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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    Government Advisory Committee (GAC) Australia Spent AU$ 3 million on GAC, But Will Stop Now
    posted by michael on Thursday March 21 2002, @07:55AM

    In an Australian Financial Review article that does not appear to be accessible online to non-subscribers, Nicole Lindsay reports today that Australia will stop funding the GAC after Australian Dr. Paul Twomey steps down as GAC chairman at ICANN's June meeting in Bucharest. Apparently, over the past three years, Australia has spent about AU$ 3 million (about $1.5 million in US dollars) on GAC support. (I was not aware of this. Does ICANN 'transparency' not extend to GAC expenditures or did I just miss it?)

    The article quotes an Australian government spokesman as saying that it was "about time someone else funded the committee after three years". The article also reports that, despite the price tag, "Several other countries have reportedly expressed informal interest in taking over administration of the GAC a task that comes with the chairmanship of the committee." (Yes, it's pay to play again.)

    Australia's chairmanship of the GAC was notable for the sweetheart deal by which ICANN re-delegated .au in violation of the rules on country-code re-delegation, gave it to the Australian government, which then became the first ccTLD to agree to ICANN's onerous model "pay and obey" contract for ccTLDs.

    Dr. Twomey, meanwhile, has set up a consulting firm with....Ira Magaziner.

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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Australia Spent AU$ 3 million on GAC, But Will Stop Now | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 12 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Australia Spent AU$ 3 million on GAC, But Will
    by hofjes on Thursday March 21 2002, @08:41AM (#5479)
    User #60 Info
    This is a significant disclosure.

    ICANN has been insistent upon ccTLDs abiding by the so called GAC principles. Each of the IANA reports concerning redelegations have focused heavily on the new designated manager adopting and acting in strict accordance with the GAC principles. In fact, ICANN's comments indicate that ability to implement and enforce the GAC principles is the MOST important qualification of a ccTLD sponsoring organization. However, the board has never adopted, or even addressed, the GAC principles.

    The question has always been: why does ICANN put such weight on these GAC principles? The GAC is supposed to be merely an advisory panel. Unless the board adopts, or at least addresses, the GAC's recommendations, the the recommendations are just recommendations, and should not be deal points for ICANN contracts (espectially material deal points).

    Now we know why. Australia has been funding the GAC. It has been funding ICANN. ICANN management has to abide by GAC wishes, or it loses funding.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Australia Spent AU$ 3 million on GAC, But Will
    by hofjes on Thursday March 21 2002, @11:30AM (#5486)
    User #60 Info
    Where does the money go? The GAC shows up at the 3-4 meetings each year, deliberates a few issues, and goes home.

    Even if the GAC funded its members' travel, the cost would probably not exceed $20k each meeting ($60k-$80k each year).

    I wish we could see an accounting of the $3M expenses. I would bet that the money extends beyond GAC.

    ICANN will not open its books to Karl Auerbach or anybody else because there are likely a lot of funny numbers written. The $3M GAC contribution has to be recorded somewhere.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Another View?
    by michael (froomkin@lawUNSPAM.tm) on Thursday March 21 2002, @12:02PM (#5488)
    User #4 Info | http://www.discourse.net/
    Having thought about this a bit, it seems to me at least possible that none of this money may actually have gone into the GAC's coffers. "GAC support" after all, could be supporting the attendence of people to the meetings, and maybe in-kind support, e.g. paying for the room. Conceivably GAC itself never saw the money....
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
      Re: Another View?
      by hofjes on Thursday March 21 2002, @01:34PM (#5490)
      User #60 Info
      Perhaps, but I cannot feel comfortable about it until I see an accounting.

      We are all just speculating.

      It's too bad we cannot investigate the red flag and find out the facts.
      [ Reply to This | Parent ]
        Re: Another View?
        by fnord (reversethis-{moc.oohay} {ta} {k2yorg}) on Thursday March 21 2002, @01:49PM (#5491)
        User #2810 Info
        Perhaps Australia has its own version of the FOIA and some interested person down under could file a request. -g
        [ Reply to This | Parent ]
          Re: Another View?
          by lumpy (lumpy@lumpy.lumpy) on Wednesday March 27 2002, @02:00AM (#5574)
          User #3247 Info
          why don't you just ask the person at NOIE (National Office for the Information Economy) in Canberra that has been responsible for it. Her contact details are:

          Donna Austin
          Co-ordinator, GAC Secretariat
          National Office for the Information Economy
          GPO Box 390
          Ph. [+61]2 6271 1025
          Fax. [+61]2 6271 1780
          Email donna.austin@noie.gov.au

          or try the Minister for Communications:
          Senator the Hon Richard Alston
          Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts
          Suite MG70
          Parliament House
          Canberra ACT 2600 AUSTRALIA
          Telephone: + 61 2 6277 7480
          Fax: + 61 2 6273 4154
          Email: minister@dcita.gov.au

          I doubt they'll have much to hide. BTW Australia does have comprehensive FOI legislation.
          [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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