My prediction back in August 2017 has proven correct.
In my opinion, auDA’s Policy Review Panel (PRP) simply did not have enough industry representatives from inception. Add to the mix two recent resignations, and the PRP now only has 3 representatives left plus the Chair (from the initial Panel). ** For such an important mission – probably the biggest in auDA’s history – I believe the PRP can no longer effectively and fairly deliver recommendations that have a wide range of stakeholder input.
Paul Zawa from the ACCC resigned on the 27th March – statement here.
And yesterday, Luke Summers, the Demand Class representative also resigned – official statement here. What is more telling though are his reasons as to why he resigned, and his resignation statement has been published on his own website TheLuckyCountry.com.au. Luke is one of the most intelligent and decent young men I have ever met, and so his letter is worth reproducing here. The “powers that be” should take note of his comments.Resignation-from-the-2017-Policy-Review-Panel Luke Summers
Lack Of A Business Representative
** Of particular note is that until yesterday, the PRP had not filled the “Peak Business Body Representative” position. Not having someone from “Business” on the PRP since inception is in the opinion of many a big mistake. Business – particularly SME’s, would be the group most affected by any changes in the .au landscape.
Yesterday, an announcement was made that Nicola Seaton from Canstar has been belatedly appointed in this role – statement here. Whilst Ms Seaton’s integrity and credentials are certainly not in doubt, many people are already wondering how she (as another lawyer on the PRP) is a “peak body representative”?
And isn’t her appointment a case of too little; too late? She hasn’t had the benefit of all the debates around the table since last September; plus the submissions and the public forums – and here we are almost at the 11th hour.
I think auDA would be wise to eat some “humble pie”, and start again with the Policy Review Panel when it comes to direct registrations.
But this time, do the business case study first. Then make sure the panel is a lot more representative of the Australian internet and SME community, and finally, keep it disciplined. It’s one thing to have a strong point of view around the private table, but it’s not helpful if one of the panel publicly attacks and criticizes certain groups whilst it is still deliberating.
Ned O’Meara – 10th April 2018