.auDA appoints consultative group to guide reforms

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The .au Domain Administrator (.auDA) has appointed a 16-member consultative group to address concerns from Canberra that its governance processes are lacking.

The Consultation Model Working Group has been formed to help ensure community-wide consultation for changes to the .au namespace, according to an announcement by the organisation to its members.

Earlier this month .auDA also appointed three new directors as part of its reform process. The federal government has given .auDA three months to develop and implement improved governance processes in response to discontent over the management of the administrator.

But in the interim, former auDA directors Josh Rowe and Paul Szyndler, as well as StewArt Media CEO Jim Stewart, are seeking to have .auDA’s current CEO and three directors replaced through a member meeting in July.

This tussle for control is arguably coming at an inopportune time, former Internet Australia CEO Laurie Patton said in a contributed article.

While it appears at this point that the discontented members do not have the numbers to win a battle for control, “their activities will doubtless only add difficulty to the task of auDA meeting the government’s demands for stability and reform”, Patton said.

“It’s hard to see how any further controversy is going to help soothe the nerves of a clearly concerned minister, Senator Mitch Fifield,” he continued. “In fact, further board turmoil is more likely to hasten the potential demise of auDA and a mooted government takeover — one thing both sides would presumably prefer not to see happen.”

Patton is currently an advisor to Afilias Australia, a company appointed to provide registry services for .auDA from 1 July.

In light of Afilias’s planned appointment, “dispassionate observers might think this is a time for unity not further internal strife”, he added.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Edelweiss

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