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'Urgent reforms' needed for auDA: Fifield

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Australia's Department of Communications has completed its review of .au Domain Administration (auDA), the not-for-profit policy authority and industry self-regulatory body for the .au domain space, with Minister Mitch Fifield saying "urgent reforms are necessary".

"The department has finalised a report which includes a series of recommendations and new Terms of Endorsement (ToE)," Fifield said in his letter [PDF][1] to auDA chair Chris Leptos.

"The Commonwealth's endorsement of auDA as the appropriate entity to hold the delegation of authority for administration of the .au ccTLD will be subject at all times to auDA meeting the conditions as outlined in the ToE."

The ToE involve setting out the core functions of auDA as ensuring stable, reliable, and secure operations for the .au domain space; responding to DNS security issues quickly; promoting competition, fair trading, and consumer protection principles; operating as a self-funding non-profit organisation; taking part in domestic and international technical and policy spaces to represent Australia's interests and identify new developments; and coming up with "appropriate dispute resolution mechanisms".

The new ToE are effective immediately, with auDA to respond to the report and ToE within 10 business days.

"I request that auDA provides an assurance regarding the likelihood of successful implementation of the registry transformation project. Further, I understand that consultation is under way regarding direct registration and I request an update on this process," Fifield added in the letter.

The 29 recommendations made by the review, all of which have been accepted by the government, include that auDA's role in the security and stability of the .au space and its commercial strategy considerations should not alter its role and purpose as .au administrator; and that auDA formulate a four-year annual strategic plan as well as

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