Tuesday, 29 May 2018 05:34

auDA directors vote to give themselves pay rises Featured

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The recent turmoil at the au Domain Administration, the organisation that manages the Australian domain namespace, does not seem to have hindered the organisation in any way from increasing the remuneration that its directors receive.

While the board, at a meeting in March, kept the fee paid to its independent chair — currently Chris Leptos — unchanged at $70,000 per annum plus superannuation, other payments were increased.

The board resolved that independent directors, apart from the chair, would receive superannuation from April onwards, in addition to the $40,000 per annum that they are currently paid.

In addition, members will be asked at the 2018 annual general meeting to increase the maximum remuneration paid to independent directors to $170,000.

Directors elected in both the supply and demand classes will get $1000 for attending each meeting of directors, and $750 for attending a meeting of a committee of directors. These amounts include superannuation.

The board also resolved to reduce the wholesale price of .au domains by 10%.

A government review into auDA, released in April, found its current management framework was no longer fit for purpose.

Along with the review, the government also released its terms of endorsement for auDA and asked the organisation to provide, within 30 days, an implementation plan to demonstrate how it would achieve compliance with these terms by April 2020. That 30-day window ended on 18 May.

Dissatisfaction within the ranks of auDA broke out into the open last month when one member, Jim Stewart, the chief executive of StewArt Media, led a call for the ouster of chief executive Cameron Boardman, Leptos, and directors Sandra Hook and Suzanne Ewart. Leptos has said that the practices of several former auDA directors had been referred to the police in Victoria.

The major irritant was the decision by the board to change Australian domains from .com.au and similar suffixes to .au.

That move has now been put off till at least the second half of 2019. The call for a special general meeting to act on resolutions for the ousters of the officials mentioned above was taken to court and auDA was given until 28 July to hold the meeting.

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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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