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Minutes | Board Finance Committee (BFC) Meeting 12 May 2018

BFC Attendees: Maarten Botterman, Ron da Silva (Chair), Chris Disspain, Khaled Koubaa and George Sadowsky.

Other Board Member Attendees: Avri Doria and Lousewies van der Laan.

ICANN org Attendees: Xavier Calvez (Chief Financial Officer), Samantha Eisner (Deputy General Counsel), Elizabeth Le (Associate General Counsel), Becky Nash (VP Finance), David Olive (SVP, Policy Development Support), Wendy Profit (Manager, Board Operations), Lisa Saulino (Board Operations Sr. Coordinator), Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel), and Christine Willet (VP, gTLD Operations).

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

  1. Minutes – The BFC approved the minutes of the 2 February 2018 BFC Meeting.

  2. BFC Work Plan – The BFC reviewed the BFC work plan, which is on target. A key action item is the approval of the FY19 Operating Plan and Budget.

  3. Contract Approval: Registrar Data Escrow Agent Vendor Contract Approval – The BFC was provided information on the Registrar Data Escrow (RDE) agent with regional support in the European Union and an understanding of the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as it relates to the escrow data. In August 2017, ICANN organization published a Request For Proposal (RFP) to identify a Registrar Data Escrow Agent in Europe. In response to the RFP, ICANN organization received eight responses. During this process, ICANN org identified service areas that could be enhanced with an additional ICANN-designated RDE agent and considered those in the RFP evaluation. ICANN org identified DENIC eG to have a clear understanding of the needs of the registrar community and the capability to perform at the appropriate service levels. In addition, DENIC eG has broad understanding of the current industry and of the ICANN's multistakeholder model. The BFC approved a recommendation to the Board to approve the contract for the new Registrar Data Escrow Agent DENIC eG.

    • Action Item: ICANN organization to prepare relevant materials for Board consideration.

  4. FY19 Operating Plan & Budget Summary of Changes – The BFC was presented with an overview of the changes to the FY19 Operating Plan and Budget based on public comment. First, with respect to concerns expressed by certain community members that the FY19 OP&B does not reflect a next round for new gTLDs, the language has been revised to indicate that the budget supports the work of the policy development process (PDP) and that the resources would be made available if the PDP would go faster than currently planned and implementation funds would be required. Second, there has been a change on reviews based upon the discussion during ICANN 61 relative to the schedule of reviews. Under the Bylaws, there are 11 reviews scheduled to occur in FY19. The challenge is the bandwidth of the community and ICANN organization to be able to carry out all these reviews.

    A public comment period will be initiated concerning the cadence of reviews. If the public comment process results in delaying or freezing some of the reviews to decrease the volume of reviews in FY19, then the budget spend for reviews could be lower. Alternatively, if all 11 reviews will continue as scheduled, ICANN organization has allocated and reserved a fraction of the budget contingency in the amount of US$800,000 to address this. Third, other changes include adjustments the amount of sponsorship collected for ICANN meetings, which is lower than it used to be. Fourth, the funding to the Fellowship Program has been increased in the revised budget from 30 to 45 fellowships per meeting, so long as the fellows are going to be allocated to directly support the Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees in their policy development work, which will help ensure that there is direct value to the community provided by the fellows. Fifth, there is a proposed change to the Community Regional Outreach Program (CROP) by reinstating the portion of the program that brings people to ICANN meetings. Sixth, with respect to ICANNWiki, ICANN organization is suggesting a progressive decrease of funding over a three-year period starting with FY19, where ICANN organization will only fund two-thirds of the amount that it has funded historically. ICANN organization will decrease the funding by another third in FY20 and eliminate it entirely in FY21 leaving the ICANNWiki organization a bit more time to find alternate funding. Overall, the difference in funding is a net reduction of US$300,000. After discussion and consideration of the revisions to the FY19 OP&B, the BFC approved a recommendation to the Board to adopt the FY19 Operating Plan and Budget.

    • Action Item: ICANN organization to prepare relevant materials for Board consideration.

  5. Addressing Registries Stakeholder Group's (RySG) Request for Refund of TMCH Registry RPM Access Fee – The BFC was informed of a proposed resolution that has been submitted to the Board for consideration to approve the refund the one-time rights protection mechanism (RPM) access fee of US$5,000 for each registry that accessed the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) from remaining New gTLD Program funds. While the proposed resolution does not require BFC approval, it is being brought to BFC's attention.

Published on 20 June 2018