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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; Megan Bishop, Michelle Bright, Shawn Capistrano, Samantha Eisner, Ken Redhead, and Amy Stathos.


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

  1. New gTLD Investment Strategy: The BFC received a report on the updates regarding the new gTLD investment strategy that staff prepared based on the prior conversations within the BFC, and staff addressed outstanding questions by the BFC on the strategy. The BFC discussed some of the classifications of investments and other items presented in the strategy document, and provided staff with additional recommendations for modification. The BFC agreed to recommend to the Board that it approve the implementation of the new gTLD investment strategy for the new gTLD-related funds.

    • Action:
      • Staff to forward recommendation to the Board.
  2. Minutes: The BFC approved the minutes of its previous meeting, held on 27 November 2012.

  3. Quarterly Reporting: The BFC continued its review of a quarterly reporting format proposed by staff, including modifications made to address the comments and concerns raised by BFC members. The BFC also began a discussion about the reporting detail expected by the BFC in comparison to the level of detail that would be most useful to the Board as a whole and to the community. The BFC agreed that it makes sense to include a consolidated report on cash and investment amounts within this quarterly reporting. The BFC also began a discussion of the ability to release machine-readable formats of this reporting, once it is ready for distribution. The BFC provided further recommendations for the revision of some of the items within the report, including reference to the full-year budget for comparative purposes. The discussion also addressed whether and to what extent KPIs (known performance indicators) should be included within the reporting, particularly those are management based and do not address financial-related reporting. The BFC also discussed how to best introduce this reporting to the Board, including a webinar for the Board to introduce the materials and as a potential topic at the Board’s workshop in January 2013.

    • Actions:
      • Staff to further revise the quarterly reporting format to address BFC recommendations, and to take additional input prior to producing a new version. A new version of the reporting will be provided for discussion at the BFC’s meeting in January 2013.
      • Staff to perform additional work to determine the correct scope of management reporting to the Board (separate from the financial reporting) and later initiate a conversation with the Board on the consolidation of the management and financial reporting.
  4. Budget Process Update: Staff provided an update to the BFC on the budget process work with the community since the Toronto ICANN meeting, noting that more information was requested by the community. The development of the ICANN internal management system will impact the budget process, as the system will allow ICANN provide new outputs for consideration as to what is helpful to be included in the budget process, as well as a change to the format of the reporting. This will result in changes to the timeline for the budget process.

    • Action:
      • Staff to update budget process timeline to incorporate and clarify the timing for when the budget will be provided to the BFC and the Board for review, allowing for earlier interaction with the BFC during budget development.
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."