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[bc-gnso] Re: ICANN posts *redacted* Form 990 for year ending June 30, 2008

  • To: BC gnso <bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [bc-gnso] Re: ICANN posts *redacted* Form 990 for year ending June 30, 2008
  • From: George Kirikos <icann@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Jun 2009 13:16:20 -0400

Hi again,

Just as an update, ICANN sent me a copy of the unredacted forms, which
I scanned to PDF and can be viewed at:

http://www.loffs.com/images/icann/icann-fy-2008-form-990-unredacted.pdf

Page 43 of the new PDF corresponds to the salaries that had previously
been redacted. We can now see that for the year ending June 30, 2008,
their compensation was:

1) Amy Stathos (Senior Counsel), $223,307 compensation with $49,846
contributions to employee benefit plans
2) Theresa Swinehart (VP), $251,497 compensation with $62,916
contributions to employee benefit plans
3) David Conrad (VP), $197,779 compensation with $53,028 contributions
to employee benefit plans
4) Denise Michel (VP), $235,722 compensation with $52,500
contributions to employee benefit plans, and $115,649 expense account
(in the note, it says that the expense account was meant to tax
neutralize her payments during her overseas assignment in the prior
fiscal year)
5) Daniel Halloran (Deputy Gen. Counsel), $186,003 compensation with
$60,536 contributions to employee benefit plans

Comparing with the prior year:

http://gnso.icann.org/mailing-lists/archives/ga-200709/msg02021.html
http://www.icann.org/en/financials/tax/us/fy-2007-form-990.pdf

many had a very substantial increase. This as the economy entered a
recession, and when most companies were cutting back, when even law
firms were suffering:

http://www.abovethelaw.com/

Of course when an organization is only accountable to itself, and has
the ability to tax gTLD domain name registrants, it's easy to be Santa
Claus, giving out raises and paying higher salaries than what the
non-profit comparables would justify.

A careful comparison between ICANN and
NTIA/DOC/DOJ/universities/hospitals and other non-profit organizations
would be appropriate to measure the amount being wasted by ICANN.

>From page 12 of the PDF, the total number of employees paid over
$50,000 was 59 in the year ending June 30, 2008 (54 not the five
highest + the 5 highest = 59). This compares to 37 in the prior year.
Similarly, 14 independent contractors (9+5) received over $50,000 for
"professional services", and 38 independent contractors (33+5)
received over $50,000 for "other services."  That's a large
constituency of consultants that is self-interested in seeing ICANN
engage in mission-creep and boondoggle projects (new gTLDs, etc.).

Hopefully the new CEO of ICANN will do the right thing and start
cutting salaries, firing employees that don't shape up, and cutting
the other wasteful expenses that consumers and businesses ultimately
end up paying for through higher costs and prices.

Sincerely,

George Kirikos
416-588-0269
http://www.leap.com/

On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 5:07 PM, George Kirikos wrote:
> Hi folks,
>
> ICANN has posted their latest IRS Form 990 for the year ending June
> 30, 2008, see:
>
> http://www.icann.org/en/financials/tax/us/fy-2008-form-990.pdf
>
> however it is highly redacted (page 10 shows a date of May 14, 2009,
> so it must have been posted recently). In particular, note page 43 of
> the PDF does not give the individual compensation, instead saying:
>
> "Compensation, employee benefit and expense account information
> redacted for, confidentiality."
>
> However, according to Guidestar:
>
> http://www.guidestar.org/DisplayArticle.do?articleId=865#1
>
> "Organizations that do not wish to provide hard copies of these
> document(s) do have another option: they can post a copy on their Web
> site. With the exception of masking donor's names and addresses on
> Forms 990, 990-EZ, and 990-PF, the documents must not be altered in
> any way."
>
> Obviously redacting the employee compensation information is going
> beyond what Guidestar says is allowed.
>
> The law is that anyone can ask for a copy of the unredacted versions:
>
> http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=96430,00.html
> http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=139231,00.html
>
> "In general, exempt organizations must make available for public
> inspection certain annual returns and applications for exemption, and
> must provide copies of such returns and applications to individuals
> who request them.  Copies usually must be provided immediately in the
> case of in-person requests, and within 30 days in the case of written
> requests.  The tax-exempt organization may charge a reasonable copying
> fee plus actual postage, if any."
>
> I have sent a request to Kevin Wilson for the full unredacted form
> with ALL schedules unredacted. It's going to show up eventually anyway
> at Guidestar, so I don't understand why ICANN is playing these games,
> when they are supposed to be "transparent" and "accountable."
>
> If anyone passes by the ICANN offices in-person, please do make the
> request, as they must provide an unredacted copy immediately.
>
> Some compensation numbers did get through unredacted (pages 35 through
> 39), namely:
>
> 1) Douglas Brent (COO) $390,939 ($99,412 contribution to employee benefit 
> plans)
> 2) John Jeffrey (General Counsel) $314,500 ($63,982 contribution to
> employee benefit plans)
> 3) Paul Levins (VP), $263,946 ($84,110 contribution to employee
> benefit plans, and $48,359 expense account and other allowances)
> 4) Kurt Pritz (SVP), $318,846 ($79,627 contribution to employee benefit plans)
> 5) Paul Twomey (CEO), $691,610 ($255,649 contribution to employee benefit 
> plans)
> 6) Kevin Wilson (CFO), $153,310 ($50,198 contribution to employee benefit 
> plans)
>
> (some of the above might not be for a full 12 months)
>
> Page 43 reveals Amy Stathos, Theresa Swinehart, David Conrad, Denise
> Michel and Daniel Halloran combined for a total of $1,094,308, with
> $278,826 as contributions to employee benefit plans and $115,649 for
> expense accounts.
>
> Page 44 reveals Jones Day pulled in $1.6 million for legal services,
> the Ombudsman's corporation pulled in $437K, Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti
> pulled in $240K, Gibson Dunn Crutcher got $140K and Clayton Utz got
> $128K.
>
> Page 45 reveals The Wentworth Company got $589K, Interisle got $395K,
> Project Management Solutions got $338K, Iron Mountain got $327K, and
> Crown IT got $309K.
>
> Page 11 reveals that 54 other employees were paid over $50,000.
>
> For comparison with other years, see our previous post last year at:
>
> http://gnso.icann.org/mailing-lists/archives/ga-200709/msg02021.html
>
> In my opinion, these salaries (and contracting expenses too!) are far
> too high for a non-profit entity. Compensation should reflect
> non-profit comparables, as I've argued before at:
>
> http://www.circleid.com/posts/20090105_icann_for_profit_companies_comparables/
>
> Relevant comparables could be found for people working similar jobs at
> the USPTO, NTIA, DOC, DOJ, universities, hospitals and other
> organizations of that nature, with their inherent job security
> compared to the for-profit sector of the economy.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> George Kirikos
> http://www.leap.com/
>




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