My articles are always written without fear or favour. In saying that, I’ve always been a positive person by disposition, and would much prefer to look for the good in a situation.
So let me say first up that it gives me no pleasure to “bash” auDA. But in the interests of auDA Members, I have to again today.
Why? Quite simply, the Board and/or CEO have not honoured some of their most important commitments and assurances to Members with regards communication and transparency. Let’s call it as it is – broken promises.
auDA Members Have Rights
Remember the most important factor when it comes to auDA – it is a membership based organisation. This is despite certain recent attempts by some to “spin it” otherwise.
.au DOMAIN ADMINISTRATION LTD – ACN 079 009 340 – A COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE (auDA)
So whilst this is a company that falls under the majority of regulations of the Corporations Act 2001, the one huge difference to a normal company is that there are no shareholders. There are Members – Supply Class and Demand Class. These Members elect 4 directors each to the Board; then the Board elects 3 independent directors. Total of 11. Refer to Section 9 of the Constitution (yes, this is one document that still exists on the auDA website!). So are we the tail wagging the dog; or the dog wagging the tail?
Members have rights under the Constitution and the Corporations Act.
Why I’m Speaking Up
One of the biggest bugbears that Members had last year was lack of communication and transparency. One prime example was that Board Minutes and Agendas were not published on time – we didn’t have a clue what was going on.
With the appointment of a new Chair (Stuart Benjamin) and new CEO (Cameron Boardman), I genuinely believed auDA Members had a bright future – in fact, this is part of what I wrote after the AGM in Sydney:
“The Chairman and CEO are a total breath of fresh air compared to what used to be. I believe that this augurs well for the future – particularly if they are genuine about wanting to consult and involve stakeholders along the way.”
Why was I so confident that communication and transparency were going to improve?
♦ Listen for yourself to the Chair (Stuart Benjamin), and the CEO (Cameron Boardman). This is a short audio recording from the AGM – “yours truly” asking the question.
In answer to my question, Stuart Benjamin said:
“So Cameron has actually given the Board that undertaking …”
And then Cameron started his answer with this:
“I never want to be in a situation in answering these questions with an apology, but I have to do that …”
And for those that want to hear the CEO’s preamble and introduction to the AGM, have a listen here (it’s 7 minutes long, but it does contain some important assurances to Members).
But alas, it has all changed for the worse since the AGM. The auDA website has been stripped of all previous Minutes and Agendas – you can’t even access a copy of the latest Annual Report or Cameron Ralph Report.
Shame auDA, shame.
Come on Independent and Demand Class Directors – please insist that auDA becomes the transparent organisation that we were promised by the CEO and Chairman. It’s never too late to do the right thing.
Ned O’Meara – 2nd May 2017