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Board Finance Committee (BFC) Minutes 31 January 2013

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

Other Board attendees: Fadi Chehadé (President and CEO), Steve Crocker, Erika Mann and Bruce Tonkin

Staff Members Present: Akram Atallah – Chief Operating Officer, Xavier Calvez – Chief Financial Officer; Megan Bishop, Michelle Bright, Shawn Capistrano, Samantha Eisner, Ken Redhead, Diane Schroeder, and Amy Stathos.

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

  1. BFC FY13 Schedule: The BFC reviewed its working schedule for the year and the status of the work remaining for the committee. The BFC paid particular attention to its meeting schedule in April 2013 and noted the need to address the sufficiency of that schedule in light of the posting of the proposed budget by 1 May 2013. The BFC budget review should be limited to confirming the process by which the staff developed the budget, a focus on large expenses/items and the identification of any risk areas. The BFC considered whether an additional face-to-face meeting prior to the posting of the budget might be required, or if the BFC review could occur using remote technologies.

    • Action:

      • BFC to determine schedule and mode for the review of the budget while onsite in Los Angeles for the Workshop.

  2. FY13 Budget Recap: The BFC reviewed the FY13 budget.

  3. Contingency Fund: The BFC reviewed the status of the contingency line item within the FY13 budget, noting that few requests have been made.

  4. Operating Fund: The BFC reviewed the status of ICANN's Operating Fund at the end of the three most recent quarters.

  5. Reserve Fund: The BFC reviewed the status of the Reserve Fund balance, noting that the balance has remained steady since the last review. The BFC discussed the reserve fund size analysis, including the work ongoing to develop a recommendation on the handling of the reserve fund.

  6. New gTLD Funds: The BFC reviewed the status of the New gTLD-related funds.

  7. Los Angeles Office Location: The BFC received a report from staff on the status of space in the Los Angeles office. While the staff noted that the long-term goal is to focus on staff growth in offices other than those in the U.S., there is a pressing need to address the present capacity issues in the Los Angeles. The BFC considered the financial aspect of the expansion, and agreed to recommend that the Board approve the resolution on expansion.

    • Action:

      • Staff to forward the recommendation to the Board.

  8. Proposed Changes to SO/AC Additional Budget Request Process: The BFC discussed the process for integrating requests for an SSAC Retreat and the additional GNSO leadership travel requests for meetings, and agreed to incorporate these items into the FY14 budget. The BFC discussed that the additional GNSO request arose out of the creation of a new constituency within the GNSO, and the BFC agreed that considerations of travel funding need to be included as a standard item when considering new constituency applications. The BFC also noted that it is important to assure that other SOs and ACs within ICANN do not have similar gaps that need to be addressed.

    The BFC also began a discussion of the timing for separate evaluation and approval for funding projects and activities that are scheduled to happen in the first four months of the fiscal year. This separate and earlier approval process would allow staff to plan better for activities that occur immediately or soon after the general budget approval occurs. Staff confirmed awareness of the timing impact this may have on the community and assured the BFC that this work is already being coordinated.

    • Actions:

      • Staff to alert the Structural Improvements Committee and policy staff regarding the consideration of travel funding as part of the constituency approval process.

      • Staff to coordinate with the policy secretariat staff to determine if there are any additional funding gaps that are advisable for the BFC to consider as part of the regular annual budget.

  9. New gTLD Auction Proceeds: The BFC began a discussion, in preparation for a broader discussion at the Board workshop, regarding the use of auction proceeds from the New gTLD Program, as well as any surplus funds that might result from the application fees.

  10. BFC Quarterly Reporting Package: The BFC reviewed a proposed new quarterly reporting package for the Board. The BFC noted that further conversation is necessary regarding publication of this new method of reporting.

    • Actions:

      • Staff to update the quarterly reporting format as advised by the BFC.

      • The issue of when the New gTLD Program development costs cease to be cast as historical development costs shall be placed on the BFC agenda for its meeting in Beijing.