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Minutes | Board Finance Committee (BFC) Meeting

Posted 19 June 2015

BFC Attendees: Cherine Chalaby (Chair), Chris Disspain, and Asha Hemrajani

BFC Member Apologies: Bruno Lanvin, and Gonzalo Navarro

ICANN Executive and Staff Member Attendees: Megan Bishop (Board Support Coordinator), Michelle Bright ((Board Support Content Manager), Xavier Calvez (Chief Financial Officer), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Board Support Content Manager), Elizabeth Le (Senior Counsel), Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel), and Nick Tomasso (VP, Marketing Operations & Int'l Real Estate)


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

  1. Approval of Legal Fee Invoice (CWG/CCWG advice)– Staff briefed the BFC on the amount of legal fees incurred by Sidley Austin through March 2015 for services rendered relating to providing independent legal advice to the CWG and CCWG. Staff noted that Sidley Austin was retained after an RFP selection process. Because the disbursement amount exceeds $500K, Board approval is necessary. The BFC approved recommending that the Board authorize ICANN take all steps necessary to make the disbursement of $508,635.96 to Sidley Austin. The BFC engaged in a discussion as to whether an upper limit should be set for future expenses and noted that the appropriate forum for this topic is at the Board level.
  2. Approval of ICANN 55 and 57 Venues – The BFC discussed potential venue options for ICANN 55 and 57 meetings. The BFC approved recommending that the Board approve expenditures to contract with venues to host the ICANN 55 and 57 meetings.
  3. FY16 Budget – Staff provided the BFC with a summary the public comments received on the FY16 Budget. Nine organizations submitted 85 comments. The main topic areas of the comments related to sufficiency of Policy support, lack of clarity on the USG Transition, and KPIs (clarifications, changes, etc.) Staff reported that changes have been made to the FY16 Budget to address the comments raised, including increasing the amount allocated for policy support by $0.5m and additional language on the impact of the USG Transition. Additionally, staff also initiated the following changes to the FY16 Budget: increase the Language Services budget by $0.6m to allow for increase in the volume of translation, and a reduction of the contingency by $1.1m to allow for the Policy and Language Services changes, resulting in a contingency of $3.0m. The BFC approved recommending that the Board adopt the FY16 Operating Plan and Budget.
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."