A quick update to my earlier post about voting to ensure that the .uk registry isn’t regulated by the government.
The top civil servant at the Department for Business (BIS, formerly BERR, formerly DTi), David Hendon, has sent a letter [pdf] back in response to a letter [pdf] from Nominet’s chairman Bob Gilbert saying that the EGM proposed changes would “largely remove the concerns” that the government has about Nominet.
There are several interesting aspects about this. The first is that David Hendon has sent a response at all, particularly considering that there are several clauses in an ongoing Bill going through Parliament that specifically address the question of Nominet governance. This is almost certainly why it is a personal letter – signed “David” and written to “Bob” – there is no way a civil servant would be allowed to write on behalf of the department at this time.
[click to continue…]
For the past year, the company that runs the UK’s Internet registry has been the unlikely location for a corporate soap opera, complete with scandals, villains, twists and turns, allegations of corruption, resignations, grand plans thwarted at the last minute and some nasty in-fighting that has left people alternatively amazed, entertained and worried.
The dust finally began to settle in January this year when a second director resigned (loudly) from not-for-profit Nominet and ever since the management team has been frantically trying to tidy up. In an effort to avoid the same problems emerging further down the line, a big spring clean was ordered and an independent expert brought in to assess what had gone wrong and what needed to be done.
Last week, that expert – Professor Bob Garratt – delivered a surprisingly frank and blunt assessment. In it, he told Nominet – and Nominet’s members – that they had to sort out a list of issues, and they had to sort them out fast.
In effect, he gave Nominet three months to live. If the warring tribes can’t find a settlement before then, Garratt warns, the UK government is going to step in and Nominet as it has existed since 1996 will cease to be.
It now rests on the shoulders of Nominet’s CEO, Lesley Cowley, to make enormous progress within an extremely short period of time, and persuade groups that were until recently at war with another to come together and rebuild the organization.
Here’s what needs to be done and how Cowley says she is going to do it.
[click to continue…]