auDA LogoStuart Benjamin

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.

Board Minutes

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.

I don’t blame AusRegistry for trying to protect their turf, but it is important to note and remember that the 2012 Industry Advisory Panel convened by auDA recommended (in part) that:

“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


Disclaimer 2

5 thoughts on “auDA Happenings

  • Avatar
    November 15, 2016 at 9:22 am

    This change is constitutionally invalid.  A demand class director is not able to magically become an independent director.  auDA members should be disgusted with this poor governance.  I am.

    • Ned O'Meara
      November 15, 2016 at 5:21 pm

      @ Josh – please explain why you think this is an invalid move.

      I can’t imagine the auDA Board doing this unless they had affirmitive legal advice.

  • Avatar
    November 15, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Josh Rowe seems to have a valid legal view of the constitution.

    The tender for registry must occur.Why has auda not posted that ausregistry letter…a simple letter each few years and an extension multiple times is not good goverence.At a corporate or government department heads would roll.

    Ausregistry are not the only capable companies..but of course their strings and people have been linked to auDa for so long….

    New people at auDA but the same lack of transparency?

    • Ned O'Meara
      November 15, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      @John B – re valid legal view. Is this an opinion or fact? I’m not meaning to put you on the spot – I’m just interested.

  • Avatar
    November 15, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    We will listen to you, conduct surveys and then do what we want.

Comments are closed.