Outcomes of the Independent Review into the Governance of .au

Posted by Paul Szyndler on 15 December 2011

An independent review of auDA by international governance experts has found the Australian domain administration to be one of the most transparent and effective in the global Internet community.

The review of the .au policy environment by Westlake Consulting Limited in association with Argo Pacific Pty Ltd began in April this year. The review evaluates auDA’s organisation in terms of transparency, efficiency and stakeholder engagement.

Westlake concluded that auDA is regarded by local and international stakeholders as a global leader in country code domain administration. Given the growing reliance of Australian businesses, government and end-users on the Internet, the reviewers made a number of recommendations for improvements to help ensure that .au maintains its strong international reputation.  

“We are encouraged by the results of this independent review,” said auDA’s CEO, Chris Disspain. “We thank Westlake Consulting and Argo Pacific for their comments about auDA being a world leader in our field. We’re very proud of that record, but are also always looking to improve.”

In the course of the review, Westlake conducted interviews with auDA Directors and staff, dozens of stakeholder representatives, as well as executives of other country code domain administrators.

The review delved into three key areas: Accountability and Transparency, relationships with the Australian Government and other stakeholders, and Governance. Among the key recommendations are that auDA develops an Accountability and Transparency Framework; establish a website redevelopment working group to refine information delivery to all stakeholders; and develop two-way engagement protocols and incident escalation triggers with a range of Australian Government agencies.

The auDA Board has tasked staff with developing an implementation plan and will consider all of the review’s recommendations, in conjunction with implementation details, at its meeting in February 2012.

The full version of the report and additional information are available here.

auDA (.au Domain Administration Ltd) manages the .au domain space under a non-profit, industry self-regulatory model, for the benefit of all Australian Internet users.
Through consultation with industry stakeholders, auDA develops and implements domain name policies for .au. auDA also coordinates .au’s operational frameworks, licenses registry operators and registrars, implements consumer safeguards and facilitates dispute resolution.

auDA plays an active role within the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and other international for a. It represents the interests of .au stakeholders at the global level.

Westlake Consulting Limited is a boutique New Zealand-based, globally focused consulting firm. Westlake advises Boards and Chief Executives on governance structures, good governance practice and board-management relationships in the private and public sectors. Westlake has particular expertise working with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and those that fall between core government and fully commercial organizations.

Argo Pacific is a Sydney-based high level internet and technology advisory and investment firm led by Dr Paul Twomey. Dr Twomey served as President and CEO of ICANN from 2003-2009.

For media enquiries contact:

Paul Szyndler
Ph: +61 402 250 389