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Minutes | Board Finance Committee (BFC) Meeting

BFC Attendees: Maarten Botterman, Ron da Silva (Chair), Danko Jevtovic, and Tripti Sinha

BFC Apologies: Khaled Koubaa

Other Board Member Attendees: Avri Doria

ICANN Org Attendees: Susanna Bennett (SVP, Chief Operating Officer), Ted Bartles (Meeting Production Operations Sr. Manager), Xavier Calvez (SVP, Chief Financial Officer), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), David Conrad (SVP, Chief Technical Officer), Kim Davies (VP, IANA Services and President, PTI), Elizabeth Le (Associate General Counsel), Becky Nash (VP Finance), Shani Quidwai (Director of FP&A), Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel), and Nick Tomasso (VP, Global Meeting Operations & Managing Director – Middle East & Africa)

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

  1. BFC Workplan – The BFC reviewed its Workplan, which is on target.

  2. Contracting Approval

    1. ICANN 73 Meetings Venue – The BFC received a briefing on the proposal for meeting venue for ICANN 73 March 2022 ICANN Public Meeting. The BFC discussed and evaluated the due diligence performed by ICANN org pursuant to the Meeting Location Selection Criteria. Based on the proposals and analysis, ICANN Org has identified a location for the ICANN 73 Public Meeting. The BFC approved a recommendation to the Board to authorize ICANN org to take all steps necessary to complete contracting for ICANN 73.

      • Actions: ICANN org to prepare relevant materials for Board consideration.

    2. Renewal of Zenzar Contract – The BFC was presented with a recommendation from ICANN org for renewal of the Zenzar contract. As background, in November 201,4 ICANN entered into a three-year support contract with Zensar to provide Development, Quality Assurance testing and Content management support. The contract was renewed in 2017 following an RFP process. The current contract is set to expire in March 2020. ICANN org explained that outsourcing the above referenced work provides great benefit to ICANNN org, including, but not limited to, providing team flexibility, ability to ramp up, ramp down or change skillsets quickly, and allowing for quick turnaround due to time zone differences. As such, ICANN org recommend a two year contract renewal. Upon discussion, the BFC approved a recommendation to the Board to authorize a two-year renewal with of the Zenzar contract.

      • Actions: ICANN org to prepare relevant materials for Board consideration.

    3. Renewal to Infovity Contract – The BFC was presented with a recommendation from ICANN org for renewal of the Infovity contract. As background, in November 2015, ICANN purchased the Oracle Cloud as the organization's enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. In December 2016, ICANN successfully implemented Oracle Cloud. Over the past two years, ICANN has successfully utilized this solution for Finance, Human Resources, and Procurement functions. To support Oracle Cloud ERP system, ICANN contracts with Infovity, a service support provider. The contract term has been on an annual basis. ICANN org conducted its due diligence, which included an RFP process. After careful analysis of options, the org concluded that renewing the Infovity contract for a two-year term is the most viable, cost-effective solution. Upon discussion, the BFC approved a recommendation that the Board authorize President and CEO, or his designee(s), to enter into a two-year renewal of the Infovity contract.

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

    4. ICANN-managed Root Server (IMRS) Cluster – The BFC received a briefing regarding contracting approval request relating to the IMRS cluster. The IMRS warrants additional capacity in the Asian region to answer DNS queries from that region and to withstand denial-of-service (DoS) attacks from all over the Internet. The addition of a "cluster" (a group of several servers) will provide this capacity, and Singapore has been selected as an appropriate location. The cluster will address existing demand for root service in the Asian region. Existing IMRS sites in Asia together already receive twice as many queries as the next busiest region. (Europe). The Internet infrastructure in Singapore is highly developed and robust and thus well suited to support an IMRS cluster. In addition, the country is extremely well connected via submarine cables compared to other countries in the region. An IMRS cluster in Singapore will provide a significant increase overall resiliency for the IMRS as a whole. The RFP process for the equipment that is being contemplated for this cluster is being finalized. Upon discussion, the BFC approved a recommendation that the Board authorize the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to enter into a contract to procure the IMRS cluster and a two-year contract for connectivity and co-location.

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

  3. FY19 Financials Update – The Committee received an update on the FY19 financials. The FY19 actuals of USD 136.4 million funding is under budget by USD 1.3 million. Total cash expenses for FY19 were six percent lower than budget, or USD 130 million, which is slightly higher than the FY18 expenses. Expenses were lower than budget primarily due to lower than planned headcount. The FY19 actuals reflect a funding of USD 136.4 million less cash expenses of USD 130 million, which results in a net operating excess of USD 6.4 million. ICANN's funds under management increased by USD 9 million in FY19. With respect to net asset allocation, the current Operating Fund level is USD 41 million. This level is calculated as the average of the previous three months cash balances, including proforma timing adjustments due to timing differences within a quarter. The current Operating Fund level, as compared to the target level of three months expected expenses, is above target by USD 6 million. The ICANN Investment Policy states that the Operating Fund should be at a level of funds to cover three months of operating expenses and that any amounts above the three months of operating expenses are to be transferred to the Reserve Fund. In accordance with the Investment Policy, the BFC approved a recommendation that the Board authorize the transfer of USD 3 million from the Operating Fund to the Reserve Fund, while leaving USD 3 million in the Operating Fund for potential unbudgeted projects occurring during FY20 as approved by the Board

  4. Draft FY21 IANA Operating Plan and Budget (FY21 IANA OP&B) – The Committee received a briefing on the draft FY21 IANA OP&B. The Operating Plan is informed by and aligns with the ICANN Strategic Objectives developed by a community driven bottom-up process. The adopted version of the Operating Plan will become a component of ICANN's FY21 OP&B. Within the strategic structure, Public Technical Identifier's (PTI) work is structured into two groups of activities: PTI Operations and PTI Technical Systems Enhancements. The draft FY21 IANA OP&B is USD 10.6 million, which includes a USD 500,000 contingency. The draft FY21 funding is USD 100,000 above the FY20 forecast, predominantly from increased personnel costs. The Committee reviewed the schedule for the FY21 IANA OP&B. Consistent with the process, the FY21 IANA OP&B is currently undergoing community consultation through the public comment process.

Published on 21 November 2019

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."