15 February 2016 Board Meeting Minutes

Meeting of the .au Domain Administration Board

15 February 2016 – 11.00am

auDA, 114 Cardigan Street, Carlton

Present:  Stuart Benjamin (Chair), Tony Staley, Chris Disspain, Erhan Karabardak, George Pongas, Graham McDonald, Joe Manariti, Julie Hammer, Kartic Srinivasan, Simon Johnson, Miguel Wood, Grant Wiltshire

Observers:  Annaliese Williams (DoC), John Higgins (Moore Stephens-Items 1-3), Jo Lim (auDA), Jacki O’Sullivan (auDA–Minutes)

Apologies:  Nil

1.    Continuous Disclosure

There were no matters to disclose.

2.    Confirmation of December 2015 Minutes

Motion (proposed E Karabardak, seconded G McDonald).  That the Board approve and publish the minutes of the 14 December 2015 Board meeting.  Carried

3.    Finance Report

  • The Board noted the January 2016 accounts.
  • The CEO reminded the Board the draft budget for 2016-17 will be provided at the April 2016 meeting for review.
  • Review of ICANN fees paid by auDA was raised.  The Board agreed to refer the terms of the ICANN Contract back to the Finance Committee for review and reporting back to the Board.
  • The Board was advised Neal Dunne of Moore Stephens had conducted and reported on a review of the current Investment Strategy.  His recommendation was to continue with the current conservative investment approach with no recommended changes to the investment portfolio at this time.  It was noted the Finance Committee would review the portfolio again in the next financial year.  Motion (proposed G McDonald, seconded S Benjamin).  The Board agrees to the Current Investment Portfolio to remain in place and continue with the current investment strategy.  Carried.

4.    CEO Report

  • The CEO report was noted.
  • J Lim gave a summary of the outcomes of the recent legal proceedings between the Australian Democrats National Inc. v. auDA and Bell noting judgement and costs had been awarded in auDA's favour.  There are no other current legal matters in progress.
  • More information was requested on the expression of interest for hosting the 2017 APrIGF.  The CEO will ask P Szyndler to provide a briefing note with further information to the Board.
  • The Board noted the recent appointment of Dr Heather Smith as Secretary of the Department of Communications. The CEO will arrange an introductory meeting as soon as possible.

5.    2015 Names Policy Panel

The Board noted advice from the Strategic Risk Committee about the strategic risks associated with its consideration of the 2015 Names Policy Panel's Final report.

The Board discussed and agreed the following:


The Panel recommends in principle that .au should be opened up to direct registrations.


The Panel recommends that the same policy rules which currently apply in the existing 2LDs

should also apply to direct registrations (refer to Attachment A).

Motion (proposed J Hammer, seconded T Staley):  The Board is receptive to Recommendations 1A and 1B, and requests auDA staff to provide the following further information for consideration at the April 2016 Board meeting:

  • market research to gauge the level of demand for direct registrations
  • a high level implementation timeframe and indicative costings.



Subject to draft recommendations 2B and 2C below, the Panel recommends that the eligibility and allocation criteria for open 2LDs be retained in their current form.

Motion:  (proposed M Wood, seconded G Wiltshire): Accepted with the addition of the words 'at this stage'.  Carried


The Panel recommends that the fixed two year licence period be changed to a variable 1‐5 year

period (ie. registrants could choose to register their domain name for 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 years).

Motion:  (proposed E Karabardak, seconded G McDonald): Accepted, noting that the same recommendation was put forward by the 2010 Names Panel, and the Board at that time accepted the recommendation and agreed to implement it in conjunction with the new registry contract in 2018.  Carried


The Panel recommends that auDA and/or AusRegistry should make the appropriate changes to

the policy and/or registry database fields to reflect the nationalised business names registration

system, ensuring that there is no disadvantage to registrants.

Motion:  (proposed M Wood, seconded J Hammer): Accepted.  Carried


The Panel recommends that the Reserved List Policy be retained in its current form.

Motion:  (proposed M Wood, seconded J Hammer): Accepted.  Carried


The Panel recommends that the Prohibition on Misspellings Policy be retained, but that auDA

should revise the audit list provisions to provide more flexibility in the way the policy is enforced.

Motion:  (proposed M Wood, seconded J Hammer): Accepted.  Carried

6.  Board Committee Updates

Finance & Audit Committee:

  • The Chair advised the Committee had met on 10 February 2016 and minutes would be circulated in due course.

Governance, Board Succession & Remuneration Committee:

  • The Chair advised the Committee had met on 28 January 2016 and minutes would be circulated in due course.
  • The Chair advised Consultants have been engaged to conduct the Board Performance Review and would be contacting Directors over the next week for feedback.  It is expected that a report will be provided to the Board at the April 2016 meeting.

Strategic Risk Committee:

  • The Chair advised the Committee had met to consider the strategic risks associated with the 2015 Names Policy Panel's Final report which have now been provided to the Board.
  • The next regular Strategic Risk Committee meeting date is yet to be confirmed.

7.    Membership

Motion (proposed S Benjamin, seconded M Wood).  Approve the membership applications in the classes indicated.  Carried.

Name of Applicant  Class
Teresa Mitchell (Teresa Mitchell) Demand
The University of Queensland trading as AusCert (Thomas King) Demand
Grant Wiltshire (Grant Wiltshire) Demand
Jenny Wiltshire (Jenny Wiltshire) Demand
Steve Vallas (Steve Vallas) Demand
Natasha Dwyer (Natasha Dwyer) Demand
Peter Tonoli (Peter Tonoli) Demand
Search Global Pty Ltd trading as Stewart Media (Jim Stewart) Demand
Maggie Whitnall (Maggie Whitnall) Demand
Peter Anderson (Peter Anderson) Demand
Steve Sammartino (Steve Sammartino) Demand
Sports Geek Pty Ltd (Sean Callanan) Demand


8.    Board Correspondence

There was no Board correspondence.

9.    Other Business

The CEO advised the ICANN Panama meeting scheduled for June 2016 had now been cancelled and a new location will be advised in due course.

10.  Next Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Monday 18 April 2016. It was noted the Board Schedule would be attached to all future agendas as a reminder of key due dates.