auDA Board Nomination 2013

by Simon Johnson on September 19, 2013

I believe that with my commercial experience in both the Internet Industry and in various Governance roles, I can provide auDA with fresh ideas and truly represent the Demand Class membership. As a Demand class member yourself, I thought I’d give you an overview of my background so you can make an informed decision.

I have been involved in the Internet industry since almost its inception, having co-founded one of Australia’s first ISP’s and Internet Security companies. I have held Senior Management roles in the areas of Governance, Risk, Security, and Fraud Prevention for publicly listed companies and Australian Government Departments. I have also served on the 2010/11 auDA Names Policy Panel. Currently, I’m the co-founder of IPNeighborhood, an Intellectual Property and Competitive Intelligence firm.

I believe its critical for Demand Class members to get a clear view on what candidates stand for, not just their experience. Your time is valuable, so I’ll make this short. I believe that auDA should:

1. Be comprised of an independent Board with a diverse range of views and experience, to reflect the public interest. I believe auDA would benefit greatly from my experience in both Governance and in Small Business.

2. Reduce costs and eliminate unnecessary fees.

  • Why do Australians pay more for a domain name in than they would a .com ?
  • Why do Australians pay for a Change of Registrant (known as a COR), when its free to transfer domains in other countries? There are no charges for .com, .net. org transfers.
  • Why can’t Australians register a domain for 1 year? Again, this is in line with the rest of the world.
  • The 2011 Annual Reports says that auDA spent $331,960 in 2011 and $380,990 in 2010 in travel expenses. Why so much travel? What were the outcomes? How did Australia benefit?

3. Administer .au in the public interest and clearly demonstrate real, tangible results. While there has been some good work in .au over the years, we can do a lot better.

4. Be more accountable and transparent with auDA Members.

  • Reporting to members on progress with the Strategic Plan.
  • Reporting to members on progress with implementing the recommendations of the Westlake Review.
  • Providing details in Board Minutes (subject to confidentiality) and publishing them in a timely manner.

5. Adopt Policy in line with existing Australian Government standards.

Given the nature of auDAs role as a custodian of a public resource, and how companies stand to financially benefit from changes to .au Policy, I believe auDA should have a truly independent board. From an internal management perspective, auDA should also have clear, published policies. For example: a) Travel Policy, b) Gifts and Benefits Policy, c) Values and Code of Conduct. This is in line with the APS (Australian Public Service). For example, here is a policy titled “Working With Lobbyists” .

As you can see, I’m very passionate about the Australian Internet industry and protecting this valuable public resource. I’m more than happy to tell you where I stand and what I believe in.

Your vote means a lot at this election. I’d really value it, so I can serve the Demand Class membership. Here is a Proxy Form with my name and address details filled in. All you need to do is sign and send it to auDA.

Feel free to contact me directly if you would like to discuss anything. Thanks for your time.

Kind regards,


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