ICANN's Proposed Budget & Public Participation

The public is invited to comment on the proposed budget
for ICANN for 2004 – ’05.  The new budget proposes a substantial
increase in funding as compared to the current year. 

I’m particularly
interested in the $2.45 MM for “providing a forum for the bottom-up
development of policy to ensure continuous improvement in the DNS” and
the $2.55 MM for “ensuring, on a global basis, an opportunity for
participation in the ICANN process by all interested parties” (p. 7 of
the proposed budget).  Both of these are noble undertakings. 
The trick will be to establish metrics to ensure that this $5 MM is
well-spent and that ICANN makes progress in these important areas using
the increased funds.

A great deal of the increase in the budget from the current year to the
coming year maps to an increase in budgeted staff from 38 to 59.  The
proposed budget notes that some of the increased funding will go
toward: “General Manager of Public Participation: This position is
mandated by Article III, Section 3 of the new ICANN Bylaws. As stated
in the ICANN Blueprint for Reform, this position is ‘…responsible for
developing mechanisms to encourage full public participation in ICANN,
and to facilitate the receipt and analysis of all public comments
received on a given proposed action by the ICANN Board. This position
would also be responsible for the design and content of other relevant
outreach activities, including the ICANN website, public forums and
mailing lists, and other options for public comment and participation.'”

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