Is This An Analogy Or What!

Just read a very interesting article in The Age. It was about Tennis Australia selling television rights to Seven West Media without going out to competitive tender.

“Tennis Australia is facing a new crisis amid claims a potential conflict of interest could have influenced the decision to sell the television rights for the Australian Open to Seven West Media in a private deal worth around $200 million.

The decision to sell the 2015-2019 broadcasting rights to Seven West Media before launching a competitive bidding process has never been explained by the sport’s governing body despite speculation it may have lost up to $50 million in potential revenue.”

There is a lot of anger out there, so it will be interesting to see how this all pans out.

The Analogy

To me, this is simply a stark reminder why the auDA Board in 2013 committed to put the Registry contract out for tender in 2017. To do otherwise is simply to enhance the theories and speculation of “friendly deals” with the incumbent AusRegistry.

I have no beef with AusRegistry – in my opinion they have done a great job.

But given that there has been no competitive tender for the Registry contract since 2005; and the fact that the market is going to potentially double in size with the introduction of direct registrations in 2017 / 2018; it is incumbent on auDA to go to tender. Good governance from the current auDA Board and CEO demands nothing less.

Competition and transparency are paramount.

If AusRegistry is good enough, then they will win. Simple as that.

In my opinion of course.

Ned O’Meara 31st December 2016


Disclaimer

 

16 thoughts on “Is This An Analogy Or What!

  • Avatar
    January 1, 2017 at 9:04 am
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    I guess the balls in their court.

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  • Avatar
    January 1, 2017 at 7:27 pm
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    Maybe the same reporters Cameron Houston (Senior Crime Reporter) and Chris Vedelago  from The Age would have an interest to do some stories on auDA, board decisions, surveys, board members, perhaps even a series of investigative articles of the last 15 years? Why the change of so many people at auDA this year, Possible conflicts of interest of board members and suppliers, Why so many auDA Board election candidates statements where opposed to any additional .au extension…

    There is plenty of content for The Age or other media outlets to write about and delve deeper into it seems?

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    • Ned O'Meara
      January 3, 2017 at 11:57 am
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      @Sean – if auDA act precipitately, then I’m sure a major publication will pick this up.

      Be on the alert for an extraordinary board meeting later this month (next scheduled meeting is February). That will tell us that something’s up.

  • Avatar
    January 1, 2017 at 8:12 pm
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    Ned, when someone commits to taking action “in 4 years” that is simply a way of placating angry people.

    AUDA never had an intention of putting the contract out to tender. Too much work, too much risk, they’ll all lose their positions if they stuff it up. Why do it?

    One good thing to come from this is that the tide had well a truly gone out on AUDA’s credibility. With each new crisis AUDA gets another step closer to seeing significant government intervention.

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    • Ned O'Meara
      January 3, 2017 at 11:46 am
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      With each new crisis AUDA gets another step closer to seeing significant government intervention.

      The CEO, Chairman and D/Chairman seem very confident that they have government “onside”. Hubris?

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      • Avatar
        January 3, 2017 at 6:48 pm
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        They may not have Nick Xenophon,Pauline Hanson and others onside.

        The fact is the government has failed in it’s oversight of auDA from the start. That includes Liberal and Labor.

        The “old” auDA seemed to be aligned with Labor but obviously the “new” auDA is Liberal.

        When politicians can lose their own jobs or face issues then things may be taken a little more seriously. Those days are fast approaching.

        We may see an auDA media investigation fairly soon. Many people know of the deeper issues including possible conflicts of interest and also financial issues but have kept quiet until now. Perhaps The Age, ABC Four Corners, The Australian etc may find a goldmine of stories.

        When it comes to contracts of $150 million, no tenders + and foreign ownership this is serious.. especially when several parties are on the auDA board and potentially stand to gain financially from decisions made.

        Let’s not forget this is Critical Australian National Infrastructure. It should never have been allowed to be sold to a foreign company plus 100% no backup plan.

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  • Avatar
    January 2, 2017 at 8:50 am
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    From a broad brush perspective, auda independent directors should be fulfilling their duties and reminding fellow board members of the principles of corporate governance. Independence appears to be a subjective term though. How independent is the current chairman when he goes from demand class to independent without even a nod to members? The perception is that this was no more than a cosy backroom deal. How hard would it have been to put the recommendations of the Cameron Ralph report to members at the AGM? That is also a rhetorical question. The one recommendation they did put up for a vote got defeated.

    Why were two previous independent directors effectively terminated in 2016? This was not announced to members until much later. Replacement Leonie Walsh has good credentials, but unless she is prepared to stand up and be counted, it will be business as usual for the Liberal machine.

    No registry tender since 2005? If the auda board doesn’t abide by their resolution made in 2013, then members, registrants and registrars are effectively being disenfranchised. Can the current board guarantee all affected parties that they are getting best bang for their buck without testing the market? That’s another rhetorical question.

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  • Avatar
    January 2, 2017 at 2:10 pm
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    Who is on the auDA Strategic Risk Committee?

