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Minutes | Board Finance Committee (BFC) Meeting

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

Other Board Member Attendees: Cherine Chalaby and Manal Ismail.

ICANN organization Attendees: Xavier Calvez (Chief Financial Officer), Aaron Jimenez (Board Operations Sr. Coordinator), Vinciane Koenigsfeld (Director, Board Operations), Elizabeth Le (Associate General Counsel), Becky Nash (VP Finance), Wendy Profit (Manager, Board Operations), Ashwin Rangan (SVP, Engineering & Chief Information Officer) and Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel).

Invited Guests: Advisors from State Street Global Advisors.


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

  1. Investment Performance Review – State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), ICANN's independent investment manager, gave the BFC members a brief overview of SSGA and the services it provides to ICANN. SSGA then provided the BFC with an overview of the reserve fund's investment performance. SSGA noted that on 1 January 2017, the Reserve Fund was valued at US$62,130,483, with US$5,000,260 in contributions and US$4,540,645 in redemptions, the final market value of the reserve fund as of 31 December 2017 was US$70,457,593.00. The portfolio experienced a total return of 12.89 percent for 2017. The reserve fund's asset classification is 65 percent in fixed income and 35 percent in equities, with allocation constraint of plus or minus ten percent, which supports a moderately low-risk portfolio. The BFC discussed options for portfolio constructions in light of recent market volatility.

  2. Zensar Vendor Contract – The organization explained to the BFC that three years ago, the Board approved a proposal from the BFC to move forward with a three-year contract with Zensar to meet ICANN org's Engineering and Information Technology department's need for third party development, quality assurance, and content management. The contract period is now coming to a close and the BFC is considering an extension of the contract on a tapering scale. ICANN org conducted a full request for proposal, the results of which led ICANN org to determine that Zensar is still the preferred vendor. After discussion, the BFC agreed to recommend to the Board the implementation of a new contract with Zensar for a period of 24 months starting April 2018.

    • Action: ICANN org to prepare materials for Board consideration.

  3. Financial Summary – The BFC was presented with a financial overview of the FY18 YTD budget. As ICANN moves into the latter half of FY18, it continues to be under budget. ICANN org noted that the savings over time is not the result of one event, but, rather a combination of factors that include the delay of planned activities, decrease in non-meeting related travel and so forth.

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."