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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: Rod Beckstrom

Staff Members Present: Akram Atallah – Chief Operating Officer; Kurt Pritz – Senior Vice President, Services; Kevin Wilson – Chief Financial Officer; Juan Ojeda, Michael Salazar, Diane Schroeder, and Amy Stathos


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

  1. Introductions: Received introduction to the new Chief Operating Officer, new Controller, and program director for the New gTLD program

  2. New gTLD Budget: Received overview from staff on the proposed budget for the New gTLD, including background and history, as well as a review of comments received on the New gTLD budget paper posted on 1 June 2010 and how requests for strengthening of processes are reflected in adjustments to the deployment budget.  The BFC agreed that a line item was needed to account for the development of a monitoring system for root scaling issues.  The BFC also received updates on the historical costs, application processing costs, and the risk cost calculations.  The BFC approved a recommendation to the Board that the Deployment Budget be approved and that it be pulled from the Reserve Fund not from operations.  The overall New gTLD budget framework will be discussed at the Board’s retreat in Trondheim, Norway.

    • Actions:

      • Staff to revise the New gTLD Budget in line with BFC Comments.

      • Staff to provide follow-up information to BFC on the risk calculations.

  3. March 2011 Meeting Budget: Received update from staff on the proposed budget for the March 2011 international meeting in North America, and discussed the performance to budget for the ICANN international meetings in Nairobi and Brussels.  The BFC also discussed the potential for refining a framework for creating budgets for ICANN meetings.  The BFC approved a recommendation that the Board approve the proposed budget for the March 2011 ICANN international meeting in North America.

    • Actions:

      • Staff to prepare communications with updates to the FY10 financials to accompany the release of ICANN’s audited financial statements, and provide information on performance to budget for line items such as the ICANN meetings in Nairobi and Brussels.

      • Staff to provide BFC with information regarding proposed hosts for the North America meeting.

  4. Update on Staff Activities:  The BFC received a brief update on a number of activities performed by staff since the last meeting.  This included a brief update on the conversion of ICANN’s financial system, international currency risk mitigation efforts in FY11 resulting in purchases of Euro and Australian dollars, FY11 performance relative to the adopted budget, and plans for the FY12 budget development process.

    • Action:

      • Staff to provide follow-up reporting to the BFC and the Audit Committee regarding plans for the financial system conversion.

      • Staff to provide a more comprehensive report regarding spending per currency.

  5.  FY12 Budget Development: Received an update from staff on the development of the FY12 budget, with the planning process being kicked off months earlier than in previous cycles, starting with a call with ICANN’s Sponsoring Organization and Advisory Committee leaders regarding the acceleration of the process and the community involvement at earlier stages.

    • Action:

      • Staff to provide the BFC with a  project map on the FY12 budget process including how plans to develop the operating plan earlier and with more involvement of community leaders.

  6. BFC Workplan: The BFC discussed the planned committee activities for the remainder of the year, including investment policy review, FY10 management, discussion, and analysis, FY11 Budget status, International currency risk management, FY12 budget development, and financial strategy discussions.

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."