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Board Finance Committee (BFC) Minutes

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

Apologies: Bruno Lanvin

Other Board Member Attendees: Steve Crocker

ICANN Executives and Staff Members Present: Susanna Bennett (Chief Operating Officer), Megan Bishop (Board Support Coordinator), Michelle Bright (Board Support Manager), Xavier Calvez (Chief Financial Officer), John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary), Jacks Khawaja (Enterprise Risk Director), Elizabeth Le (Senior Counsel), Ashwin Ragan (Chief Innovation & Information Officer), and Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel)

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

  1. Approval of Minutes – The BFC approved the minutes of the 5 February 2014 meeting.
  2. BFC Schedule – The BFC discussed its schedule, which is on track as planned.
  3. 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. There is a contingency of $3.7M.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 fluctuated between the end of September and the end of December mainly as a result of: (i) the fund transfer into the Operating fund that had come previously from the new gTLD fund for repayment of historical development costs was transferred out of the Operating fund and into the reserve fund; (ii) the advancement of direct and allocated staff costs to the New gTLD Program; (iii) and other net variances including reimbursement from the New gTLD Program for other direct and allocated costs.
  6. 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 $US82.3 million.
  7. 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.
  8. FY14 Q2 Reporting – The BFC reviewed the balance sheet for Q2, the profit & loss statement, and statement of cash flows a six month period, from 30 June 2013 to 31 December 2013, which reflects an increase in net assets of US$27 million and an increase in the Reserve Fund of US$23 million.
  9. FY15 Budget Process Update – The BFC discussed the structure of the FY15 Budget. The BFC noted that the framework for the FY15 Budget will be organized along four objectives (affirmation of purpose, operational excellence, internationalization, and model evolution), 16 goals, and numerous portfolios.
  10. FY15 Ops Plan & Budget – Update – The BFC discussed the schedule for the FY15 Framework and Operating Plan & Budget. With respect to the FY15 Framework, it is contemplated that ICANN will communicate the Framework to the community during the Singapore meeting. With respect to the schedule for the FY15 Operating Plan & Budget, it is anticipated that the BFC will review a draft of the Operating Plan & Budget in mid –April. Thereafter, the draft Operating Plan & Budget will be put out for public comment. The BFC will review the public comments and any proposed changes to the draft Operating Plan & Budget and provide a recommendation to the Board, and the Board will consider had approve the Budget, which is anticipated to occur during the ICANN London meeting.
  11. FY15 Ops Plan & Budget – Community Special Requests – The BFC discussed the schedule for community special requests for the FY15 Budget. The requests have been submitted and are currently under review. It is contemplated that the BFC will review the staff recommendations on the community special requests in mid-April and make recommendations for Board approval at the end of April. It is further contemplated that the Board will consider the BFC recommendations at the end of April.
  12. ATRT2 Recommendations – The BFC reviewed and discussed the ATRT2 Recommendations related to ICANN operations and finance.
  13. New gTLD Forecasted Spend Overview – The BFC discussed the forecasted spend for the New gTLD Program.

Published on 28 April 2014

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"""" is not an IDN."