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[ga-ext] Re: 2001-2002 Budget

"This is a draft that crept out, the way things creep out," said Stuart
Lynn, chief executive of ICANN. "The proposed budget is not being posted
yet. It's a working draft of a committee that we've been working on for four
months...Someone let it out, and of course everybody gets all involved with
it. It's kind of premature."

Spin control.  The proposed ICANN budget had no funds set aside for the
At-Large elections.  Fact.  Certain individuals that regularly voice their
opinions in this General Assembly participated in the Budget Group that
collaborated with the Finance Committee to advise the ICANN President,
namely Chuck Gomes and Peter de Blanc.  I have posed a simple question, "Why
were there no funds set aside for the election process?"  We have heard from
both Chuck and Peter, but we have not heard an answer to this question.

As At-Large membership was cited as a priority topic in the preliminary
budget report posted in February, who made the decision subsequently to not
have funds allocated for the election process?  Was this a recommendation of
the Budget group?  Did it come forth from the Board's Finance Committee, or
was this decision made by our ICANN President?

Unfortunately, we may never know the truth as ICANN has chosen not to allow
other constituencies to have an advisory voice in the budget process.
Neither the Business constituency, nor the NCDNHC, nor the ISP or IP
constituencies were invited to share their views, and the other
constituencies aren't talking about their role in this fiasco.   Apparently
only certain stakeholders truly matter, and the general public that seeks to
be part of the At-Large is similarly to be disregarded.  I do not find it
surprising at all that the report of the At-Large Study Group is to be made
one day "after" the ICANN Board meeting, when the plenary session is over
and many head home.

Mr. Lynn, in his letter to the Department of Commerce refers to the At Large
Study Committee as, "currently attempting to forge what has so far proven to
be an elusive consensus in the community on how to provide appropriate input
by the general Internet user population..."  The consensus only remains
elusive because no funds have been set aside for the election process.  The
At-Large "clean sheet" study does no more than ask a question that has
already been decided -- should Internet users have a role in the ICANN
process?  The US Department of Commerce's recognition of ICANN was
conditioned on its membership provisions.  It is time to acknowledge that
fact and to move forward to seat new Board members accordingly.

If there are others besides myself that support the need for a viable
At-Large, who believe that At-Large membership should not be frozen, that
registration should not be closed, that the At-Large website should allow
for dialogue, and that funds should be allocated for the election process,
please bring your motions forward.

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