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Minutes | Board Finance Committee (BFC) Meeting

Published 8 January 2016

BFC Attendees: Cherine Chalaby (Chair), Chris Disspain, Asha Hemrajani, Gonzalo Navarro and Bruno Lanvin

ICANN Executive and Staff Member Attendees: Susanna Bennett (Chief Operating Officer), Michelle Bright (Board Support Content Manager), Xavier Calvez (Chief Financial Officer), Teresa Elias (Manager, Board Support Operations/Administration), Rob Hoggarth (Senior Director, Policy and Community Engagement), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Board Support Content Manager), David Olive (Vice President, Policy Development Support), Ashwin Rangan (Chief Innovation and Information Officer), and Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel)

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

  1. FY16 SO/AC Additional Budget Requests – Staff presented an overview of the process of adopting additional budget requests from the Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees (SO/AC). As a result of prior discussions between community members and staff, an additional budget request process was created several years ago in order to enable each SO and AC to formulate requests for funding of new or unique activities to be carried out the following fiscal year that are not covered in the overall budget. To allow both community members and staff sufficient time to organize events that occur very soon after the Board approves the overall budget, the approval of these additional budget requests must happen in advance of the approval of the overall ICANN Operating Plan and Budget. The process includes two phases: (i)an application phase during which SOs and ACs present additional budget requests, and (ii) an evaluation phase. The evaluation phase is a two-step process. The first-level review is at the staff level and includes an in-depth evaluation of the substance of each request and the formulation of a suggested rationale for the decision to either grant or not grant the request. The second-level review is at the Steering Committee level and includes a review of the work of the first-level review, a determination of any possible changes, and the submission of this information to the BFC. The BFC discussed that the same process was followed last year. The BFC also discussed the nature and timing of communications with the SOs and ACs that made the budget requests. The BFC also discussed the types of budget requests submitted, the goal and approach for granting requests, the requests that were not granted, and the similarities and differences with prior years' requests. The BFC reviewed the process followed and the staff's proposal, and agreed to recommend to the Board to approve staff's recommendation to approve $657,300 during FY16 to cover the costs associated with the adopted SO/AC additional budget requests.

    • Action:

      • Staff to evaluate the current and past uses of the SO/AC additional budget request process, and to determine ways in which to communicate the purpose and goals of the process to the community.

  2. Security Assessment of Digital Services/Expenses – Staff presented an overview of the process, cost, and funding for the review and assessment of all software platforms in use at ICANN for delivering digital services. ICANN delivers a portfolio of 85 digital services for the benefit of its served communities. These services have been developed and placed in service over the last 15 years, utilizing many different software platforms. ICANN needs to obtain a comprehensive review and assessment of these software platforms. These assessments are to be conducted by external subject matter expert firms with specific technical expertise for each type of platform. This exercise was not budgeted for FY15, but it is important to begin the process before the start of FY16. The selection of the expert firms will be based upon the technical capabilities of and the cost quotes from each proposed firm. The assessments that are conducted in FY15 will be funded from the FY15 contingency fund; and the assessments conducted in FY16 will be included in the FY16 Operating Plan and Budget. The BFC discussed the matter and agreed to recommend that the Board authorize the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to take all necessary actions to obtain a comprehensive assessment of all software platforms in use at ICANN for delivering digital services, including contracting with external service providers, acquiring needful tools, and expenditure disbursement.

  3. Minutes – The BFC approved the Minutes from the 12-13 March 2015 BFC Meeting.

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."