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Minutes | Board Finance Committee (BFC) Meeting

Published 22 May 2016

BFC Attendees: Cherine Chalaby (Co-Chair), Ron da Silva, Chris Disspain, Markus Kummer and George Sadowsky

BFC Member Apologies: Asha Hemrajani

Other Board Member Attendees:  Rinalia Abdul Rahim

ICANN Executive and Staff member Attendees: Susanna Bennett (Chief Operating Officer), Xavier Calvez (Chief Financial Officer), Sally Costerton (Sr. Advisor to the President and Sr. VP, Global Stakeholder Engagement), Melissa King (VP, Board Operations), Elizabeth Le (Senior Counsel), Becky Nash (Vice President of Finance), David Olive (Sr. VP, Policy Development Support), Taryn Presley (Sr. Manager, FP&A), Wendy Profit (Board Operations Specialist), Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel), and Nicholas Tomasso (VP, Meetings)


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

  1. FY17 SO/AC Budget Requests – Cherine Chalaby provided 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. During the evaluation phase, staff members representing the Policy, Stakeholders Engagement, and Finance personnel conduct an in-depth evaluation of the substance of each request and formulate a suggested rationale for the decision to either grant or not grant the request. The BFC discussed that the same process was followed in prior years. 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 that the Board approve staff's recommendation to approve $643,700 during FY17 to cover the costs associated with the adopted SO/AC additional budget requests.

  2. Contract with Venue for ICANN57 – Staff presented an overview of possible venues and estimate of costs in the event that a replacement location is needed for the third ICANN Public Meeting in 2016. San Juan, Puerto Rico was originally selected as the venue for ICANN57, however the Zika virus outbreak has caused concerns that the location may not be suitable for ICANN57. Staff further explained that the costs associated with the possible alternative venues are comparable to venues for past ICANN meetings. The BFC discussed the venue costs for potential new venues and the potential change costs, and agreed to recommend that the Board delegate to the President and CEO, or his designee(s), the authority to enter into a contract, and make expense disbursements pursuant to that contract, for the alternative venue identified by staff where ICANN could hold the ICANN57.

  3. USG Stewardship Transition Project Expenses – Staff provided an overview of the prior costs and expenditure approvals related to the IANA Stewardship Transition (the "Project"). The Board previously approved the FY16 Operating Plan and Budget, which included an estimated budget envelope of US$7 million for the Project to be funded by the Reserve Fund. As the Project used this entire budget envelope by the end of November 2015, the Board approved additional funding of US$4.5 million on 2 February 2016 to allow the project to be funded through the ICANN55 Public Meeting in Marrakech, then on 3 March 2016 the Board approved an additional Project expense budget envelope of up US$1.5 million to cover Project expenses while the Project Cost Support Team (PCST) prepared the FY16 estimate. The PCST analyzed historical costs and provided an estimate of the Project expenses for the remainder of FY16, which includes legal fees related to the Bylaws drafting. The BFC reviewed the prior actual Project expenses and the estimated costs for the remainder of FY16, and agreed to recommend that the Board approve an additional Project expense budget envelope of up to US$5.4 million to cover Project expenses for the remainder of FY16, to be funded by 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."