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Minutes – Board Finance Committee (BFC) Meeting

BFC attendees: Rajasekhar Ramaraj – Chair; George Sadowsky, Gonzalo Navarro, and Bruce Tonkin (BFC Observer)

Other Board attendees: Steve Crocker and Dennis Jennings.

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


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

  1. Received overview from staff on the proposed FY11 Budget to be submitted to the Board for approval at its meeting in Brussels. The overview included the planning work completed, community feedback received on the proposed budget and forecasting work. The BFC discussed community involvement in the budget planning processes, and working towards an exception-raising process. All voting members in attendance approved recommending to the Board that it approve the FY11 Budget.

    • Actions:
      • CFO to provide response to GNSO regarding inputs into budget process.
      • CFO to confirm line item on contribution to reserve fund prior to presentation to the Board.
      • CFO to provide BFC members with talking points regarding the proposed Budget to assist in community discussions.
  2. Discussed the current budget development process and how budget demands can be identified and reconciled with the allocated funds, and how the timing of budget development could be differently aligned with the strategic planning process, including the formalization of the community dialogue, especially with Supporting Organization and Advisory Committee chairs.. The BFC agreed that further Board and community level discussions were needed on this topic before complete change to the planning process but that specific actions with SO/and AC chairs can take place in FY11.

  3. Received overview from staff on the new gTLD budget process and the differing phases of the new gTLD program budget, which is based on the principle of being revenue-cost neutral within each round, and staff noted that public comments were still being received on the new gTLD budget document open for community feedback.

    • Action:
      • CFO to suggest changes to the modeling within the budget materials to reflect numbers based on multiple assumptions.
  4. Received status update from staff and plans for future work on financial reporting and plans for future work, including the inability to further refine the Expense Area Group reporting until such time as there are modifications to the internal structure of the departments of the organization.

  5. Received an update from staff on revenue, including an overview of revenue stream, discussions with ccTLD managers, and the effect of an anticipated amendment to the fee structure in a registry agreement. The BFC then discussed the Registry Services Evaluation Process flow, including the possibility for executive management consideration of RSEP requests under certain materiality thresholds.

    • Actions:
      • Staff to provide a broad briefing to the full Board on the RSEP Process.
      • Staff to provide the Board Governance Committee a more detailed briefing on the RSEP review process and determine, with the BGC, if a further informational path is needed.
      • Staff to flag the next few RSEP requests for the Board.
  6. Received a status update from staff on the reserve fund and the BFC reviewed plans to engage an external consultant to perform an annual review of the ICANN Investment Policy (as required under the policy) and provide a report in October.

    • Action:
      • Staff to engage consultant to perform external review of Investment Policy and provide report to the BFC in October.
  7. Reviewed the BFC workplan.

  8. Received an update that, in line with the BFC Charter requirement for an annual review, the BGC would soon be sending a committee self evaluation for BFC completion.

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."