[council] Response on India travel support

Doug Brent doug.brent at icann.org
Sat Dec 15 01:22:41 UTC 2007

GNSO Council,

I wanted to respond to the GNSO Council¹s inquiry regarding ICANN travel
support for GNSO counselors attending the India meeting. ICANN has always
valued highly the work of volunteers in the organization and now has the
resources to re-examine its travel support policies.  As I previously noted,
it is important to re-examine the situation and come up with explicit,
sensible policies that 1) support ICANN volunteer work, 2) justify this use
of money ICANN collects, and 3) have ICANN community support.

Some of the reasons why finding the right answer here is hard include:
- It is important to provide appropriate support to volunteers (and there
are varied perspectives on what is ³appropriate²),
- GNSO counselors need an answer now about possible travel support related
to India,
- ICANN has never before provided Council travel support to ICANN meetings,
nor has such travel support been included in ICANN¹s budget,
- Support has to be balanced with the cost of that support, to be in concert
with the interests of registrants,
-  Different constituencies within ICANN are asking for India travel
support, and the actions the GNSO/ICANN take now could have broader
implications, and
- As I mentioned in my last note, ICANN is right now working on an overall
policy for the community that could be reviewed at the India meeting
(though, again, this timing will be difficult); I'm very reluctant to set
new precedent just as we're trying to put a more comprehensive plan in

So, trying to balance these various concerns:
- As Denise has suggested, staff will support the GNSO Council¹s request for
India travel support by using previously budgeted inter-sessional travel
dollars for airfare to India, and staff will report on this decision to the
ICANN Board,
- In the absence of an overall policy, ICANN will provide counselors with
India travel support under the guidelines currently used for travel support
for Council inter-sessional meetings ­ ICANN will pay for upgradeable coach
class airfare.
- Counselors will be asked to contact ICANN¹s American Express travel desk
to arrange for ICANN¹s purchase of their tickets (contact information will
be provided soon), and
- During the meeting in India, staff will suggest a policy going forward to
address GNSO Council travel support (and other group travel support) for all
ICANN meetings.

Please let me know if you have any questions and would like to discuss this.
Again, I'm happy to join a GNSO call if that would be useful.

Doug Brent
Chief Operating Officer
Voice: +1 310.301.3871
Mobile: +1 650.996.4447
Fax: +1 310.823.8649

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