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Minutes | Meeting of the Finance Committee of the Board (BFC) | 28 July 2023

BFC Attendees: Harald Alvestrand, Becky Burr, Edmon Chung, Avri Doria, Danko Jevtović (Chair), and León Sánchez

Other Board Member Attendees: Sally Costerton, James Galvin, Patricio Poblete, and Katrina Sataki

ICANN org Attendees: Chris Bare (Director, Strategic Initiatives), Ted Bartles (Meetings Production Operations Director), Josh Baulch (Director, Meeting Planning Operations), Lars Hoffman (Senior Director Policy Research and Stakeholder Programs), Elizabeth Le (Associate General Counsel), Karen Lentz (VP Policy Research and Stakeholder Programs), Becky Nash (VP, Planning), Wendy Profit (Board Operations Senior Manager),Shani Quidwai (Sr. Director, Finance), Vivek Sengupta (Senior Director, Procurement), Theresa Swinehart (SVP, Global Domains and Strategy), and Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel)

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

  1. BFC Workplan – The Committee discussed its workplan, which is on target.

  2. Contracting for ICANN81 Meeting Venue – ICANN org presented the Committee with a proposed hotel and venue engagement for the ICANN81 Annual General Meeting. ICANN org performed a thorough analysis of the proposals, as well, as other venues, and prepared a paper to identify those that met the meeting location selection criteria. Based upon the proposals received and analysis, ICANN org has identified a location and venue for ICANN81. In terms of due diligence, the BFC determined that the procurement process has been followed and that several alternative locations were evaluated against the ICANN meeting location selection criteria. The recommended venue adheres to the geographic rotation guidelines established by the Meeting Strategy Working Group. The BFC also determined cost estimates for the location are reasonable, consistent with historical meeting costs, and will be included in the FY25 Budget. The Committee noted that its evaluation pertains to the financials for the ICANN81 Public meeting and does not extend to the security and human rights assessments for the proposed venue, which will be separately considered by the Board. Following discussion, the BFC approved a recommendation to the Board to authorize ICANN org to enter into the hotel and venue contracts for ICANN81.

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

  3. Contracting for Meeting Venue Search Firm – The BFC received a briefing on an engagement with a global venue search partner that ICANN org will be undertaking. The vendor researches venues for future ICANN events and provides options for venues and accommodations that meet ICANN's requirements. ICANN org has been working with the vendor since 2009 and intends to renew its engagement with the vendor. ICANN org presented the Committee a high-level overview of contract terms. ICANN org informed that it intends to renew the contract with same firm to select and find the locations for ICANN Public meetings. While the total contract amount is less the USD 500K and does not require Board approval, ICANN org is presenting to the Committee for visibility and awareness, not for the BFC approval.

  4. New gTLD Program Next Round Financials – The Committee received a briefing on the implementation financials for the next round of the New gTLD Program, including financials related to, among other things, the Applicant Support Program. ICANN org projects that it will have utilized most of the USD 9 million funding that the Board approved to cover implementation cost through 31 October 2023 and that it will be seeking Board approval for additional funding in tranches consistent with Board Resolutions 2023.07.27.01 – 2023.07.27.03 and the Next Round Implementation Plan. ICANN org noted that it is developing a process for funding requests and will present the process to the Committee for consideration at a future meeting.

    • Action: ICANN org to develop a process for funding requests for further consideration by the Committee.

Published on 15 September 2023