Changes to auDA membership processes

auDA is a membership-based organisation, and we encourage everyone with an interest in the Australian DNS to become a member. There are two classes of membership – Supply and Demand. We currently have around 160 members (a List of auDA Members is published on our website).

We have recently made some changes to the way we handle auDA membership applications and renewals. In summary, we have:

  • replaced the requirement for new members to pay a pro-rata annual membership fee, with requirement to pay a membership entrance fee
  • introduced a 7 calendar day cut-off for receipt of applications before a Board meeting
  • changed the auDA membership year from 1 September to 31 August, to 1 June to 31 May.

The reason for these changes is purely administrative, as explained below.

Membership fees

The annual membership fees are $110 (inc GST) for Supply Class and $22.00 (inc GST) for Demand Class.

Up until now, when someone applied for membership they would receive a pro-rata invoice for their annual membership fee, from the date their application was approved through to 31 August. For example, if the application was approved at the December meeting of the auDA Board, the member would be invoiced from the date of the December meeting through to 31 August. Applicants have 30 days to pay the invoice, or their application is deemed to have lapsed.

This process has proved to be administratively cumbersome and time-consuming for auDA staff, and often confusing for members. Non-payment of the invoice is common, requiring us to send reminder emails, while holding applications in abeyance. Applicants sometimes misunderstand the process and send us the full annual membership fee instead of the pro-rata amount, so we then have to refund them the difference. Another source of confusion is where a member is approved at the June meeting of the auDA Board, pays their pro rata annual membership fee invoice, and then receives their annual membership renewal fee invoice in August – often they do not realise they have to pay again.

auDA’s Constitution gives the auDA Board the power to set both an annual membership fee and a membership entrance fee. To date, there has been no membership entrance fee. At the Board meeting on 19 April 2011, it was decided to set a membership entrance fee equivalent to the annual membership fee in each membership class – ie. the entrance fees are $110 (inc GST) for Supply Class and $22.00 (inc GST) for Demand Class.

From 1 May 2011, we will no longer send membership applicants a pro-rata invoice for the annual membership fee. Instead, applicants will be required to pay the entrance fee when they submit their application form. This means that everyone pays the same fixed fee when they apply and there is no need for auDA staff to issue invoices and chase payment, which will significantly streamline the process for us and hopefully make it less confusing for members.

7 calendar day cut-off before Board meetings

Under the auDA Constitution, membership applications must be approved by the auDA Board at a Board meeting.

Lately we have been receiving a rush of membership applications in the few days prior to a Board meeting, making it difficult for auDA staff to process them in time for the Board to give them proper consideration at a Board meeting.

To address this issue, we are introducing a 7 calendar day cut-off before Board meetings. Applications (including payment of the membership entrance fee) must be received before the cut-off date, or they will be held over until the following Board meeting.

For example, the next auDA Board meeting is on 14 June, so the cut-off date for applications will be 7 June. Applications received after 7 June will be held over until the August Board meeting.

New membership year

The previous auDA membership year was 1 September to 31 August, with annual membership fee invoices being sent out on 1 August every year.

Under the auDA Constitution, members cannot be removed from the register for non-payment until 1) they have been in arrears for 3 months after payment was due, and 2) they are still in arrears 1 month after being served with a notice of default. In other words, we have to wait a total of 4 months after the original invoice was due before the members register contains financial members only.

auDA holds its AGM in October each year, which falls right in the middle of the renewal period. This means that the members register contains both financial and non-financial members. In the past, there has been confusion about whether or not non-financial members have the right to vote at the AGM.

To avoid any future confusion, we have decided to change the membership year to 1 June to 31 May. This means that by the time of the AGM in October, the members register will contain financial members only.

Annual membership fee invoices were sent out on 1 May for the new membership year, with a pro-rata amount to take account of fees already paid to 31 August 2011 ($16.50 (inc GST) for Demand Class and $82.50 (inc GST) for Supply Class).

If you have any queries about the changes outlined above, please email them to membership@auda.org.au.

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