The worst kept secret in “auDA Land” has now been confirmed – Stuart Benjamin is now an Independent Director. He effectively resigned as a Demand Class Director; and was then appointed as an independent; and reappointed as Chairman.
This was one of the recommendations of the Cameron Ralph Report which was at last published on the auDA website yesterday.
I intimated that this was happening in my article of 11th November. In my opinion, it is fitting that the Chairman of auDA is an Independent Director – and not a specific representative of either “Supply” or “Demand”. Stuart is also a very competent businessman, and his leadership and direction has already brought about some positive changes (with more to come). So I support this change wholeheartedly.
What I am unhappy about though is the total lack of communication and transparency about this change. With an AGM and election taking place in just 13 days, it was incumbent upon the auDA Board and management to have already advised members of such a significant change. I have told Stuart this in person – and he accepts this criticism has some validity.
There was a flurry of Board Meeting agendas and Minutes published on the auDA website yesterday.
Of relevance are these:
In the interests of transparency, it would be helpful if the Minutes of 14 November were published before the AGM.
Received the following short statement via email last night.
I intend writing a separate article on this, but these are my immediate thoughts.
“1A (e) the auDA Board should publicly commit to undertaking a formal RFT process once the renegotiated registry agreement expires.”
This was ratified by the auDA Board in February 2013. See Board Minutes here.
Though they weren’t auDA Directors at the time of the panel’s final report, it’s interesting to note that the current Chairman and Deputy Chairman of auDA were panelists (as was I).
Whilst I personally think that AusRegistry do a great job, the registry agreement MUST go out to tender this time around – particularly with the potential of direct registrations as part of the mix. This keeps the whole process transparent and competitive.
What are your thoughts?
Ned O’Meara – 15th November 2016