary), Aaron Jimenez (Board Operations Specialist), Lars Hoffman (Senior Director Policy Research and Stakeholder Programs), Kane Lentz (VP Policy Research and Stakeholder Programs), Rachel McFadyen (Writer/Editor), Nanig Mehranian (Senior Program Manager), Becky Nash (VP, Planning), Shani Quidwai (Sr. Director, Finance), Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel), and Gina Villavicencio (SVP, Global Human Resources)

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

  1. BFC Workplan – The BFC reviewed its Workplan for FY21, which is on track.
  2. Planning Calendar – The BFC received a briefing and overview of the FY23 IANA Budget planning, ICANN FY23-27 Operating and Financial Planning and PTI Operating Plan and Budget processes, the anticipated timeline, and the consultation process with the community. The BFC reviewed the FY23 IANA Budget process development timeline. The process took place from July through August 2021, beginning with a community webinar in July to kick off the process. The PTI draft Operating Plan and Budget will be submitted to the PTI Board for review on 9 September 2021 before publication for public comment. It is anticipated that the public comment period will open on 14 September. The planning process for the ICANN FY23-27 Operating and Financial Plan and the FY23 Operating Plan and Budget was kicked off in August and plan development is underway. A community webinar with an overview of the planning process has been scheduled for 15 September. It is anticipated that the draft plans will be presented for the BFC's review in late November, and thereafter, the draft plans will be published for public comment in December.
  3. BFC Meet the Committee Webinar Discussion – The BFC discussed the upcoming BFC Meet the Committee Webinar scheduled for 14 September, including the format, purpose, goals, content and timing of the webinar. The objective of the webinar series is to increase the community's awareness of the different Board committees and the important work that they do. The webinar will focus on the purpose, the role and the function of the BFC. The BFC discussed some questions and topics that could be asked, including questions from the moderator.

    • Actions: ICANN org to update prep materials and send to the BFC.
  4. SubPro Operational Design Phase (ODP) Funding Request – The Committee received a briefing on the key milestones of the Subsequent Procedures (SubPro) round. The org noted the BFC is receiving this briefing because there is a request by the org to allocate up to nine million dollars for the Operational Design Phase (ODP) for SubPro. The role of the BFC in this process is to verify that the process has been followed, that the amount is affordable, and to discuss the funding source. The amount requested was discussed in the SubPro Caucus. The purpose of the ODP is to inform the Board's decision on the Subsequent Procedures policy recommendations that are before the Board. There are several components involved, including a scoping document, setting forth the questions that Board is interested in finding the answers to during the ODP to help the Board make its decision. The funding requested will cover the estimated professional services and other costs that would be needed to provide the answers to the questions in the scoping document. The BFC reviewed the components that make up the initial funding request, including full-time and temporary resource estimates and expert support and expertise. The resources for this funding are the remaining funds of the 2012 round of the New gTLD Program. The org noted that it will provide updates to the BFC and the Board SubPro Caucus Group as to how the ODP is progressing operationally and financially. Following discussion, the BFC recommended that the Board authorize the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to utilize up to nine million dollars from the New gTLD Program to fund the ODP. The Committee noted that the nine million dollars would not only go toward the ODP phase, but would also contribute to advancing preparation for the next round of the New gTLD Program.

    • Action: ICANN org to prepare relevant materials for Board consideration.
  5. AOB – The Committee received a summary of the estimated FY21 year-end financials, which have not been finalized. The year concluded as anticipate in terms of funding and expenses. The funding is approximately a little over US$140 million, which is US$12 million higher than the originally planned funding of US$129 million. The expenses amount to approximately US$116 million, which is below the planned amount, resulting in an excess of US$25 million. The org will provide a full briefing to the BFC including options for the excess funds in the next few weeks.

Published on 27 September 2021