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Cost Accounting and Procurement Guidelines Posted

ICANN’s commitment to accountability and transparency is an ongoing full time quest.  The recent posting of two financial guidelines are markers of the progress we have made in this quest.  One is the Cost Accounting Guidelines and the other is the Procurement Guidelines. They are now posted on the finance section of the website here:  Both of these guidelines are the results of work under the guidance of both the Board Audit and Finance Committees.  In addition, outside experts were consulted to ensure that these reflect best practices of other organizations.

The first of the two is the Cost Accounting Guidelines document. One important reason for posting this document now is that the new gTLD policy requires that the revenue related to processing new gTLD applications match the cost of processing those applications.  ICANN strives to track and report in a transparent and meaningful fashion all other programs as well.  The Cost Accounting Guidelines are intended to help build confidence that these lead to meaningful and accurate cost reports, verifiable by an independent auditor, while avoiding excessive administrative costs to prepare.

Second is the Procurement Guidelines.  Generic top-level domain registrants (via generic registries and registrars), ccTLD operators, and Regional Internet Registries provide the funding for ICANN.  ICANN must use these funds wisely.  The purpose of the Procurement Guidelines is to help ensure that ICANN follows best purchasing practices, consistently applied, and to ensure that products and services are purchased with the correct specifications, at the appropriate level of quality, and for appropriate value.

The Procurement Guidelines help support ICANN’s principles of openness and transparency by  ensuring that vendors and service providers are selected fairly and objectively with the highest ethical standards and appropriate levels of disclosure.

Although these are corporate guidelines, in the spirit of accountability and transparency, community members are welcome to comment on them.   We welcome constructive ideas and feedback.   These two guidelines, Procurement and Cost Accounting, will be further discussed, including any feedback received, by the Board Audit and Board Finance Committees in Nairobi.


Kevin Wilson



    Domain Name System
    Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."