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#ICANN budgetary cuts lead to Fellowship Program petition

ICANN has increased its 2019 budget for personnel costs by more than $7 million, all while decimating its Fellowship Program.

A petition on Change.org points out that the ICANN Fellows program has been hit with a budgetary cut of 50% – something that it’s deemed “extreme.”

According to the petition:

We are deeply concerned about the budget cutbacks proposed by ICANN for the fiscal year 2019. Amid claims that the budget is tightened due to the slow growth of the domain name industry, the FY19 budget proposal significantly increases personnel costs by $7.3M while at the same time makes an extreme 50% cut to the Fellowship Program, which is mostly comprised of volunteers from developing countries who cannot afford to attend the ICANN conferences in person.

Our understanding of this counterintuitive financial proposal is that it aims to increase salaries and bonuses of ICANN employees at the expense of jeopardizing the strategic objectives of the ICANN organization which are to “evolve and further globalize ICANN” and to “serve the global multistakeholder community”.

The petition is seeking changes to the proposed budget, so as the number of fellows be kept at 60 and not cut by half.

For the full petition click here.

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