Is This Subtle Pork Barrelling?

Most people know that the current CEO of auDA is an ex Liberal politician. And he is still obviously skilled in the art of politics. Nothing wrong with that of course!

The cynical side of me was aroused yesterday when some friends on the Supply side made me aware of an overture from Cameron Boardman.

All registrars received an email from him yesterday. It’s an invitation to a “love in” and “knees up” one week before members vote to remove Stuart Benjamin as Chairman. Coincidental? Possibly – but my antenna is acutely suspicious.

To me, this is just a subtle hint of pork barrelling.

Keeping with the “pork” analogy, my guess it’s because auDA realises that if they win the “Supply” vote, they would have saved Stuart’s bacon.

But you be the judge. Here’s the email – bolding is mine. 😉

auDA Registrar Round Table   10 July 2017     An invitation to all registrars  

auDA is delighted to invite registrars to a round table with auDA Board directors as part of our ongoing commitment to help build a stronger and more effective supply side. In order to best address your most important issues, we welcome the submission of questions to [email protected] to help guide and facilitate discussion. 

Monday 24 July 2017


Level 19, 2 Riverside Quay
Southbank VIC 3006
(see map)

Light lunch and refreshments provided.

RSVP to [email protected] by Monday 17 July 2017.

We look forward to seeing you there,

Cameron Boardman

Hang On A Sec!

Quick question for you Cameron. Why were there no auDA Board Directors (apart from Tim Connell) at the Members meetup in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago? (Attended by a huge audience of 4). Why did I have to beg you to try and find out who would be attending from auDA (with no real answer)?

Yet you go all out to get the auDA Board to this particular meeting of Registrars.

Hmmm. Feeling unloved.

Ned O’Meara – 11th July 2017


6 thoughts on “Is This Subtle Pork Barrelling?

  • July 11, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Any registrars want to bring me along as their plus one?

    PS. The auDA Chair must go!

    8 people like this.
  • July 11, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Let’s have some innovation and transparency.

    The meeting should also be televised with audio on skype and others should be allowed to join in besides just those auDA’s shaky Board wants votes from… Not everyone lives in Melbourne auDA and not everyone has the time to travel!

    If 5% of auDA members attend  they can maybe be given the information “how much is the auDA Chair being paid and what other incentives, reimbursements do they receive?

    Is it true the auDA Chair is paid a whopping 600% more than the CIRA Chair? $120,000++ $20,000

    Does the auDA Chair have more experience than the CIRA Chair? No

    Does the auDA Chair have more responsibility than the CIRA Chair? No they actually have less. CIRA is also responsible for the Canada wholesale registry.

    Was the auDA Chair a Liberal Party member and friend of the auDA CEO and others on the auDA Board prior to joining auDA as the Chair? Yes

    Have people complained of the behaviour of the auDA Chair and this led them to leave auDA and the auDA Board? Apparently Yes

    How many years of actual International or Australian Domain name industry experience did the auDA Chair have before they where placed onto the auDA Board by their mates? How many domain names did they own, what was their experience as a Registar or Reseller etc?

    7 people like this.
  • July 11, 2017 at 11:26 am

    This is definitely politically motivated and I hope supply side members see through it.


    AUDA would know the only chance they have of saving the chair is supply side but is he worth saving??

    5 people like this.
  • July 11, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    There is so much going rotten at the moment. Oh well, I’ll jam it all in to one comment.

    If you can’t be bothered reading the whole thing, focus on the comments about the Chair at the end.

    First, congrats to the “new” auDA on finally achieving transparency. EVERYONE can completely see through their motivations in arranging this meet-up.

    Secondly, I have nothing but respect for the Supply side of auDA membership. They are far more financially-committed than many (not all) on the Demand side. I completely trust that increased risk and uncertainty will allow them to collectively see through what is being attempted here. Plus, they should be seriously angry at being used as pawns in a political power-play and at auDA’s attempts to potentially drive a wedge between Supply and Demand class members (“divide and conquer” – another classic political technique).

    Also, I personally believe that we need to press the S202B issue raised by “Concerned member” in Ned’s previous thread. A request for Member access to information regarding Directors’ remuneration does not need a 21 day or 2 month waiting period. auDA would need to provide it “as soon as practicable”.

    This is a big deal because the amount of money paid to Independent Directors and, specifically, the Chair is a material issue in Members’ consideration of whether to vote “for” or “against” Resolution 4. I know that my level of outrage would vary a bit depending on whether the Chair was getting $700 per meeting or $120K a year. Besides, if the remuneration received by the Independent Chair of auDA differs so greatly from that of elected Directors, the surreptitious promotion of Stuart Benjamin in to this position becomes all-the-more concerning.   

    Of course, Members will be advised that it cannot be provided in time for the SGM….even though nearly three weeks seems reasonable notice. But the very act of not providing this info in that timeframe would not look good for auDA.

    And finally – on the comment from “Concerned Member” in this comment stream:

    I agree that it is valid to question whether the current auDA Chair has any international or local experience in the domain name industry. Name ownership, supply-side experience etc. Expertise in these areas would be one justification for the current appointment.

    But of course, a Chair (and any Director) can be appointed for many other reasons. Tony Staley brought gravitas to auDA when it was a young, new organisation. Although obviously politically-affiliated, his long experience and nous allowed him to engage with both sides of the political spectrum. Don’t forget Stephen Conroy (Lab) was Minister for Comms for many years during Tony’s tenure and they were able to communicate effectively and in the best interests of .au. Plus, Tony brought with him a LOT of Board experience, including Chairing the National Museum of Australia and TIO.

    Alternatively, it might be appropriate for auDA to seek a Chair with extensive experience in professional arbitration, or sharp and pertinent legal knowledge, or experience in successfully running the Board of similar Not-For-Profit organisations, or brilliant financial management credentials etc.

    In addition to the questions raised previously about the Chair’s experience in our “boutique” industry, I would add my queries about his qualifications in any of the above areas. The response must be considered as Members prepare to vote on 31 July.     

    6 people like this.
    • July 11, 2017 at 3:37 pm

      “Besides, if the remuneration received by the Independent Chair of auDA differs so greatly from that of elected Directors, the surreptitious promotion of Stuart Benjamin in to this position becomes all-the-more concerning.”


      The independents can be paid far more than a demand director. There was a resolution a few years ago increasing their remuneration.

      4 people like this.
      • July 11, 2017 at 6:22 pm

        Great observation.

        And I would read up on it – if only I could readily access those records on the auDA site.

        4 people like this.

Comments are closed.