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Has the Australian Government Got Fed up With auDA?

auDA logoThe Australian Government has ordered a review into the operations of the .au policy and regulatory body, auDA. Could it be that after 2 years or turmoil and mismanagement that the government has had enough?

Could it be that in the 2.5 years since Chris Disspain was unexpectedly dismissed as CEO, with a further 11 (at least) of the 13 then existing staff either leaving or questionably booted, along with some prize recruits coming and going, and an unusual turnover of board members outside normal elections, along with the often bumbling of policy and registry reviews and a member revolt that led to the then Chair resigning, the government has had enough? In the last week it has become known that industry participant and board member aspirant Nicole Murdoch has written to the Minister about irregularities within auDA.

Both the Minister for Communications and the Arts, publicly at least, and auDA who manages Australia's country code top level domain (ccTLD) have tried to paint it as a welcome review. The Minister has said the review is about ensuring .au “remains fit for purpose in serving the needs of Australians online.”

The Minister’s statement says that since auDA was established in 2000 “the digital landscape has changed significantly as the economy increasingly revolves around the internet.”

In a statement from auDA, they say the “Board and Executive of auDA today welcomed the announcement of a Federal Government review into the .au domain.”

“The .au domain is one of the most trusted domain zones in the world and we look forward to working with the government and Australian internet community to maintain and enhance that position,” said auDA Interim Board Chair Erhan Karabardak.

“auDA’s multi-stakeholder work on the Registry Transformation Project and Policy Review Panel will continue throughout the review.

“It is critical that we have the best possible model for managing the domain, and that our risk and mitigation strategies are among the best in the world.”

The review will be undertaken by the Department of Communications and the Arts and will examine the most appropriate framework for the domain and will also identify risk and mitigation strategies for the security and stability of the .au domain.

The next step is the Department will shortly release a discussion paper seeking input from interested industry and community stakeholders with the review expected to be finalised by early 2018.

The terms of reference for the review are available at: