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Board Finance Committee (BFC) Minutes

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

Other Board Members: Steve Crocker and Bruce Tonkin

ICANN Executives and Staff Members Present: Susanna Bennett (Chief Operating Officer), Michelle Bright (Board Support Manager), Xavier Calvez (Chief Financial Officer), Tom Chard (Financial Analyst), Teresa Elias (Manager, Board Support Operations), Elizabeth Le (Senior Counsel), Karine Perset (Sr. Director of Board Support), and Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel)

Invited Guests: Representatives of ICANN's investment advisors


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

  1. BFC Schedule – The BFC discussed its schedule, which is on track as planned.
  2. FY14 Budget – The BFC reviewed the FY14 Budget which is showing a total revenue of US$200 million for the year and total operating expenses of US$146 million. 
  3. Contingency Fund – The BFC reviewed the status of the FY14 Contingency Fund. The BFC was advised that US$1.4 million of the US$3.7 million that had been allocated to the contingency fund has been used, leaving a balance of US$2.3 million.
  4. Operating Fund – The BFC discussed the status of the operating fund, noting several fluctuations during the first half of the year. Staff reported that the Operating cash on hand has decreased between the end of September and the end of December mainly as a result of: the fund transfer from the new gTLD funds for repayment of historical development costs, which were then transferred to the reserve fund, the advancement of direct and allocated staff costs to the New gTLD Program, and other net variances including reimbursement from the New gTLD Program for other direct and allocated costs.
  5. Reserve Fund – The BFC reviewed the status of the reserve fund, which is currently set for a 12-month period. The BFC was advised that the fund balance is currently $US78.6 million.
  6. New gTLD Cash/Investments – The BFC noted that the new gTLD funds cash has decreased during the quarter as a result of the repayment of historical development costs to ICANN operations and disbursements for the costs of evaluation (including payments to vendors and refunds). The BFC further noted that new gTLD investments have increased as a result of realized and unrealized gains.
  7. Reserve Fund Performance Review – The BFC reviewed the Reserve Fund performance for FY14. ICANN's Reserve Fund management firm, State Street global Advisors, joined the BFC meeting for this discussion and provided an update on the performance of the Reserve Fund portfolio.
  8. FY15 Planning – Transition Year – The BFC discussed the planning schedule for FY15 Budget and Operating Plan. Staff further reported that with the development of the new dashboard and strategic plan, the work required to integrate the operating plan with the dashboard and strategic plan will take approximately an additional month from originally anticipated deadline to validate the Operating Plan and the FY15 Budget before it can be put out for public comment. The BFC asked staff to prepare a revised schedule based upon the adjusted timeline to share with the community.
    • Action – Staff to prepare revised timeline of planning schedule for FY15 Budget and Operating Plan.

Published on 21 March 2014

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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."