Have an opinion on where ICANN should spend its money?
There is just over a week left on the public comment period for ICANN’s operating plan and budget for next year, and we have received only a few comments so far. We encourage you to provide your input on how the organization should spend its money in FY10.
Why should you bother?
Because ICANN is responsible for the expenditure of tens of millions of dollars in the interests of the Internet community and the Internet infrastructure itself.
Many times a year ICANN is asked to explain its spending decisions. Each time we point to the Strategic Plan and Operating Plan processes to explain that the community itself has significant input how ICANN spends its money and on what. For the past two years, we have followed a process that allows over four months for the public to comment on how ICANN spends the budget.
This public comment period that will close on Thursday 30 April is the last time you will be able to provide input that will have a significant impact on next year’s budget. Per ICANN’s bylaws, we will post a draft of the FY10 Budget by 17 May. Then there will also be an opportunity to post your comments on the draft before the final FY10 Operating Plan and Budget is put before the Board for approval at the Sydney meeting in June.
What’s so special about FY2010 for ICANN?
The next year is especially significant for ICANN and the community because it represents the financial plan that has been developed for dealing with the introduction of new generic top-level domains and internationalized domain names.
There has been a significant amount of discussion about the impact that new gTLDs and IDNs may have on ICANN and the Internet itself, and particularly the potential financial impact.
Internally, ICANN has tried to assess what this expansion of the domain space could mean for the organization – and the money received, spent and its allocation is a vital element of that. We will be posting a budget amendment focused purely on the new gTLD rollout several months before the program is launched but the community’s views on where we are currently would be invaluable.
Other significant issues addressed in the Operating Plan and Budget requesting community input include:
- Is the approach to meetings scaling with the ICANN community’s size and diversity, and work style over time? Should ICANN take action in FY10 to reduce or redirect the substantial expense – both directly by ICANN and indirectly by participants – in three meetings around the world?
- As ICANN grows to support application processing for the new gTLD program, what is the best way to staff (hire vs. outsource) and what are the appropriate geographic locations for this effort?
- How does the community want to explicitly prioritize work such that the costs to support additional work don’t just grow?
- How can ICANN better report on and measure the effectiveness of many activities such as outreach and policy development, so as to allow these areas to be tuned/improved?
- What other ideas does the community have for prioritization or cost reduction consistent with the Strategic Plan goals?
If you have views on these or another other parts of the budget, please do review the Operating Plan and Budget and email us your comments within the next 10 days.
All the information you need should be available on the public comment webpage here: http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/#op-budget-fy2010
Chief Financial Officer, ICANN