auDA’s Communique

Well, the Special Members Meeting has come and gone, and already we’re starting to see some results. The cartoon above has come to life.

In essence, the 3 members resolutions that members had asked for (which the auDA Board and CEO in their infinite “wisdom” originally invalidated”) have come to pass.

Here are some excerpts from yesterday’s auDA newsletter:

Publishing of Board Minutes: Given the strength of feeling among members about publishing minutes, agendas and reports on the website, and the shared understanding that commercial-in-confidence and security-related information will be removed, the Board has decided to reinstate this practice. The expanded monthly newsletter will also continue and the board will seek member input on other methods of engagement, including those discussed at the SGM.

Member Code of Conduct: The meeting included a valuable discussion on the Code of Conduct. Members who spoke on this issue expressed their support for a member Code of Conduct, but felt it should be developed in partnership with members. The Board accepts this position and has revoked the current Code of Conduct. A membership consultation process on a new Code of Conduct will be held, and a revised Code will be submitted to the 2017 AGM. A Code of Conduct for Board members will be developed as part of the next phase of governance work and members will have the opportunity to provide input prior to any final decisions.

There was no mention of the 3rd resolution (about building and operating a dedicated registry), but this now appears dead in the water. Looks like we’re back to what was originally supposed to happen – design a specification of what is required for the ultimate Registry, and then go out to tender for a competitive outsourced service.

Irony

Before a group of members ever took this massive step of calling a special meeting, we pleaded with auDA to sort these issues out. We were ignored; then rebuffed.

Then, when the S249D application was first served on auDA, the CEO and Company Secretary had a 1 hour 30 minute phone call with me to see if we could resolve some of our “resolutions”. This would avoid the necessity of going to a special members meeting.

As I have written previously, we would have been happy to have Resolutions 1 and 2 accepted, and some assurances and “better language” expressed with regards Resolution 3. Had that have happened, we would have withdrawn the S249D request – and the Chair would still have his job.

The CEO eventually came back and said that 3 out of our 4 resolutions were invalid. So the meeting went ahead, with just the one resolution on the table – the removal of Stuart Benjamin as Director. As I wrote back on July 7th, the solution was simple. But auDA still ignored it.

And here we are today – with every single resolution now resolved (hopefully) in the members favour.

That’s what you call a strategy that backfired spectacularly on auDA. In my opinion of course.

The CEO’s Position

Also in the “Communique” yesterday was this statement:

The Board reiterates its support for the work of CEO Cameron Boardman, which has strengthened auDA’s internal processes and procedures, and importantly increased the security of the DNS.

In the opinion of many members, the CEO is part of the problem with regards recent happenings at auDA. This includes potential conflict of interest allegations with regards the appointment of Dr Michaella Richards as a Demand Class Director (more on this particular topic next week).

Unless Mr Boardman is prepared to have a “Road to Damascus” moment, and change the way he deals with members concerns, then issues will simply fester again.

Ned O’Meara – 4th August 2017


Disclaimer

 

10 thoughts on “auDA’s Communique

  • Avatar
    August 4, 2017 at 11:05 am
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    AUDA is in a better place with all 4 requests coming to pass (rather than just 2 or 3) in my view.

    I agree that the CEO and also AUDA more generally needs to fundamentally change the way they operate. Member concerns have to be dealt with quickly, especially when it is clear a large number of members have the same grievance.

    AUDA should be replying to member concerns where the members actually are, on forums and blogs. That important role cannot be outsourced to random people, it needs to come from the people that those members have elected. AUDA has taken an important step with elected demand directors Tim Connell & Simon Johnson now directly addressing issues on dntrade.

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  • Shane Moore
    August 4, 2017 at 11:36 am
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    Based on the communique it appears to be a great outcome for all.

    You could say it’s a major victory for Ned’s organising team (which it is) but it’s also a win for all members and stakeholders.

    I hope that in time the board will also see it as a positive outcome, and I think they should be commended for the changes outlined in the communique.

