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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, Bertrand de La Chapelle and Judith Vazquez

Invited Attendees: Fadi Chehadé

Staff Members Present: Akram Atallah – Chief Operating Officer; Xavier Calvez – Chief Financial Officer; John Jeffrey – General Counsel and Secretary; Kurt Pritz – Senior Vice President, Stakeholder Relations; Diane Schroeder and Amy Stathos.


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

  1. BFC Schedule: The BFC reviewed its upcoming work schedule, particularly the timing in which the budget is approved.

  2. Contingency Fund, Operating Fund and Reserve Fund Update: The BFC reviewed the status of the contingency fund. The committee also reviewed the status of the operating and reserve funds and discussed how the Board determined what upper levels to set for each of these funds.

    • Action:

      • Staff to do some research relating to rationale for setting level of operating and reserve funds.

  3. Budget: Staff provided a report on the status of activities related to the budget, including the public comment periods and responses to the comments that have been posted. Staff reported on the changes that have been made to the budget since 1 May 2012, including changes relating to the IDN Variant project, Visual Similarity Process Enhancement project, the Uniform Rapid Suspension System project, the SO/AC requests and updates to the new gTLD budget. With respect to the new gTLD budget, the committee discussed the variable costs as they relate to 500 vs. 2000 applications, including for processing and risks.

    The committee specifically discussed and agreed to restore a request of $26,300 to the budget items for the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC). The request had been denied in the staff recommended budget introduced at the beginning of the meeting. The BFC deemed that the SSAC request was strategically important and discussed the process used in making the original determination.

    The committee discussed if any change must be made to align the proposed budget to the figures released on the number of new gTLD applications. The committee decided to present the budget with no change to the estimated numbers of applications (2000 vs. 1930). The budget represents an estimate based on certain assumptions at a given point in time. Given that the final number of applications can change due to possible withdrawals, a recalibration of the entire budget on the basis of 1930 applications was therefore seen as representing few advantages.

    The committee discussed making sure there is ongoing oversight of any funds that ICANN might be holding pending a determination on the lifetime of the project. The Committee discussed the potential for excess of fees over costs, the need for future updates of costs estimates, and that excess funds, if any, will be held pending a robust community discussion.

  4. Asia Pacific Meeting Budget: Staff provided a report to the committee about the budget for the meeting in April 2013 in the Asia Pacific region. The committee discussed the actual budgeted numbers and the amount of budget sponsorship money for the meeting. The BFC unanimously recommended that the Board approve the budget for the Asia Pacific meeting in April 2013.

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."