Travel expenses push ICANN into the red again

ICANN is spending millions of dollars more than expected in its current financial year, which it blames mainly on inflation pushing up the price of flights and hotels.

The latest quarterly financial report, for the nine months to March 31, shows ICANN operations spent $112 million in the period, which was $6 million more than it had budgeted for. Funding was $113 million, $3 million more than expected, leading to a total deficit of $3 million.

ICANN said the costs were “driven by higher than planned costs for ICANN78, ICANN 79, community programs, and support of meetings other than ICANN Public meetings… primarily due to inflationary increases to travel and venue costs”.

ICANN 79, which took place in Puerto Rico in March, cost $600,000 more than budget. This was due to higher flight and hotel prices and more sessions than had been planned. ICANN said in February that October’s meeting in Hamburg had come in $900,000 over budget.

Funding for the nine months came in ahead of budget largely due to better-than-expected registrar fees, most likely related to drop-catching registrar Gname’s decision to buy 150 more registrar accreditations last December.

The report, which covers the third quarter of ICANN’s fiscal 2024, also breaks out how much some of the Org’s important projects have cost.

The Grant Program, which launched at the end of the quarter, has cost almost $1.4 million in development and operating expenses since July 2022, about $18,000 over budget. That’s obviously a big chunk of the $10 million ICANN intends to hand out this year, but nothing compared to the auction proceeds fund that the grants come from — that was up $9 million to $226 million since last July based on investment gains.

The Registration Data Request Service, which launched last November, has cost just shy of $2 million to develop and run since December 2022. Compare this to the $100 million a year ICANN had predicted before the ambitions of the original proposed project were massively scaled back.

Overall, ICANN’s financial position is still incredibly healthy. Its total funds under management was up $11 million to $529 million over the nine months due to investment gains.

The post Travel expenses push ICANN into the red again first appeared on Domain Incite.

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