Friday, 21 June 2019 10:15

Board chairman Leptos' resignation for own reasons: auDA Featured

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Board chairman Leptos' resignation for own reasons: auDA Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

The chairman of the board of auDA, Chris Leptos, has quit his post, but the organisation, which oversees the Australian domain namespace, has given no reason for the sudden departure.

In a short announcement dated 18 June, auDA said the process to select a permanent replacement for Leptos would begin right away.

In the interim, it said, current independent director Suzanne Ewart would serve in the role.

Recently, as iTWire reported, Leptos wrote to the Department of Communications and Arts, seeking to end the practice of it having an overseer role with the organisation. His letter was in response to one sent by Vicki Middleton, the department's first assistant secretary, about the way the overseer role would be carried out.

Last year, the government issued a scathing review of the way auDA was being run and listed the terms under which it would endorse future management practices. One of the terms was: "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'."

auDA did not respond to a request for comment on this matter at the time.

When iTWire asked about Leptos' sudden departure, an auDA spokesperson responded on Fridaty: "The reasons for Chris Leptos' resignation are a matter for Mr Leptos, and we have
nothing further to add to the statement already released."

The statement referred to was the one that has been quoted from above.

When iTWire asked whether Leptos' letter had anything to do with his exit — as sources who claim to be familiar with the issue have indicated — the auDA spokesperson said the terms for having an observer from the Department of Communications and the Arts had already been settled.

"The auDA Board and Department of Communications, Cyber Security and the Arts have agreed through an exchange of letters how the non-voting observer role will operate in practice," the spokesperson said, pointing to a document on the auDA website. "There is no disagreement between the Board and DoCA on this matter."

The document in question is the same letter from Middleton, which sparked Leptos to write back, questioning the need for an observer.

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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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