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Huge News Regarding auDA

Discussion in 'Domain News' started by neddy, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    I think these are mostly great suggestions, particularly these 3 stood out,
    • Introduction of term limits for elected and independent directors of, say, 3 terms;
    • Removing the distinction between the supply and demand sides of the industry in auDA’s membership structure, which has had the unintended consequence that each supplier member’s vote carries significantly more weight than each demand member’s vote;
    • The definition of ‘independent director’ excluding persons who have been elected directors within the last 3 years;
     
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  2. PaulS

    PaulS Membership: Community

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    Oh for goodness sake, Erhan.

    At what point will you and others at auDA (hi, Cameron) stop gleefully sledging the past administration and focus on moving forward? Criticising your predecessors is a terribly political trait. I can hear it now: "We are doing everything we can to repair the mess we inherited from the previous Labor Government......"

    Your words and actions are potentially damaging for auDA's future, driving a wedge between long-term supporters and what has been referred to as "the new regime". Your words also continue to injure those of us who were collateral damage in your successful putsch. In my opinion, your tone is summarily dismissive of an experienced and knowledgeable stakeholder that clearly declared their previous interests. And, like it or not, Maddocks remain a member of auDA and should be afforded a degree of respect.

    My formal training is as a historian so I understand better than most the need to study and learn from the past to avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future (something humankind has a sad collective inability to do) but you cant safely and effectively drive the car forward if you are constantly looking in the rear-view mirror.

    And on the numbers themselves - yes, $3.1m over 9 years is a hefty amount. But there was a significant amount of work associated with that. In throwing out a total figure on a forum such as DNTrade, you must have known you would stir the community into a negative response, with likely reactions such as "mates looking after mates" and "fat cats getting rich on the community's money".
    I'm sorry, I feel the need to paraphrase one of my favourite quotes: you are using figures like a drunk uses a lamp post; more for support than illumination.

    Break the numbers down a little and you will see where the statistical bulge occurs.
    2009 - $900,050
    2010 - $648,264
    2011 - $451,335
    In contrast, legal costs were less than $200,000 per year for the period 2012-15
    In other words, $2m (or two-thirds of the total spend) of a 9 year total of $3m, in only 3 years.

    So why the spike in 2009-11?
    Surely you remember, Erhan.
    It was the time when Bottle Domains, an entity you initially represented during 2009, launched significant and persistent actions AGAINST auDA, initially denying a major security breach and reporting requirements to auDA, and subsequently challenging auDA's authority / impartiality in terminating Bottle's Registrar Accreditation.
    This should serve as an adequate reminder. http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/vic/VSC/2009/422.html

    And this gets me to my last point. Is the level of legal costs symptomatic of an industry in crisis and of dysfunction at auDA? Hardly.
    The Bottle case re-affirmed auDA's role, its structure, its powers and its actions. auDA just had to spend millions of registrants' dollars proving it in a case that it did not initiate. Rather than a negative, it is an affirmation that the system is working as it should.
     
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  3. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

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    "you are using figures like a drunk uses a lamp post; more for support than illumination"

    That's a pretty funny quote ...... We all probably need a laugh now and then on this forum thank you.
     
  4. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

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    Did auDA seek sought additional quotes/ tendering for legal representation at lower fees and did auDA request Costs Assessments to ensure the billing was appropriate etc?

    It is clear there have been major issues... the waters seem to be very deep once people start dipping their toe into things..

    People need to learn from mistakes and we all need to move on to stop them occurring again where possible.

    The Tit for Tat over auDA history is only beneficial if it exposes issues and fixes things.
     
  5. Nicole Murdoch

    Nicole Murdoch Membership: Community

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    I am going to jump in here. I don't recommend jumping between lawyers. Yes some legal work can be separated and it is appropriate to engage a suitably qualified person and seek tenders etc. However every time you swap and change you need to bring the new lawyer up to speed on the background of matters. That can get very expensive very quickly. Depends on the matter obviously.
     
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  6. PaulS

    PaulS Membership: Community

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    Exactly what Nicole said.
    No, auDA did not regularly shop around for lawyers to ensure we were getting the best deal. But the level of expertise developed at Maddocks over the years made it difficult to do so. Yes, it was inertia to a certain extent, but I would argue that we could / would not have got the same level of counsel from a new, cheaper firm. But still, members have the right to raise that issue and question auDA through appropriate channels to ensure we are getting value for money.
    Speaking of which, were quotes sought and market testing undertaken when Maddocks were summarily dumped and new lawyers appointed? Or was the action taken purely to sweep out the old and bring in known associates / allies, as occurred with staff, auditors, accountants etc. I doubt they even have the same people looking after the plants in the office.

    By the way, I'm no wizard with financial reports, so can someone please point out to me where the legal expenses figure for 2017 is in the Annual Report? Obviously Erhan and I were able to look back very easily and quickly at the numbers from 2008, but I cant see the same information this year. Im sure members would like to know.
     
