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Minutes – Board Finance Committee (BFC) Meeting

BFC attendees: Rajasekhar Ramaraj – Chair; George Sadowsky and Gonzalo Navarro.

Other Board member attendees: Steve Crocker, Peter Dengate Thrush and Dennis Jennings

Staff Members Present: Doug Brent, Chief Operating Officer; John Jeffrey, General Counsel and Secretary; Kurt Pritz, Senior Vice President, Services; Kevin Wilson, Chief Financial Officer; Samantha Eisner, Diane Schroeder, and Amy Stathos.


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

  1. Reviewed the minutes from the prior BFC meeting, and all voting members in attendance unanimously approved the minutes.
  2. Received update from staff on the posting of the draft framework for the FY11 Operating Plan and Budget and the upcoming presentations on the same at the Nairobi meeting, as well as update on the status of the FY10 actual performance against budget. The BFC discussed the need to clarify to the community that the prioritization of work should be done at the strategic planning level, and then that feeds into costing work done at the Operating Plan level.
    • Actions:
      • Staff to provide work paper to BFC in electronic form.
      • Staff to include IDN ccTLD revenue as a line item on the financial statements.
      • Staff to meet with new BFC members to provide with briefing on cost accounting and work done to date for costing of the new gTLD program.
  3. Received update from staff on the status of the Form 990 preparation work and briefing planned for the Board in Nairobi, with a webinar for Board members by Ernst & Young in a few weeks time.
  4. Received update from staff on the Cost Accounting and Procurement Guidelines posted on the ICANN website and announced in the ICANN Blog. Staff noted the next steps on moving towards implementation of both Guidelines, to train staff on the processes, and ultimately to report on the meeting of the processes set out in the documents.
  5. Discussed making a recommendation of a budget for the December 2010 International Meeting in Latin America, and the need for more information on what is included in the proposed budget prior to approval. The BFC expressed concern that meetings are more expensive than is currently planned for in the annual Operating Plan. The BFC also discussed the constraints imposed by the bidding process currently in place for the meeting location selection process and the additional costs resulting from that process.
    • Action:
      • Staff to present additional information to the BFC to allow for further consideration of the proposed meeting budget for recommendation to the Board.
  6. Received update from staff on research into 401k retirement plan compliance.
  7. Discussed the formation of a project plan for the BFC, including being strategic in viewing revenue streams, and increasing efficiency in the operating plan.
    • Actions:
      • Staff to include a review of cost of meetings into the project plan.
      • BFC to share comments on draft Framework with staff and Chair of BFC.
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."