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Minutes | Board Finance Committee (BFC) Meeting

Published on 3 February 2016

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

BFC Member Apologies: Bruno Lanvin

Invited Attendees: Rafael Lito Ibarra and Lousewise Van der Laan

ICANN Executive and Staff Member Attendees: Susanna Bennett (Chief Operating Officer), Megan Bishop (Board Operations Coordinator), Michelle Bright (Board Operations Content Manager), Xavier Calvez (Chief Financial Officer), Melissa King (Vice President, Board Operations), Becky Nash (Vice President of Finance), Ashwin Rangan (Chief Innovation and Information Officer), Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel), and Shawn White (Associate General Counsel)


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

  1. BFC Schedule – The BFC reviewed the FY16 schedule, and noted that it includes development and review of the FY17 Operating Plan and Budget with the community from the beginning of the fiscal year. The BFC further noted that, as set forth in the schedule, the BFC will be working with the community over the course of approximately six months to develop the budget and prepare a draft for public comment.

  2. Financials – The BFC reviewed the FY16 Budget, which is showing total revenue of US$162.9 million for the year, total operating expenses of US$154.1 million, and a change in net assets of US$8.8 million. The operating fund increased by US$2.9 million during the fourth quarter of FY15 due to cash collected from contracted parties, reimbursement from the New gTLD Program, and disbursements to staff members and vendors. The reserve fund decreased by US$2.6 million in the fourth quarter of FY15 as a result of the US$1.5 million transfer to the operating fund for the stewardship transition costs and the depreciation of the market value of assets. The BFC also reviewed the total costs for each ICANN meeting over the last five meetings.

  3. Minutes – The BFC approved the Minutes from the 11 September 2015 BFC Meeting.

  4. CRM Platform Enhancement – Staff provided an overview of the proposal to improve and enhance the customer relationship management (CRM) platform that was originally developed to support applicants in the New gTLD Program. The objective is to extend the current platform's capabilities to include a solid foundation that will support end-to-end interactions with registries, registrars, contractual compliance, and all associated reporting and community-facing dashboards. The BFC discussed whether the proposed costs of the CRM platform were reasonable and affordable, and reviewed the procurement process and anticipated key performance indicators for the project. The BFC then agreed to recommend that the Board authorize the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to take all necessary actions to execute the contracts for improving and enhancing the CRM platform, and make all necessary disbursements pursuant to the contracts.

    • Action:

      • Staff to submit recommendations to Board for approval.

  5. Updates –

    • FY17 Operating Plan and Budget and Five Year Operating Plan Update Process – Staff briefed the BFC on the FY17 Operating Plan and Budget process. A community webinar was conducted on 22 September 2015 to begin the process of planning for FY17, wherein ICANN reviewed and discussed with the community: (a) lessons learned from the FY16 process; (b) FY17 challenges and key success factors; (c) process and timeline; and (d) the Five-Year Operating Plan update. Staff noted that forty community members participated in the webinar and also provided positive feedback on the fact that ICANN incorporated community input at such an early stage in the process.

    • Status on the Reserve Fund Working Group – The BFC reviewed the methodology of the Reserve Fund Working Group. To date, the Working Group has identified and analyzed potential risks to be covered by the reserve fund, determined the principal usage of the reserve fund, and conducted two meetings to discuss the eligible risks and a recommendation regarding the purpose and rationale for the reserve fund. The Working Group is scheduled to conduct another meeting to discuss quantification of the eligible risks and a recommended target for the reserve fund amount. Next steps for the Working Group include discussion of a policy for the reserve fund.

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."