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Minutes | Board Finance Committee (BFC) Meeting 3 June 2021

BFC Attendees: Harald Alverstrand, Becky Burr, Danko Jevtović (Chair), Ihab Osman, Mandla Msimang, and Tripti Sinha

BFC Apologies: Ron da Silva

Other Board Member Attendees: Avri Doria, Lito Ibarra, and Göran Marby

ICANN org Attendees: Xavier Calvez (SVP, Planning and Chief Financial Officer), Franco Carrasco (Board Operations Specialist), John Jeffrey (General Counsel and Secretary), Elizabeth Le (Associate General Counsel), Alex Morshed (Finance Manager), Becky Nash (VP, Planning), Wendy Profit (Board Operations Senior Manager), Shani Quidwai (Sr. Director, Finance), Lisa Saulino (Board Operation Specialist), and Amy Stathos (Deputy General Counsel)

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

  1. BFC Workplan – The BFC reviewed its Workplan for FY21, which is on track.
  2. "Meet the Board Committee" Webinar Series – The Committee discussed the "Meet the Board Committee" webinar series implemented by ICANN org to increase the community's visibility and understanding of the Committee's purpose and work. The BFC discussed the content and goals of the session, the preparation process, the time and work commitment required, and when the Committee might participate in the webinar series.

    • Action: ICANN org to coordinate and schedule webinar.
  3. Discussion re Supplemental Fund for Implementation of Community Recommendations (SFICR) Initial Transfer – The BFC received an update on the engagement efforts undertaken by ICANN org with the community regarding the SFICR. The BFC noted that the process for funding of the SFICR includes eligible projects that have been approved, or are soon to be, by the Board and are prioritized in the annual operating plan and budget, or as a result of an ad hoc Board decision. Now that the SFICR has been established, ICANN org recommended that US$15 million be transferred from the Operating Fund into the SFICR. The US$15 million is anticipated to support the following projects: System for Standardized Access/Disclosure (SSAD) Operational Design Phase, review implementation for CCT, SSR2 and ATRR3, and Cross Community recommendations on the Evolution of the Multistakeholder model and Root Server System Governance. The BFC noted that having the US$15 million in the SFICR does not mean that the policy work is capped at US$15 million because the regular budget could also include the policy work. The BFC engaged in a discussion of whether the SFICR should be funded before or after the Board approves a project. The BFC noted that the Board intended to have funds available in the SFICR for when projects are approved by the by the Board, and to carry unused funds over from year to year. The BFC further noted that moving funds to the SFICR provides optics around ICANN's preparations for the upcoming work. The Committee discussed the timing of the funding and the next steps in the process. ICANN org recommended, and the BFC agreed, that the next step be bringing a proposed motion to the BFC recommending an allocation of US$15 million to the SFICR and additional US$5 million to the Reserve Fund (which received a transfer of US$10 million earlier this year).

    • Action: ICANN org to prepare further presentation to the BFC at its next meeting.
  4. ICANN Org Resourcing – The BFC received a briefing from ICANN org on the funding options for additional org resources. ICANN org noted that a plan allowing for an additional ten percent headcount or about 45 FTEs is appropriate as a first step, as it is sufficiently under the estimated capacity requirement to minimize any risk of overstaffing. As ICANN org evaluates these positions, careful consideration is given to the duration of the work, whether the work is considered a core activity or not, whether the skills are required and will need to be maintained in the organization, and the ability to integrate the new resources into the structure of the existing teams. In addition to support for specific projects, ICANN org notes that there will need to be additional resources to support the functions that will help drive the projects. The BFC considered and discussed the possible funding options presented by ICANN org to absorb the 45 FTEs. One possible funding option considered is the operating fund, which has the capacity to absorb some, but not all needed resourcing. Other funding options considered are the SFICR, the auction proceeds that can be utilized for resources relating to the development and operations of a Grant Program or any Board approved recommendations that come out of the workstreams, and the remaining funds from the 2012 round of new gTLDs less risk coverage.

    • Action: ICANN org to prepare paper further discussing the need to increase org resourcing.
  5. Investment Policy Update – The BFC considered a proposal from ICANN org to change the Investment Policy to increase the types of investments allowed to enable ICANN org to invest funds not needed for day-to-day operations into longer-term assets than currently outlined in the Investment Policy. The BFC agreed that org should prepare a formal proposal to revise the Investment Policy for the Committee's consideration and Board approval.

    • Action: ICANN org to prepare proposal for the BFC to consider at its next meeting.

Published on 03 August 2021