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[ga-ext] ICANN budget proposal exposed online

ICANN budget proposal exposed online
By Gwendolyn Mariano
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
May 11, 2001, 12:40 p.m. PT


A draft budget for the group that oversees the Internet address system,
which has been exposed on the Web, proposes sharp increases in expenditures
and new staff positions for the controversial body.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) confirmed
the authenticity of the document but emphasized it is not final. The draft
proposes a 20 percent increase in revenues for the upcoming fiscal
year--from $5.02 million to $6.03 million. The proposed budget also shows a
19 percent increase in total expenses--from $4.2 million to $5.03 million.

In addition, the draft said that total personnel costs are projected at $2.2
million and suggested a further $525,000 for five new
positions--communications director, associate general counsel, registry
liaison, systems staff and Webmaster.

"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."

Lynn added that ICANN will not know if it will hire new staff "until the
board approves the budget."

The leaked budget proposal comes as the nonprofit organization, created
nearly three years ago, continues to receive criticism from online advocates
as well as some congressional members. In February, during a House
subcommittee hearing at which ICANN Chairman Vinton Cerf testified, some
lawmakers criticized ICANN's consideration of new domains for being too

ICANN adopted seven new domain-name suffixes in November in an attempt to
expand the previous list of top-level domains, including .com, .net and
.org, with .aero, .co-op, .info, .museum, .name, .pro and .biz.

The preliminary budget was posted last week to a restricted mailing list for
accredited registrars of the Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO). The
DNSO advises the ICANN's board on policy issues relating to the domain name

Lynn said the ICANN's board of directors will next meet in early June in

"We don't have a budget," Lynn said, calling the leaked draft "a work in

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