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Board Finance Committee Minutes

13 January 2009, 15:30 UTC

BFC members present: Raimundo Beca, Steve Crocker, Dennis Jennings, and Rajasekhar Ramaraj (Chair).

Staff members present: Doug Brent, Kevin Wilson, Kurt Pritz, Diane Schroeder, and Dan Halloran.

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

  • Approved previous BFC meeting minutes
  • Reviewed comments from community on financial considerations of the new gTLD applicant guidebook (RFP) and responses
    • General theme of financial-related comments was a desire to lower the evaluation fee and annual registry fee
    • Proposed staff response is to recognize the complexity of the evaluation process and to take a very conservative approach for the first round of applications, with a review of the fees for the second round.  Staff recommend to hold steady on the US$185k evaluation fee.  In relation to the annual registry fees, staff suggests that, if a standard contract is agreed, the recurring annual registry fees can be lowered to $25k plus $0.25 per transaction if over 50k transactions per annum.
    • Majority of committee in favor of proposed staff approach, but Raimundo Beca disagrees – thinks that the evaluation fee should be reduced to exclude recovery of historical costs, and that the evaluation fees should be collected on a pay as you go basis instead of an up-front with refunds available basis
  • Reviewed budget status and FY10 Operating Plan
    • Transaction revenues are still anticipated to be in line with budget estimates
    • Staff will prepare scenarios related to global financial downturn
  • Discussed Foreign Exchange Policy; recommend that the Board adopt after reviewing, and amending as needed, the policy to ensure fraud prevention procedures are robust.
  • Acknowledged that staff received, from At-Large as requested, a cost estimate of the plan for the At Large Summit in Mexico City, and that the estimate is less than the originally approved budget of US$500k.
  • Reviewed BFC Project list and requested staff to suggest priorities and timelines for these project and other items involving the BFC.
    • New gTLD financial parameters (including setting of fees)
    • New gTLD impact on ICANN’s multi-year operating plan and budget
    • FY10 Operating Plan and Budget Framework
    • Functional reporting on dashboard
    • Staff will prepare scenarios related to global financial downturn for both FY09 and FY10
    • Complete FY08 Form 990 and post
    • Director’s travel expense policy
    • ICANN procurement policy (including recurring vendors)
    • FX policy implementation
    • Clarify ombudsman budget processes
    • Revenue projections
    • Investment policy and performance
    • Meetings/At Large Summit budget follow up
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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."