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Specific Cost Cutting Suggestions

  • To: budget-comments@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Specific Cost Cutting Suggestions
  • From: George Kirikos <gkirikos@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 24 May 2006 23:12:12 -0700 (PDT)

Just to demonstrate how simple it is to cut down on wasteful spending,
I'd suggest:

1) All air travel be coach (instead of business class or first class)
2) Hotel rooms should be shared.

Is this unreasonable? The CEO of the world's largest corporation,
Wal-Mart, flies coach and shares a hotel on business trips, just like
their staff:


"Scott and Chief Financial Officer Tom Schoewe earned a combined $14
million in stock and cash in 2003. But on business trips, the two will
share a $49 hotel room.

"Sharing rooms is a very symbolic part of what we do," Scott says.
"It's also an equalizer. If I'm asking the district managers to share a
room, but I won't share a room with Schoewe, then what am I saying? "


"You won't catch executives in limousines and you won't see them
dragging into work at 9:30 a.m. Executives fly coach and often share
hotel rooms with colleagues. They work long hours, typically arriving
at work before 6:30 a.m. and working half-days on Saturdays."


"That's why our associates, including executives, fly coach, share
hotel rooms, and empty their own trash. If we can go without something
to save money, we do. It's the cornerstone of our culture to pass on
our savings. Every penny we save is a penny in our customers' pockets."

ICANN's culture can learn a lot from this example. When has it ever
made tough choices to "go without something to save money"? When's the
last time Paul Twomey was in a $49 hotel room, or even a hotel with a
$49 rate??!!??

Some might suggest business class and non-sharing of rooms is
necessary, especially for long international travel. Once again,
though, I point to the counter-example of Wal-Mart. They do
international travel too (Wal-Mart operations are world-wide) -- how do
they do it, but ICANN can't? That's the reality that most non-profits
and frugal businesses operate under.

I'd like a Board member to put this proposed cost-cutting policy to a
public vote (immediately, no need to wait for the new budget), and see
exactly which Board members vote for it, and which vote against it.
Presumably, the ones who vote against it feel they are somehow superior
to the CEO of Wal-Mart......or that they are more productive than
Wal-Mart executives, who run the world's biggest company....

Of course, probably no ICANN Board members read these public comments,
and staff wouldn't want their travel perks cut, to include this
proposal in their summary to the board. Prove me wrong by voting on it.
:) We're talking millions of dollars (at least 50%, if not more) in
travel cost savings, folks.

As we don't have a specific list of all ICANN expenditures, it's hard
to cite specific examples of waste (an auditor can likely find them, or
someone with access to all the receipts). But, another specific example

3) Tendering of Legal Services -- Let's have some competition in who
provides external legal services to ICANN, to see how much costs can be
reduced. Do a public tender, with request for quotes, etc., and
advertise it   it in the appropriate places.

I'm sure more cost savings can be found easily, if one had the
incentive to look for them. Perhaps give staff a bounty of 5% of the
savings for cost cutting ideas -- they'd be racing each other to point
out all the waste.


George Kirikos

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