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DIDP Request #10 - ICANN does not know how much each RIR contributes to its Budget

Posted by Asvatha Babu at Jul 27, 2016 03:05 AM |
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In an effort to understand the relationship between the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) and ICANN, we requested current and historical information on the contract fees paid by the five RIRs (AfriNIC, ARIN, APNIC, LACNIC and RIPE NCC) to ICANN annually.

We acknowledged that the independently audited financial reports on ICANN’s website list the total amount from all RIRs as a lump sum.[1] However, we specifically sought a breakdown of these fees detailing contributions made by each RIR from 1999 to 2014. Not only will this information help understand the RIR-ICANN relationship, it will also be relevant to the IANA transition.

The request filed by Protyush Choudhury can be found here.

What ICANN said

According to ICANN’s response to our request, the five RIRs (AfriNIC, ARIN, APNIC, LACNIC and RIPE NCC) make a voluntary annual contribution to ICANN’s budget through the Number Resource Organization (NRO). [2] Since Financial Year 2000, this contribution has been made to ICANN as an aggregate amount without the kind of breakdown requested by us with the exception of FY03, FY04 and FY05. The breakdown of the contribution for those years is as below:

  • FY03: APNIC - $129,400; ARIN - $159,345; RIPE - $206,255
  • FY04: APNIC - $160,500; ARIN - $144,450; RIPE - $224,700; LACNIC - $5,350
  • FY05: APNIC - $220,976; ARIN - $218,507; RIPE - $358,086; LACNIC - $25,431

The response links back to the independent financial reports mentioned by us in the request. These reports can be found on the ICANN website here.

On closer examination of the audit reports of FY03, 04 and 05, it is clear that the information provided in their response is either incomplete or incorrect. According to KPMG’s audit report of FY03, the total contribution from Address Registries is US$535,000. The breakdown in the response adds up only to $494,600. The response does not account for the extra $40,400. If only APNIC, ARIN and RIPE contributed to ICANN in 2003, where did the other $40,400 come from? Moreover, why is it listed as an Address Registry Fee in the audit report if it was a voluntary contribution?[3]

The “Address Registry Fees” in the audit reports for FY04 and FY05 match the amounts in the response: $535,000 and $823,00 respectively. ICANN's response to our DIDP request may be found here.

For the reader’s reference, the audit reports for FY00 - FY14 are linked below:

[1] See audited financial reports:

[2] See letter from NRO to ICANN:

[3]. See report for FY03 (pg 4):

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Asvatha Babu

Asvatha Babu is a Master’s candidate in the International Communication program at American University's School of International Service in Washington D.C. Her research interests include using ICTs for inclusive development, internet governance and cyber security. Thus far, her work with CIS has dealt specifically with ICANN’s transparency and accountability policies. She tweets about tech and feminism at @fireflyclass.