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Board Finance Committee (BFC) Minutes

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

Other Board Members: Bruce Tonkin

Staff Members Present: Xavier Calvez – Chief Financial Officer, Michelle Bright, Elizabeth Le, and Amy Stathos


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

  1. Digital Platform Contract – Staff provided the BFC with an overview of a digital platform project, which is to develop a new interactive website on ICANN.org that leverages synergies with ICANNLabs. As estimated costs of the project exceed $500,000, Board approval is required. This item is already in the FY14 Operating Plan and Budget. Staff explained that no RFP was issued for this project because it fits within the exceptions of the Procurement Policy. Among other things, the vendor has a high level knowledge based on its significant experience with the ICANNLabs project, which was the first stage of this project. Having such extensive knowledge reduces significantly the cost of this project. The BFC recommended that the Board consider the below resolution in light of the BFC's determination that the costs of this item are reasonable and within budget. The BFC also discussed that any decision regarding the reason and content of the resolution is not within the purview of the BFC, and generally lies with management. Sebastien Bachollet abstained during the vote.
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."