auDA – Judge, Jury & Executioner

auDA, when you sit down for your Board meeting today, you have the opportunity to heal some self-inflicted wounds. Seriously.

Members are in revolt because you are acting like dictators and imposing things on us without due process – aka not observing the necessities of the auDA Constitution. And not keeping promises about communication and transparency.

These are the main issues that are easily remedied:

♦  Minutes, Agendas, Reports etc disappeared from website. Remedy: Put them back.

♦  Code of Conduct – good idea, but poorly drafted (and needs special resolution of Members). Remedy: Suspend, redraft; and put it to Members.

♦  In-House Registry – without debating the merits or otherwise of this, it is contrary to previous auDA working group recommendations which auDA Board accepted. Also needs special resolution of Members if it is to proceed. Remedy: New working group; and/or put it to Members.

Do this, and the need for a divisive S249 General Meeting (which has been called by Members) goes away.

It Got Me Thinking

The only reason that Members are in revolt is that we have no way of having complaints and concerns dealt with. Letters to the Board sometimes don’t even get answered – and elected Directors appear incapable of giving us answers (not because they don’t want to, but because they are effectively muzzled).

So I had a look at ICANN to see how they handle Members disputes and issues. OMG – they have an Ombudsman! Die and go to heaven!

Now before anyone says that auDA is too small to have an Ombudsman or similar, auDA already has appointed 5 independent panel members to adjudicate on domain disputes! It is called the Registrant Review Panel. (Not sure how often it ever gets used?). Bolding is mine.

1.2 The role of the Registrant Review Panel is to provide an independent review where a domain name registrant is dissatisfied with a decision of auDA to cancel the registrant’s licence to a domain name, and delete the domain name for breach of auDA published policies (or the domain name licence terms and conditions).

Why not expand the principle to cover other disputes or concerns?

What do you think?

Ned O’Meara – 19th June 2017


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5 thoughts on “auDA – Judge, Jury & Executioner

  • Avatar
    June 19, 2017 at 8:45 am
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    Main problem is the minutes and code of conduct in my view, AUDA made a huge mistake not promptly remedying those when the issues surfaced.

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    • Ned O'Meara
      June 19, 2017 at 12:12 pm
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      Horse – water – drink.

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  • Avatar
    June 19, 2017 at 10:50 am
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    Interesting idea Ned,

    Now, if auDA could only find someone who could be available on an on-call basis to act as Ombudsman. Someone with a suitable skill-set, vast professional experience in arbitration and complaints resolution who also has a deep personal understanding of the workings of the .au space.

    Oh yeah:

    “Graham MacDonald has practised law for 40 years. He was a Presidential Member of the federal Administrative Appeals Tribunal for the last 20 years during which time he also served as the inaugural Australian Banking Ombudsman and as Chairman of the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal. Graham has extensive experience as a partner in legal firms, as a barrister and has held a number of state and federal government appointments.”

    2015-16 auDA Annual Report

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    • Ned O'Meara
      June 19, 2017 at 12:11 pm
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      @Concerned – what an excellent idea! Believe it or not, I was thinking the same thing when I wrote the article.

      Graham and I went to the same school in Perth (though he was a little ahead of me!), and I’ve been on auDA panels and working groups with him. He has loads of commonsense, experience and integrity.

      But I doubt if he would take the job (if offered) given the way he was treated last year.

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  • Avatar
    June 19, 2017 at 12:12 pm
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    I agree with the 3 main issues discussed above. They need to be remedied.

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