Wednesday, 25 July 2018 11:43

auDA panel moves to delete record of past meetings Featured


The Policy Review Panel of the Australian domain administrator, auDA, has raised the hackles of some members by deciding, at an 8 June meeting, to delete past consultations of the panel.

The minutes of the meeting, which are publicly available, say: "Panel members requested that the recordings of past consultations be destroyed, subject to confirmation in accordance with relevant legal provisions, as these were no longer required."

It added that the secretariat would seek permission to proceed with this decision.

One member, Sean Fogarty, said in an email to auDA officials that he had requested access to these minutes as he had been involved.

"I refer to the now public minutes attached which state the auDA PRP is seeking to destroy the auDA PRP public meeting audio recordings which I have previously requested access to and said may be required in future matters," he wrote to chief executive Cameron Boardman, chair Chris Leptos and members of the PRP.

"I was recorded speaking and asking questions on your recorded audio at the public meetings."

auda meetings

The relevant portion of the minutes from the PRP meeting on 8 June.

Fogarty asked: "Why have you now stated your intention to destroy this information which has been requested? You know access to it has been requested including from those who spoke whom have of access to it?

"As you are very aware I have requested access to these public meeting recordings directly to auDA, the PRP an via the OAIC. The OAIC (Office of the Australian Information Commissioner) have stated they have not received any response from auDA or the PRP. Why?

"Please advise if you will be making the audio available to stakeholders, government and to the parties who where recorded who have requested it formally."

iTWire contacted the OAIC for clarification, but was told in an automated reply that it would take more than 10 days for a response.

auDA was also contacted for comment. A spokesperson said by deadline that efforts were being made to contact John Swinson who runs the PRP, presumably in order to obtain a response from him. The other members of the panel are Brett Fenton, Narelle Clark, Ian Halson, Professor Dan Hunter and Nicola Seaton.

There has been unrest in auDA's ranks for some time, with the most visible evidence coming in April when a group, led by Jim Stewart, the chief executive of StewArt Media, called for a motion of no-confidence in Boardman and the sacking of Leptos and directors Suzanne Ewart and Sandra Hook.

The organisation is scheduled to hold a special general meeting on Friday to vote on these resolutions.

Update, 4pm: Swinson responded to iTWire's request for comment, saying: "The PRP has not destroyed any minutes of past meetings. Recordings are made to allow accurate minutes to be made and are no longer required once the minutes are published."

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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