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Minutes | Board Finance Committee (BFC) Meeting

BFC Attendees: Becky Burr, Cherine Chalaby, Ron da Silva (Vice-Chair), Asha Hemrajani (Chair) and George Sadowsky

BFC Member Apologies: Markus Kummer and Lousewies van der Laan

ICANN Organization Attendees: Michelle Bright (Board Operations Content Manager), Xavier Calvez (SVP & Chief Financial Officer), Melissa King (Vice President, Board Operations), Elizabeth Le (Senior Counsel), Becky Nash (VP, Finance), Wendy Profit (Manager, Board Operations), Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel) and Nick Tomasso (VP, Meetings)

Invited Guest – Representative from Bridgebay

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

  1. Update on New gTLD Application Fees and Auction Proceeds Investment Performance Review – The Bridgebay Representative provided the BFC with a performance review of the new gTLD application fees and auction proceeds investment funds.  The current portfolio of new gTLD application fees is approximately US$122.4 million and the current portfolio of auction proceeds is US$231.9 million.  Bridgebay reported that it conducted an independent review of each investment portfolio for compliance with the New gTLD Investment Policy, liquidity in the portfolios, and the levels of risk controls.  Bridgebay also conducted a performance review consolidating information from 3 investment firms and provided the BFC with a summary of the performance of the funds.  Bridgebay reminded the BFC that the current investment mix of floating rate bond securities (35%) versus fixed rate bond securities (65%) is aimed at preserving the principle of conservatism of the investments. Three different premiere high-quality investment managers are managing the funds. ICANN management provided to the manager with the lower return (compared to the other two managers) guidance to maintain higher liquidity, for withdrawal purposes, than the other two. Bridgebay reported that, at the ICANN organization's request, Bridgebay had requested from the management firm with the lowest return a proposal of how to improve the performance without changing the risk profile.

    • Actions:

      • ICANN organization to evaluate the proposed portfolio adjustments and report back to the BFC.
      • ICANN organization to develop a proposal on how the investment performance can be shared with the community.
  2. BFC Schedule – The BFC reviewed its schedule, which is on track as planned.

  3. Minutes – The BFC approved the revised minutes of the 1 February 2017 meeting.

  4. ICANN Meeting Venue Approvals – The BFC was presented with venue recommendations for the ICANN 64 and ICANN 66 public meetings in March 2019 and November 2019, to be held in Asia Pacific and North America, respectively. An announcement was posted on ICANN's web site in July 2016 seeking expressions of interest for hosting the ICANN meetings in Asia Pacific and North America. From Asia Pacific, one community proposal was received for holding a meeting in Japan and identified three cities as possible locations. For North America, a proposal was received for Montreal, Canada. The ICANN organization completed a thorough review of the proposals and available facilities and finds Kobe and Montreal to be the most suitable for ICANN 64 and ICANN 66, respectively, in accordance with the Meeting Selection Criteria [PDF, 386 KB]. The BFC reviewed the options and approved a recommendation that the Board authorize contracting for venues in Kobe for the ICANN 64 public meeting and Montreal for the ICANN 66 public meeting.

    • Actions:

      • ICANN organization to prepare materials for Board consideration.
      • ICANN organization to provide the BFC a spreadsheet comparing the costs of meetings at the recommended locations.
  5. Financials – The BFC reviewed the most recent FY17 financials, including some of the information reported publicly during the Q3 Quarterly Stakeholder Calls in April 2017. The BFC noted that, as of March 2017, after nine months of activity, there is an excess of funding over expenses of approximately US$11 million versus the budgeted deficit of US$1 million, excluding the New gTLD Program from operations. In April, there was approximately a US$6 million funding excess and a US$6 million expenses underspend. The funding excess is now reduced and it is anticipated to be between US$3 million and US$4 million for the full year. The main driver for the funding being more than budgeted is the increase in registrar accreditation applications, which have resulted in more registrar annual fixed fees. Expenses continue to be lower than budget by approximately US$6 million at the end of nine months of FY17 and will probably be more by the end of FY17, largely due to the fact that headcount is slightly under the budget and has been under the budget for the entire fiscal year. By the end of the fiscal year, 30 June 2017, the excess is expected to be between US$8 to 10 million, of which about a third will come from higher than expected funding and two thirds from lower than expected spending. The IANA Stewardship Transition expenses are on budget reflecting slightly higher costs of implementation between August and November 2016, and slightly lower costs for Work Stream 2.

Published on 21 August 2017.

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."