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Board Finance Committee (BFC) Minutes

BFC Attendees: Sébastien Bachollet, Cherine Chalaby (Chair), Chris Disspain, and George Sadowsky.

Other Board attendees: Steve Crocker

Staff Members Present: Akram Atallah – Chief Operating Officer; Xavier Calvez – Chief Financial Officer; John Jeffrey – General Counsel and Secretary; Samantha Eisner, Daniel Halloran, Amy Stathos and Diane Schroeder.


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

  1. Minutes. The BFC approved the minutes of the prior meeting in May 2012.
  2. BFC Schedule: The BFC reviewed its upcoming work schedule.
  3. Contingency Fund, Operating Fund and Reserve Fund Update. The BFC reviewed the status of the contingency fund and noted that there is still $.4 million left in the fund. The committee also reviewed the status of the operating and reserve funds as items for regular reporting to the BFC, and the status of the change of banking relationships.
  4. Budget. The BFC reviewed the draft budget. The BFC discussed the accounting aspects of the New gTLD Program, such as the representation of historical cost development and modeling based on 2000 applications, including potential for economies of scale in the application evaluation process. The BFC also discussed the accounting for the risk component of the new gTLD application fees as well as the applicant support component of the budget. There was also discussion about the potential for excess funds from the New gTLD Program, and the BFC briefly began a discussion about how those funds should be treated. The BFC noted that once the exact number of applications was known, there could be more precision to the numbers. The BFC also spent time discussing the community requests for funding and the method for granting funding requests, with the need to keep in mind the core mission of ICANN and best facility to key work of ICANN stakeholders. The BFC also noted that leveraging meetings where the ICANN community will already be together, such as ICANN meetings, may be a preferred method for considering some of the requests. Staff then provided an overview of the comments received, as well as the budget consultation process. Finally, the BFC discussed the steps towards approval of the budget, including a presentation of the budget to the Board as a whole and timing of a community session in Prague.
    • Action:
      • Staff to revise the budget to reflect BFC comments, and re-evaluate community budget requests pursuant to the BFC member discussion of priorities.
  5. Cash Management Presentation – The BFC discussed a staff report on cash management. The report included information about the FDIC insurance covering the New gTLD Program application fees, and further information on the management of ICANN's accounts, including the use of internal controls for access and authorization process, and the potential for auditing the handling of the fees.
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."