    Are  there any conflicts of interest as it appears several people represent companies who are in “supply” who sell domain names including the monopoly wholesale registry and have pushed for another direct .au extension… as well as the solicitation to auDA to continue registry services.

    Simon Johnson (Chair)

    George Pongas Ausregistry Neustar Inc USA)

     Kartic Srinivasan ( Melbourne IT)

    Cameron Boardman (CEO, auDA)

    https://www.auda.org.au/index.php/about-auda/board-committees/src/
    Strategic Risk Committee Meeting Minutes
     
    Strategic Risk Committee Meetings 2012-15
     

    2016
    2015
    2014
    2013

    2012

    https://www.auda.org.au/index.php/about-auda/board-committees/src/2016/strategic-risk-committee-meeting-minutes-28-january-2016/

     

     

     

     

  • Avatar
    January 2, 2017 at 5:42 pm
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    Here’s a question – Why would Ausregistry have pushed so hard for direct .au registrations if they were not guaranteed (with or without a tender) to be in a position to profit from them?

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  • Avatar
    January 2, 2017 at 6:50 pm
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    The Tennis Australia deal is worth around $200 million to Seven West Media. How much money is the Registry Contract worth to AusRegistry?

    • Avatar
      January 2, 2017 at 7:28 pm
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      Would be around $150 million Robert.

      • Avatar
        January 3, 2017 at 9:08 pm
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        Well, that seems a similar amount of money, doesn’t it. So why does the media and the general public not care about the Domain Name industry’s potential conflict of interest over the Tennis industry’s?

  • Avatar
    January 3, 2017 at 6:35 pm
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    “The guilty verdict and subsequent jail sentence comes after Obeid famously boasted there was only a “1 per cent” chance he would ever be criminally charged after the Independent Commission Against Corruption made adverse findings against him.”

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/eddie-obeid-faces-jail-time-over-circular-quay-leases/news-story/09a3c8f2d85d084731f57d2ddf4fc70f

     

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  • Avatar
    January 4, 2017 at 3:41 pm
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    Worth reading!

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/government-to-review-auda-operations/news-story/19276086c7556d0a277131f04f31cca2
    Government to review auDA operations

    Andrew Colley
    Australian IT
    12:14PM June 7, 2011
    Save




    THE federal government said it would examine the practices of Australian domain name technology specialists pursuing lucrative contracts helping Middle-Eastern regimes censor the web.

    Australia’s quasi-government appointed domain name wholesaler AusRegistry has revealed it has supplied at least three theocratic regimes with the means to maintain “reserve lists” of forbidden domain names and to blacklist certain words from name registrations in the country code spaces.

    AusRegistry chief executive Adrian Kinderis revealed to The Australian that the censorship apparatus was included in recent contracts to supply country code domain name systems to the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar.

    A spokesman for the DBCDE said that the government needed more time to consider the issue as part of its current review of auDA when contacted by The Australian.
    “The Minister has initiated a wide-ranging independent review of the activities and functions of auDA. It would be inappropriate at this stage to pre-empt any of its findings,” the spokesman said.

    While auDA is a federal government-endorsed non-profit body appointed to run and regulate the .au name space, it said it had no mechanisms within its reach to influence the conduct of registrars conducting business in other countries.

    A spokesman for auDA said it would take measures to discourage registrars pursuing such contracts if ordered to do so by the government. However, he admitted it was an issue that auDA had never had to confront before.

    auDA currently regulates the .au name space and periodically appoints the major commercial contract for wholesale domain name supply to retail registries.
    AusRegistry has held the wholesale contract – which comes up for renewal in 2014 – since 2006.

    “Those contracts are the primary mechanism of our relationship with them and if we were to take action outside the scope of them, we’d quite justifiably find ourselves in court,” the auDA spokesman said.

    Pursuing trade or industry policy to stop or discourage technology companies supporting the aims of oppressive governments was a matter for the Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) or Foreign Affairs and Trade, he said.

    Words commonly found on reserve lists and blacklists maintained by included profanities and words of religious significance such as “jihad” and “Mohammed”, Mr Kinderis said.
    It’s understood that words that might be used to promote homosexual agendas and promiscuity were also blacklisted or banned.

    Mr Kinderis said the technology also made it possible to ban the registration of names that oppressive regimes might deem to be politically at odds with their anti-democratic and religiously-driven social policies.

    “It depends what you call censorship. There’s a lot more regulation as to what (domains) get registered so they build a robust reserve list and we built some technology in that allowed them for example to block a profanity or the mention of the word ‘Mohammed’ anywhere in domain name. So we won’t allow a registration in that regard where as in Australia anyone can register just about anything. No words are prohibited because that’s our culture,” Mr Kinderis said.

    It wasn’t AusRegistry’s place to make political judgements about its clients, he said.

    “I guess I find it hard to empathise being from an Australian background but, as you say, business is business, and far be it for me to pass cultural judgements on them.”

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