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Minutes | Board Finance Committee (BFC) Meeting

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

BFC Member Apologies: Bruno Lanvin

Other Board member Attendees: Steve Crocker, Erika Mann, Bruce Tonkin, and Fadi Chehadé

ICANN Executive and Staff Member Attendees: Akram Atallah (President, Global Domains Division), Susanna Bennett (Chief Operating Officer), Megan Bishop (Board Support Coordinator), Xavier Calvez (Chief Financial Officer), John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Board Support Content Manager), Michelle Bright (Board Support Manager), Ashwin Rangan (Chief Innovation and Information Officer), Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel), and Allen Grogan (Chief Contracting Counsel)


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

  1. BFC Meeting Schedule for FY15 – The Chair provided a brief status update regarding the BFC Meeting Schedule for FY15.

  2. FY15 Budget – The Chair provided a brief overview of the FY15 Budget, noting that revenue for FY15 is $158.9 million USD and operating expenses for FY15 is $141 million USD.

  3. Contract for Secretariat Support to GAC Chair and Vice Chair – The Chair provided an overview of a potential contract for secretariat support to the GAC from the organization that has been providing secretariat support to the GAC Chair and Vice Chair pursuant to temporary short-term interim agreements. The BFC discussed issues relating to the length of the contract term and potential financial impact and exposure for ICANN.

  4. Revenue Recognition Update – Staff provided an overview of the historical methodology used to recognize transaction fees in annual increments. The BFC discussed the recent in-depth analysis of how best to recognize the revenue from those transactional fees. ICANN used the assistance of an external firm to conduct the analysis and concluded that transaction fees should be recognized at the time of the triggering event (registration/deletion/transfer). ICANN’s independent audit firm reviewed the analysis and concurred. This method of revenue recognition results in no impact on ICANN’s cash position or to the registries/registrars invoices.

  5. FY16 Operating Plan and Budget process – Staff provided an update on the revised process for developing the FY16 Operating Plan and Budget. Stakeholders will be brought into the process at the design phase, which is a much earlier stage than when stakeholders previously had been engaged in detailed budget discussions. There are to be two public comment periods, which allow the community to provide input, and provide staff with an opportunity to address the public comments and amend the FY16 Operating Pan accordingly. The BFC also discussed the process for communicating this plan to the community.

  6. FY14 Closing Financials Overview – Staff provided a brief overview of the FY14 unaudited closing financial statements. Staff noted that revenue was US$126 million and expenses were US$126 million, which were both lower than the original budgeted amounts, and investment gains were US$11 million.

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."