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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    Budget and Expenditures ICANN Posts Draft Budget
    posted by michael on Monday May 14 2001, @04:01AM

    It's an official draft now - $0 for elections, $425,000 (that' s not a typo), for director and staff travel in addition to the $450,000 budgeted for travel and other expenses at ICANN's quarterly meetings.

    Once again, opponents of ICANN's inner circle are invited to spend energy and political capital fighting merely to re-establish the status quo ante. Gotta hand it to Joe Sims & Co.: every significant ICANN proposal tightens centralized control, and usually hurts the at large/end-user interests. Sometimes ICANN magnanimously compromises by taking "only" half a loaf.

    This budget is a good example. Suppose an outcry were to make ICANN put back some money in the budget for maintaining the at-large membership and running an election. So what? ICANN won't actually spend any of the money, or do anything significant, until the at-large study is over. There won't be any way for members to change their contact details, there won't be any outreach to existing or new members, and their certainly won't be any way for people to register as members of the at-large. Thus, all the fuss will achieve nothing of substance, only symbol. And frankly, we're past the stage where there's any point fighting about symbols: ICANN is so busy entrenching itself, and so deep in the pocket of the interests that have captured much -- but not quite yet all -- of the Board, that it's important to pick your battles.

    ICANN's current budget, drafted by a Finance Committee that includes one of the notorious Board Squatters (and an advisory "Budget Group" that consists only of representatives of Registrars, Registries, ccTLDs and RIRs), calls for salting away $1 million this year, with an ultimate goal of a $4.5 million reserve. How about we all just agree that when the time comes, ICANN will spend whatever it takes from this reserve fund to run the best election it can, and get on with more immediate things. Like struggling with an at-large study committee whose idea of "balance" is to include former ICANN Board members who voted to prevent direct election of at-large members, and then voted to keep the Board Squatters in office, but to exclude every person with a history of opposing those actions. Imagine having a committee study elections in Florida -- one with Republicans, distinguished neutrals, but no Democrats because Democrats are "too partisan".

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  • Finance Committee
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