Skip to main content
Resources

Minutes | Board Finance Committee (BFC)

BFC Attendees: Becky Burr, Avri Doria, Danko Jevtović (Chair), Ihab Osman, and Tripti Sinha

BFC Member Apologies: Harald Alvestrand and Mandla Msimang

Other Board Members: James Galvin, Patricio Poblete, and Katrina Sataki

ICANN org Attendees: Michelle Bright (Board Operations Content Coordination Director), Xavier Calvez (SVP, Planning and Chief Financial Officer), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), Anna Guseva (Program Director – E&IT), John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary), Elizabeth Le (Associate General Counsel), Becky Nash (VP, Planning), Shani Quidwai (Sr. Director, Finance), Ashwin Rangan (SVP, Engineering and Chief Information Officer), and Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel)


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

  1. BFC Workplan – The BFC discussed its Workplan, which is on target. The next BFC meeting is scheduled for January 2022.
  2. The RFP Process – The BFC received an overview of ICANN org's request for proposal (RFP) process that will be followed to identify an audit firm. ICANN org explained that pursuant to ICANN's processes, an RFP is generally conducted for third party procurement that is expected to exceed $150,000, although there are exceptions. However, there is no prohibition on conducting RFPs even if the procurement is not expected to exceed $150,000 if it makes sense from transparency point of view. The org then explained the grounds under which an RFP need not be conducted as they are set forth in the ICANN Procurement Guidelines.
  3. Contracting Approval

    • IT Outsource Contract #1 – The BFC considered a proposal from ICANN org to renew a contract with the expert third-party sourcing firm that the org currently engages to provide development and assurance support to augment the org's Engineering and Informaton Technology capacity. Per ICANN org, the vendor has provided services to ICANN org in software engineering, quality assurance, and content management since 2014. In 2017, ICANN org conducted a full RFP for these services and it was determined at that time that the then current vendor was the most efficient and cost effective choice. The contract with this vendor was renewed in 2020. The relationship with the vendor has been beneficial to ICANN org and has been successful overall. In accordance with the Procurement Guidelines, ICANN org determined not to pursue a RFP process for the second (2020) and third (current) renewals because it was more efficient and cost effective and limited responses received from the first renewal RFP. The BFC concluded that pursuant to the Procurement Guidelines no RFP was required, and that the costs of the renewal are reasonable and affordable. Following discussion, the BFC approved a recommendation that the Board approve the renewed contract for a certain amount and term.

      • Actions: ICANN org to prepare relevant Board materials.
    • IT Outsource Contract #2 - The BFC considered a second proposal from ICANN org to renew a contract with the expert third-party sourcing firm that the org currently engages for staff augmentation for support various E&IT projects. ICANN org has engaged this vendor to supplement the support for E&IT projects that could not be fulfilled by its other vendor. ICANN org has decided to not pursue an RFP because it was more efficient and cost effective and that competitive rates/vendors are already known. ICANN org noted that the cost of changing vendors would not outweigh the benefits. The BFC concluded that pursuant to the Procurement Guidelines no RFP was required, and that the costs of the renewal are reasonable and affordable. Following discussion, the BFC approved a recommendation that the Board approve the renewed contract for a certain amount and term.

      • Actions: ICANN org to prepare relevant Board materials.
  4. Informational Update – ICANN Managed Root Servers (IMRS) Expenditures – The BFC received an update from ICANN org the regarding IMRS clusters that ICANN manages, located North America, Europe, and Singapore. The BFC discussed a proposal to install four additional clusters, two in Africa, one in Asia Pacific, and one in Europe to address the increasing demands of the growing population in these regions. The BFC acknowledged that the size and proposed equipement costs of the new clusters do not require Board approval and that the update is being provided to the BFC for visibility. The BFC further noted that the Board Technical Committee has already reviewed the technical strategy of the addition of the clusters, included the locations. The BFC expressed their support for the addition of the new clusters.
  5. Review of Draft ICANN FY23-FY27 Operating and Financial Plan (O&FP) and FY23 Operating Plan and Budget (OP&B) – The BFC reviewed the Draft FY23-FY27 O&FP and Draft FY23 OP&B, which are scheduled to be published for public comment on 7 December 2021 through 7 February 2022. ICANN org developed the Draft FY23-FY27 O&FP and Draft FY23 OP&B between August through October 2021. ICANN org explained two community webinars on these plans were held in September 2021 to kick off the planning cycle. The BFC reviewed the planning assumptions. One key assumption is that the strategic objectives for ICANN remain unchanged based upon the approved FY21-25 Strategic Plan. Another key assumption is affordability, that the operating expenses remain at or lower than the funding projections. Another key assumption is business travel and three face-to-face ICANN Public meetings and other types of engagement activities will return to pre-COVID-19 operations. Other key assumpitions include planning for Board approved activities and planning prioritization. The BFC discussed how funding projections are made. In particular, funding projections are built on three different scenarios: a high case where there is higher growth and more activity within the market; a low scenario where there is contraction and where funding is lower than what is typically seen; and a base-case scenario which is seen as the most likely scenario. Following discussion, the BFC supported the publication of the Draft FY23-FY27 O&FP and Draft FY23 OP&B for public comment.

    • Actions - ICANN org to publish the the Draft FY23-FY27 O&FP and Draft FY23 OP&B for public comment .
  6. Recommended Adjustments to Auction Proceeds Investments – In the interest of time, the BFC Chair requested that questions relating to the recommended adjustments to the Auction Proceeds Investments be addressed via email.

    • Actions – ICANN org to cover the topic by email.

Published on 25 March 2022

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."