Tuesday, 24 April 2018 06:39

auDA members urged to oppose postponement of SGM Featured

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A senior member of the au Domain Administration, the organisation that administers the Australian domain namespace, has called on his fellow members not to back a request for postponement of a special general meeting, called to push for the ouster of the chief executive and three directors.

Joshua Rowe, who has been an auDA member since 2000 and a non-executive director from 2001 to 2015, said in an email sent to Hasaka Martin, the auDA company secretary, that the bid to postpone the SGM and hold it at the same as the annual general meeting had given members very little time to react.

As iTWire reported, Martin's email to members held out the threat of legal action if they did not agree to hold the SGM at the same time as the annual general meeting.

Rowe said: "On Friday 20 April 2018 at 6:04pm I received a letter from .au Domain Administration... requesting an extension of time to hold the member requested Special General Meeting. auDA provided a deadline of 4.00pm Monday 23 April 2018 — a single business day — to respond to this request. This request for an extension of time is extremely disappointing."

He said the organisation was at an important juncture after a government review last week found the current management framework was no longer fit for purpose.

"Members have lost confidence in the auDA CEO, and the three auDA independent directors. They do not have the right skills and experience to lead auDA through its reform, " Rowe wrote to Martin. "Therefore, the SGM should proceed pursuant to section 249D of the Corporations Act 2001 (Commonwealth). The law is very clear.

"auDA Members are not in a position to fund any legal challenge to their right to request an SGM. Please table this letter with the court and your previous correspondence on this matter."

As per the rules cited by Rowe, an SGM needs to be called within 21 days of auDA receiving a requisition that had the specified number of signatures. Such a letter was sent on 7 April.

The major factor behind the push for getting rid of the four officials is the decision by the board to change Australian domains from .com.au and similar suffixes to .au.

Along with the review, the government last week 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.

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Sam Varghese

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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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