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AFNIC comment on expense analysis

  • To: eag-feedback@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: AFNIC comment on expense analysis
  • From: Mathieu Weill <Mathieu.Weill@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 03 Jul 2009 14:10:44 +0200

AFNIC is the manager of French country-code top level domains .fr, .re, .tf, .wf, .pm and .yt. We are a not-for-profit, multistakeholder organisation founded in 1997.

AFNIC is a member of ccNSO and a founding member of CENTR, the European regional organisation of ccTLDs gathering 57 ccTLD managers.

*A significant and welcome step forward *

AFNIC welcomes the publication of ICANN's expense analysis, as several members of the community, among which AFNIC, repeatedly asked for that analysis to be undertaken for quite a while now. The publication itself is a significant step in increasing transparency.

We would also like to seize this opportunity to extend our thanks to ICANN's financial team. We appreciate the amount of work behind such an expense analysis, and we welcome the outreach attitude that has been taken on this particular initiative.

*Further efforts needed to build trust around the cost analysis*

As can be expected in such an analysis, especially in the multistakeholder context, the figures outlined in this first report may be surprising, or even counter-intuitive. This may lead to challenges of the cost accounting principles, the expense area groups or even the underlying figures.

It is essential that ICANN engages with all parts of the community to ensure that the figures and accounting principles are appropriately understood.

AFNIC believes improvements are needed to achieve this goal, especially in two directions : a) cost are often shared among several EAGs. To increase transparency and accountability in those estimates *it is necessary to provide data on how those shares are calculated* (rough estimate, based on parameters such as number of participant per meeting for meeting costs, etc.) b) *distribution of EAG costs by nature* (staff costs, meeting costs, ...) would also build further understanding of the cost structures.

*Need of clarification on expense analysis intended use*

We understand that this analysis has been undertaken to achieve greater transparency and accountability. As stated earlier, we believe this a significant step towards this goal. However, great care should be taken not to promote the use of this analysis as a basis of so-called "cost-recovery" policies.

Indeed, economical theory suggests that the type of analysis conducted is not the most appropriate for such a goal, and the expense area groups designed are most probably not relevant to that end. Therefore we urge ICANN, while providing the additional data we asked for to clarify the intended, appropriate use of such data.

Best regards,

Mathieu WEILL
AFNIC - directeur général
Tél: 01 39 30 83 06

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