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Minutes | Board Finance Committee (BFC) Meeting

BFC Attendees: Maarten Botterman, Chris Disspain, Ron da Silva (Chair), Khaled Koubaa, and George Sadowsky.

Other Board Member Attendees: Cherine Chalaby, Göran Marby, and Lousewies van der Laan

ICANN Org Attendees: Susanna Bennett (SVP, Chief Operating Officer), Xavier Calvez (SVP, Chief Financial Officer), Linda Chin (Director of Operations, Asia Pacific), Samantha Eisner (Deputy General Counsel), John Jeffrey (General Counsel & Secretary), Aaron Jimenez (Board Operations Senior Coordinator), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Board Training & Content Senior Manager), Elizabeth Le (Associate General Counsel), Jia Rong Low (VP, Stakeholder Engagement & Managing Director – Asia Pacific), Becky Nash (VP Finance), Wendy Profit (Manager, Board Operations), Jean-Jacques Sahel (VP, Stakeholder Engagement & Managing Director – Europe), Lisa Saulino (Board Operations Senior Coordinator), and Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel)


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

  1. Contracting and Disbursement Authority for Lease Renewal of Singapore Office – The BFC was presented with the proposal to renew the Singapore Office lease. The current lease expires on 1 April 2018. The proposal is to renew the lease of the current office space for three years with the option to renew for an additional three years. Having the Singapore office affirms ICANN Org's globalization commitment, engages and supports APAC stakeholders, and helps retain personnel and attracts talent. The office is located in the central business district, has a close proximity to past ICANN meeting venues and lodging for visitors, and is near two major train interchanges. The BFC engaged in a discussion regarding the reasonableness of the cost. The BFC was advised that based upon market research, the proposed renewal rate is within the range of the market rental rate within the vicinity. The BFC inquired whether the renewal term should be for a longer period the proposed three years. The BFC was advised that the market research indicates an anticipated increase in the supply of office space in three years, and therefore, pursuing a renewal term longer three year renewal term is not advisable at this time. The BFC approved a recommendation to the Board to authorize the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to the take all necessary actions to execute the lease renewal for the current office facility in Singapore, and make all necessary disbursements pursuant to that lease.
    • Action: ICANN Org to prepare the relevant materials for Board consideration.
  2. Contracting and Disbursement Authority for Lease Renewal of the Brussels Office - The BFC was presented with the proposal to enter into an updated Brussels Office lease. The proposal is to commit to the current office space for three additional years. Having the Brussels office affirms ICANN Org's globalization commitment, engages and supports European stakeholders, helps retain personnel, attract talent, and drives operational efficiency. The office is located in the heart of the European Union (EU) quarter, and is near a major metro station. Brussels is the European hub; it is home to both the European Parliament and the European Commission. The BFC was advised that based upon market research, the recommendation is to update the lease for the current location and not relocate. The proposed new term is for an additional three years at a reduced rate and an offer from the building owner to contribute to enhancement costs for the office. The BFC engaged in a discussion about whether it is cost effective to have two offices in the greater European region – one in Brussels and one in Istanbul. Given that Brussels is one of the power hubs in the world, having a presence in Brussels is important. The Brussels office has been designated as a regional office. The Istanbul office will work more with the African and Islamic states. The BFC approved a recommendation to the Board to authorize the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to the take all necessary actions to execute the lease renewal for the current office facility in Brussels, and make all necessary disbursements pursuant to that lease.
    • Action: ICANN Org to prepare the relevant materials for Board consideration.
  3. Reserve Fund – At its 12 January 2018 meeting, the BFC approved a recommendation that the Board approve the target level of the Reserve Fund at 12 months minimum of operating expenses. The BFC received an update on the Board materials that are being prepared related to this agenda item and which will be circulated to the Committee within the next few days for consideration.
  4. Draft FY19 Operating Plan & Budget (FY19 OP&B) - The BFC reviewed the six documents that will be submitted for public comment. The materials contain more information than past OP&Bs to provide greater transparency on ICANN's strategic goals and the rationale underlying those goals and decisions. For example, included with the materials for public comment is a list and detailed information of selected cross-functional projects and activities planned for FY19. The materials also contain a summary of the six modules of work planned in FY19. The BFC expressed its support for level of detail to be submitted for public comment.

Published on 20 February 2018

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."