The latest Board Minutes from the auDA Board Meeting held on 20th June make for interesting reading.
I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for the first item on the agenda – the “Board in Camera Session”. This is where things get discussed that the Directors don’t want their staff or the general auDA membership to know about (until they’ve decided on a course of action)! No wonder there appears to be a lot of dissension from some quarters.
Once again, I read between the lines, and put my own interpretation on what has been “officially” reported.
What is readily apparent is that some of the accusations levelled over the past year about potential conflicts of interest from certain Directors have hit home. As regular readers may recall, I have written a series of articles about this in the past. Back in April, I wrote this: “When Does A Conflict Of Interest Exist?”
Item 3 – Continuous Disclosure
auDA’s lawyers (Maddocks) have obviously been engaged to tidy things up. In my opinion, some of the horses may have already bolted!
“In accordance with advice from Maddocks regarding the Board’s consideration of registry operations and the overall implementation of direct registrations, directors made the following disclosures of interest by email to the Board”.
You then read a series of disclosures from each Director. Some interesting snippets:
- The illustrious Chair Stuart Benjamin is “flat out like a lizard drinking”.
- I was surprised to see that Simon Johnson has less than 100 .au domains.
- Given past comments made by Erhan Karabardak about how important the issue of implementation of direct registrations is going to be, I was also very surprised to see that he has excluded himself from the decision making process.
- At first blush, George Pongas appears to have also excluded himself (which is absolutely the correct thing to do). However, he seems to be having a dollar each way – he reserves the right to re‐enter discussions and vote on resolutions ‐ i.e. related to the matter of implementation of direct registrations in .au. Hmm!
- Melbourne IT’s Kartic Srinivasan also appears to be a reluctant abstainer – he reserves the right to make a decision to vote on resolutions relating to .au after discussion with Board & Maddocks.
Item 6 – 2016-2017 Budget
This item will make some people happy:
“It was agreed that auDA’s accounting services would be put out for tender once the permanent CEO had been appointed”.
Item 7 – CEO Report
- The October 2016 Board meeting has been rescheduled to Monday 10 October to be held in conjunction with the 2016 auIGF. Wonder when the Annual General Meeting is going to be?
- Mention was made of government agencies that have an interest in .au domain name issues. I note that Annaliese Williams (Assistant Director, Internet Governance at Department of Communications) was an observer at this Board Meeting. Hope she takes note of all opinions regarding “direct registrations” – and takes an interest in proper consultation with potentially affected parties.
- Standby – membership and stakeholder road shows are coming to a centre near you. 😉
Item 10 – Cameron Ralph Report
On the face of it, this is potentially a game changer. Have a read.
Item 13 – Membership
We can’t win. Everyone (including the auDA Board), is keen on increasing membership. So when some of us go out there and beat the drum to our constituencies and generate many membership applications, this is the comment that appears in the Minutes (bolding is mine):
“The Board noted the unusually high number of membership applications received since the last Board meeting. It was agreed that issues regarding the potential for membership stacking and capture are a matter for the Risk Committee to review and report to the Board in due course”.
Item 14 – Ratification of Independent Directors Appointments
Movement at the station perhaps? Looks like we could have some new Independent Directors sometime in the near future?
Not one mention in the Minutes of an implementation working group for direct registrations as was originally assured. What’s going on I wonder?
There was another Board Meeting yesterday (with the new CEO in attendance), so maybe us “mere members” will find out soon.
Ned O’Meara – 16th August 2016