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Minutes | Board Finance Committee (BFC) Meeting

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

BFC Member Apologies: Lousewies van der Laan

ICANN Organization Attendees:  Susanna Bennett (SVP & Chief Operating Officer), Michelle Bright (Board Operations Content Manager), Xavier Calvez (SVP & Chief Financial Officer), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Board Training & Content Senior Manager), Elizabeth Le (Senior Counsel), Becky Nash (VP, Finance), Wendy Profit (Manager, Board Operations), Lisa Saulino (Board Operations Sr. Coordinator) and Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel)


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

  1. FY18 Operation Plan & Budget (FY18 OP&B) Public Comments Overview – The BFC reviewed the process for the FY18 OP&B. The planning and development of the FY18 Operating Plan & Budget took place between September 2016 to February 2017. The Budget was then open for public comment between 8 March 2017 to 28 April 2017. The ICANN organization received 134 comments from 16 different organizations and individuals. The BFC engaged in a discussion regarding the comments that were received. The comments focused primarily on four themes, some of which the BFC observed are recurring from previous years: (i) concerns over headcount and expense growth; (ii) comments on the replenishment of the Reserve fund; (iii) the adequacy of key performance indicators (KPIs) and explanations on how they are calculated; and (iv) growing demand for travel support. Following the receipt of these comments, the ICANN organization engaged with the community through telephonic meetings to discuss their comments, and revised the FY18 OP&B as appropriate (see discussion below). The Report of Public Comments was published on 2 June 2017.

  2. Changes to Draft FY18 OP&B – Based on the public comments received, ICANN organization, in consultation with the BFC, updated the FY18 OP&B to reflect a total increase of US$3.6 million. The US$3.6 million increase is comprised of US$0.2 million for constituent/stakeholder travel funding, US$0.1 million for policy development support, US$3.1 million for the IANA transition related expenses for FY18, and US$0.2 million for Board travel and training. The BFC noted that the amounts for constituent/stakeholder travel funding, policy development support,  and Board travel and training will come be applied to the contingency line in the budget as these items were previously unbudgeted. The additional US$3.1 million for the IANA Stewardship Transition related expenses for FY18 will come from the reserve fund as have all other expenses for the IANA Stewardship Transition. The BFC agreed that the public comments have been adequately addressed in the updated draft budget and recommended that the Board approve the final FY18 OP&B at its meeting on 24 June 2017. The BFC noted that in an effort to increase transparency, the updated FY18 OP&B will be made available to the community for review in advance of the Board meeting. The BGC further noted that under the new Bylaws, the Board's approval of the FY18 OP&B is subject to challenge by the Empowered Community (EC). The FY18 OP&B will become effective if the EC does not challenge it within 28 days after the Secretary of the Board delivers a Board Notice to the EC Administration and the Decisional Participants. The FY18 Caretaker Budget will take effect on 1 July 2017, and remain in place while the EC evaluates the budget during the 28-day period.

    • Actions:

      • ICANN organization to add an explanation in the FY18 OP&B that the numbers for the reserve fund do not include a potential replenishment to the fund.
      • ICANN organization to revise the Board briefing materials to capture non-substantive changes noted by the BFC.
  3. Any Other Business
    1. Information Transparency Initiative (ITI) Project Funding – The BFC discussed funding approaches for the ITI project, noting that it will await a recommendation from the President and CEO.
    2. FY19 Budget Planning Timing – The BFC discussed the timing for FY19 budget planning. The plan is to design a process for FY19 so that the Board can approve the budget for FY19 no later than end of May 2018, a month in advance of the commencement of FY19.
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."