I recently published a Q&A with Cameron Boardman, the CEO of auDA, and subsequently a list of questions for the Grumpies – the small group of auDA members that called for the meeting. They have so far refused to answer their questions.
The additional information below has been supplied by auDA for its members and anyone else interested in the future of our domain names service.
“The process of registering and administering Internet domain names under the .au top level domain must be managed with full integrity and transparency of process and decision-making to ensure this public resource supports the needs of all Internet users and stakeholders”.
This statement from Internet Australia chair, Dr Paul Brooks, sums up why a number of Internet industry players are speaking out against a board spill at a Special General Meeting of auDA – the company managing our Internet domain names – to be held in Melbourne on Friday. If you have a website you’ll have dealt with one of the companies that sell domain names to the public. They all operate under the authority and supervision of auDA.
We need to inject some ultimate responsibility into public administration. The buck has to stop somewhere.
What was perceived in some circles as two highly political appointments to plum roles in the federal public service highlights a need to re-examine government administration in the 21st Century. Not because such appointments are necessarily inappropriate, but because they expose a basic disconnect.
We still like to pretend we have an olde-worlde apolitical public service consisting of career bureaucrats who have no political leanings and/or are never influenced by them. If this was ever the case, it is no longer.
Worse still, the way public servants pursue their upward career mobility results in a surplus of generalists and a dearth of subject matter experts.
Turmoil within Australia’s internet domain administration could lead to it being handed back to the government. From my experience dealing with domain name owners and users in my former role as executive director of Internet Australia, I doubt it is in anyone’s best interests for this to occur.
It’s time for charities, not-for-profits, in fact every volunteer organisation to have a good look in the governance mirror – especially their directors and senior executives. And it would be a good idea for the members of NFP’s in particular to critically assess the governance practices of their boards.
Too many volunteer boards are dominated by people who hang on limpet-like for too long – precluding others from contributing and defending past policies and practices long deserving review.
Keeping boards active and relevant to the needs of their members is a major issue that requires constant vigilence.
Perhaps we even need to look at changing the relevant laws to ensure better governance of the sector?