Friday, 27 July 2018 18:53

auDA directors to stay as motions fail on technicality Featured

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Motions to remove three directors of auDA, the Australian domain administration, at a special general meeting held on Friday have been rejected by the membership, the organisation says.

In a statement, auDA said that as per its dual membership model — where some members are from the Supply class and others from the Demand class — a motion needed a majority in both categories to be passed.

There were 267 members from the Demand class who were eligible to vote and 78 voted. In the Supply class, there were 50 who were eligible to vote, and 32 voted.

On a simple majority, all three resolutions would have passed, as 56 voted for and 21 against, with one abstention in the Demand class; in the Supply class, two voted for and 30 against. In the case of the resolution to remove chair Chris Leptos, the figures for the Supply class were one for, and 31 against.

Thus, on a simple majority 58 voted for and 51 against in the case of removing Suzanne Ewart and Sandra Hook; in Leptos' case 57 voted to remove him and 52 against. But under auDA's rules, the motions failed.

The fractious SGM, which began at 10am, ran for more than three hours; iTWire tuned out after the third hour passed. At that stage, Leptos announced that the tallying of the vote would take more than 45 minutes, much longer than the 10 minutes he had predicted.

Numerous questions raised about procedures were shot down by Leptos who constantly threatened to ask members to leave if they did not sit down.

Despite a live audio feed being available, it was at times impossible to hear what was going on. Additionally, speakers often did not identify themselves before they spoke.

The auDA statement said: "It is time now for all members to get behind the reform of auDA as demanded by the federal government. auDA is not the plaything of a small group of self-interested parties.

"It can no longer be run as a club type organisation with a small membership who wield undue influence. In 2000, the .au network had just 200,000 registrants now it has more than 3.1 million.

"auDA must be run in the interest of all stakeholders including businesses whose livelihoods depend on a safe and secure .au namespace and individuals who use .au every day.

"As the government noted in its review auDA is no longer fit for purpose and must be reformed and it will be. If the reform process is derailed by self-interested groups it is not just auDA that will suffer but the Australian community.

"The board will continue to drive the reform agenda not out of self-interest, but in Australia’s interest."

The SGM came about as a result of a push led by Jim Stewart, the chief executive of StewArt Media, who called for a motion of no-confidence in auDA chief executive Cameron Boardman and the sacking of Leptos and two other independent directors, Ewart and  Hook.

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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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