    The sad part, as Ned mentioned, is that we could (and should) have ended up with the same outcome without the need for the S249D.  And without the need for the Chair to resign.

    But if that’s what was needed, then so be it…

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    • Avatar
      August 4, 2017 at 1:32 pm
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      The only reason the Chair resigned was because he did not want to front up at the SGM and answer the questions of the members. Once the S249D was called many auDA Directors contacted members trying to rally support for the Chair, it was only when they calculated the numbers did the Chair resign, 1 day before the SGM.

      The auDA Board had no intention of backing down on the COC and Minutes even though they had plenty of opportunities to do so. Let us see how much money they have spent on their stubbornness and pride.

      The head of the snake has been severed but auDA is a Hydra and the only way for it to change is to remove the other heads.

      There are still many questions to be asked of the CEO, the Deputy Chair and Directors. We deserve answers and accountability.

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  • Scott.L
    August 4, 2017 at 11:44 am
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    Its just a Foggy windscreen, wait until the demister kicks in.

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  • Avatar
    August 4, 2017 at 1:41 pm
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    We’ve yet to see the minutes, agendas and reports on the website, and my worry is that anything that reflects badly on auda or the BoD decisions will be removed under the banner of “commercial-in-confidence and security”.

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    • Ned O'Meara
      August 4, 2017 at 2:12 pm
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      @Alex – let’s give the “new” auDA a chance to show us that they are serious about listening to our concerns.

      If they don’t, then they know that we’ll be on their case again!

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  • Avatar
    August 4, 2017 at 1:49 pm
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    They can stick their CoC up their …. ah …. where the sun don’t shine.

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    • Ned O'Meara
      August 4, 2017 at 2:04 pm
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      You are so lucky that I don’t suspend you for your anal comments. 😉

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  • Avatar
    August 7, 2017 at 9:54 am
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    Ned wrote:
    “There was no mention of the 3rd resolution (about building and operating a dedicated registry), but this now appears dead in the water. Looks like we’re back to what was originally supposed to happen – design a specification of what is required for the ultimate Registry, and then go out to tender for a competitive outsourced service.”

    This is promising and sensible.

    Regulatory and monopoly cum commercial functions in auDA?

    From a public policy perspective, any idea or proposal that auDA would be the industry regulator and operator the monopoly registry is at least incredible and at worst preposterous. It would fly in the face of long-established and agreed national competition principles, policy and reforms.

    Many years ago Australian governments – notably through COAG processes – agreed and implemented reforms under the National Competition Policy. The Competition Principles Agreement of 1995 covered structural reform of public monopolies and regulation. The structural separation of Telecom Australia’s regulatory and monopoly/commercial functions happened in 1989 and provided the foundations on which national competition policy reform was built.

    Regulation of monopoly registry and ongoing price regulation

    What is important now for auDA in the Request for Tender process (and was important when it first put registry services to tender in the early 2000s) is that RFT documentation should specify the price regulation mechanism that auDA (or the ACCC) intends to use to ensure that “monopoly” profits don’t accrue to the successful registry tenderer and auDA itself, to the exclusion the interests of end users of domain name services, eg how will the regulator ensure real reductions in registry domain name licence prices.

    If it is intended that there be no ongoing price regulation, then that should be disclosed and explained to auDA’s members and stakeholders.

    Transparency and accountability on  price regulation of the monopoly registry services are important to not just governments and auDA members, but also to non-member stakeholders including the tens of consumer and industry organisations who collectively represent the interests of many tens of thousands of individuals and small businesses respectively, as both consumers and providers of goods and services.

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    • Scott.L
      August 7, 2017 at 6:39 pm
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      From a public policy perspective, any idea or proposal that auDA would be the industry regulator and operator the monopoly registry is at least incredible and at worst preposterous. It would fly in the face of long-established and agreed national competition principles, policy and reforms.

      What an amazing comment, you captured and articulated the very core concern of members.

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