Wednesday, 22 May 2019 18:57

auDA seeks to end Comms Dept oversight of board meetings Featured

auDA seeks to end Comms Dept oversight of board meetings Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

The au Domain Administration, the organisation that administers the Australian domain namespace, has written to the Department of Communications, seeking to end the practice of it having an overseer role with the organisation.

A letter sent by auDA chair Chris Leptos to the department's first assistant secretary, Vicki Middleton, in response to a missive from her, said: "We note your acknowledgement that the board observer role may be discontinued once auDA has successfully completed its reforms. It is our expectation that the board observer role will be discontinued once the reforms are completed, and ideally will be discontinued even earlier."

And Leptos added in the letter, which iTWire has seen, "Specifically, it is my understanding that the board observer role will be discontinued when the Department is satisfied that an orderly board process has operated for a period of time."

This appears to contradict the position laid down by the government when it issued its terms of endorsement for auDA last year, following a scathing review in which it said it had found that auDA's membership model and lack of checks and balances had prevented proper decision making, rendering it unable to operate properly.

The government stated its terms of endorsement for auDA, among which it said: "That the .au domain administrator: 'ensure that a senior officer from the Department is included in all relevant auDA governance processes, including, but not limited to, non-voting observer status at board meetings for all decisions'."

iTWire contacted auDA on Tuesday night, seeking comment on this issue by 10am on Wednesday. No response has been received until the time of writing.

In her letter, Middleton outlined what functions an observer at auDA board meetings would have, concluding, "These limitations confine the role of the departmental attendee appropriately, consistent with non-voting observer status, and ensure that the observer role does not extend to influencing the independent exercise of the Board's functions."

Leptos said in his letter: "We remain concerned that the board observer, as described in your memorandum, may be considered a ‘shadow director’ under the Corporations Act. This is a concern for auDA, in terms of its role as the independent authority mandated by both ICANN and the Commonwealth to manage the .au namespace, and also for the risk that may attach to the board observer and the Department more generally.

"Without determining the shadow director issue, it would be good practice for the board observer to declare any material personal interest, as is required of directors under the Corporations Act. The chair will request each director, and the board observer, to make such a declaration at each meeting of the board."


As part of our Lead Machine Methodology we will help you get more leads, more customers and more business. Let us help you develop your digital marketing campaign

Digital Marketing is ideal in these tough times and it can replace face to face marketing with person to person marketing via the phone conference calls and webinars

Significant opportunity pipelines can be developed and continually topped up with the help of Digital Marketing so that deals can be made and deals can be closed

- Newsletter adverts in dynamic GIF slideshow formats

- News site adverts from small to large sizes also as dynamic GIF slideshow formats

- Guest Editorial - get your message out there and put your CEO in the spotlight

- Promotional News and Content - displayed on the homepage and all pages

- Leverage our proven event promotion methodology - The Lead Machine gets you leads

Contact Andrew our digital campaign designer on 0412 390 000 or via email



Security requirements such as confidentiality, integrity and authentication have become mandatory in most industries.

Data encryption methods previously used only by military and intelligence services have become common practice in all data transfer networks across all platforms, in all industries where information is sensitive and vital (financial and government institutions, critical infrastructure, data centres, and service providers).

Get the full details on Layer-1 encryption solutions straight from PacketLight’s optical networks experts.

This white paper titled, “When 1% of the Light Equals 100% of the Information” is a must read for anyone within the fiber optics, cybersecurity or related industry sectors.

To access click Download here.


Sam Varghese

website statistics

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.



Recent Comments