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[gnso-travel-dt] Chair Travel Funding

  • To: "Olga Cavalli" <olgac@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [gnso-travel-dt] Chair Travel Funding
  • From: "Gomes, Chuck" <cgomes@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2010 17:18:48 -0400

I want to request guidance from the GNSO Travel DT regarding a special
travel funding issue before bringing it to the Council.
I have been invited to participate in the Russia IGF in my capacity as
GNSO Council Chair.  It is scheduled for May 13-14.  Because I will be
doing this not as a representative of VeriSign, there is not a
reasonable business case to request VeriSign to fund my travel, so I
would like to get feedback from the members of the Travel DT with regard
to this.
First of all, let me say that I have never used ICANN provided travel
funding to attend ICANN meetings and I do not plan to do that for any of
the scheduled ICANN in-person meeting scheduled this year.  The reasons
for this are: 1) I do not want there to be even a perception of conflict
at those meetings when I wear my multiple hats of Council Chair, RySG
representative and VeriSign representative; 2) the RySG consistently
took a position that it opposed ICANN travel funding except in cases of
demonstrated need.
Second, let me say that I understand that the Travel Funding practice to
date has been for ICANN sponsored events and that the Russia IGF is not
in that category.  So one of the problems would be the possibility of
setting precedents for other travel needs in similar situations.  For
example, Other countries or geographical regions also hold their own IGF
meetings, so what would happen if I am invited to those as well, to
represent the GNSO?  I think this is a legitimate concern.  All I can
say is that I was first contacted about the Russia IGF over six months
in advance of the meeting and I have not been invited to any other
country/regional IGF meetings for 2010 or after.  Clearly, if ICANN
funding is considered for this, it would need to be done with the
limitation that travel funds are available and that this instance would
be a one-time consideration; any similar requests in my role as chair
would have to be vetted independently and would have to have similar
advance notice like was given with the Russia IGF.
I also recognize that ICANN has had to trim expenses and I would not
want to negatively impact the ability of any GNSO members to receive
travel funding to the Brussels meeting as a result of my request.
Any thoughts that any members of the Travel DT, including negative ones,
would be appreciated.  I promised both Theresa Swinehart and Kevin
Wilson that I would get back to them on this but have waiting raising it
because of the huge number of issues that we have been dealing with in
the GNSO.

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