  7. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

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  8. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

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    Interesting http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/vic/VSC/2009/422.html

    "Following endorsement by the Commonwealth government, auDA was appointed by ICANN as the entity to administer .au domain names. At the time, the Commonwealth government wrote to ICANN and stated that its endorsement was contingent upon auDA demonstrating its ability to be inclusive and accountable to members of the internet community, to enhance benefits to internet users through the promotion of competition, fair trading and provisions for consumer protection and support, and to represent the Australian internet industry. Further, the Commonwealth government’s letter of endorsement states that such endorsement is subject to auDA operating within the provisions of its constitution, notes that the .au domain name system is a public resource to be administered in the public or common interest, and specifies that its endorsement is subject to it retaining ultimate authority for the management and administration of .au domain names. The Commonwealth government has retained reserve powers to take control and oversee electronic addressing of .au domain names.[1]"
     
  9. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    Question: Does the government have the ability to change AUDA's constitution?

    If not then what will happen if AUDA won't or can't self regulate following the review?
     
  10. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    members not gov change the constitution, then its not to hard to work out what happens next
    my advice is just put your feedback/submissions in and have a say, this way they have as much information as they possibly can.
    maybe its who has the loudest voice?
    tim
     
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  11. PaulS

    PaulS Membership: Community

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    Well, there are actually two ways govt can exert influence on the Constitution.
    If it were to enact its reserve powers under the Telecommunications and ACMA Acts, it could "name" auDA as a manager of electronic addressing and then direct it to take certain actions. Yes, that includes telling auDA to change its Constitution in certain ways. Members be damned. There is a reason I have referred to this often as "the nuclear option".
    The above scenario is very unlikely though and a more credible situation is one where the government review delivers strong recommendations for the reform of the .au namespace....i.e. "soft regulation". For example, if the govt noted broad stakeholder dissatisfaction with the current membership model, it could give auDA 12 months to reform membership in certain ways which would then necessarily lead to auDA making Constitutional changes (e.g. get rid of classes etc). This would maintain the sanctity of current auDA processes but, should the member vote on the matter fail, it would be a sign of systemic failure and bring us closer to Option 1.
     
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  12. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

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    This seems to be a very public and well known claim but I think many people do not understand it or accept it has been stated on the record.

    "it retaining ultimate authority for the management and administration of .au domain names. The Commonwealth government has retained reserve powers to take control and oversee electronic addressing of .au domain names.[1]"
     
  13. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

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    I wonder how many people and in Government ( with the relevant roles) have spent the time to fully read these past reviews on the public auda website?


    https://www.auda.org.au/about-auda/our-org/reviews-of-auda/

    Reviews of auDA
    auDA is committed to continuous improvement. We regularly review our processes, governance and organisation.

    In October 2016, the auDA Board approved a Governance Report prepared by Cameron Ralph Khoury which included 16 recommendations. Significant progress has made towards implementing these recommendations including:
    • Board Strategic Retreat in February 2017
    • Development of Board and Management Delegations Manual
    • Board Professional Development (AICD workshop)
    • Development of Member Code of Conduct
    • Continual implementation of ASX Good Governance Principles
    In May 2017, the auDA Board commissioned Cameron Ralph Khoury to assist with five governance projects stemming from recommendations of the 2016 Governance Review:
    • Conduct Board Evaluation
    • Develop Board Skills Matrix
    • Develop Board Charter and Code of Conduct
    • Review suite of Board policies
    • Reform Accountability and Transparency Framework
    The Board and management are committed to continually improving the governance of auDA and ensuring the organisation is implementing best practice governance principles. The five strategic governance projects currently being undertaken will be extensive and in depth. The Board evaluation will be conducted over three months and include self-assessment questionnaires, Director and Executive interviews, 360-degree feedback as well as observation of three Board meetings.

    The projects are expected to be completed by September 2017. A dedicated Governance section on the website is being developed and the outcomes of these governance projects will be made publicly available on the website.

    auDA Reviews Archive
    Cameron Ralph Report 2016
    https://www.auda.org.au/assets/Uploads/Cameron-Ralph-Report-for-auDA2.pdf

    Accountability and Transparency Framework - in review

    .au Governance Review 2011
    https://www.auda.org.au/about-auda/our-org/reviews-of-auda/au-governance-review-2011

    auDA Foundation Review 2011
    https://www.auda.org.au/about-auda/our-org/reviews-of-auda/auda-foundation-review-2011/
     
  14. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    Just to let people know we are now down to 14 days for this.

    If you are having trouble with all the questions and information I'd suggest simply answering what you want to answer and perhaps focusing on what you perceive as the problems and solutions.
     
  15. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

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    Calls for internet to be defined as an essential service

    http://www.abc.net.au/radio/program..._193&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=webnews411

    "Consumer advocates are pushing for internet services to be added to the list of essential services in Australia, which also includes power and water, and regulated accordingly.

    They're concerned that a current industry review about the way Telcos deal with customers won't deliver the consumer protections that are needed.

    And they're calling on the Communications Minister to change the way the telecommunications industry regulates itself.

    Duration: 3min 12sec
    Broadcast: Mon 4 Dec 2017, 8:18am

    More Information
    Featured:

    Elizabeth, Melbourne pensioner
    Mitch Fifield, Communications Minister Senator
    Gerard Brody, Consumers Federation of Australia
    Jo Benevuti, Financial & Consumer Rights Council"​
     
  16. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    Just pointing out that this is due on Monday.

    It is also possible to arrange a phone interview with the ACMA if you want one.
     
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