RE: [DNS] query

RE: [DNS] query

From: Ian Johnston (SETEL) <"Ian>
Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 17:15:12 +1000
James Tizard (IEPO)
SA Government

John Kidston

James / John

With regard to your emails to the DNS mailing list (below), OGO's website says:
"OGO, in consultation with State and Territory governments, is formulating
policy guidelines for the administration of the second level domain
OGO also holds the delegation for approval of domain names."

May I suggest that a decision on whether a government business is issued (or
should retain) a domain name can and should be informed by, amongst
other things, competition policy and principles.  To my knowledge, from
reforming Federal Government business enterprises and applying competitive
neutrality principles over some years, competition considerations almost always
outweighed other considerations.

A fundamental principle underlying Federal Government business enterprise reform
since around the mid-1980s has been that government business enterprises should
be neither advantaged or disadvantaged in their commercial operations by virtue
of government ownership. This principle is about competitive neutrality in both
output and input markets (eg. product and labour markets, respectively), etc.

If a government business enterprise carrying on commercial operations were using
a domain name, which gave it an advantage over a competitor, questions
arise possibly under competition law and probably under Competition Principles.

Competition Principles are the subject of the webpage - "Competitive Neutrality
Reform: Issues in implementing Clause 3 of the Competition Principles Agreement"
etitive%20neutrality.htm>.   For details, see the documents accessible from the
bottom of this webpage.  The National Competition Council
<> has an interest in and "administers" the Principles.

On the other hand, if a government business enterprise were carrying on both
commercial and non-commercial operations, it's conceivable that it could have a and a domain name for its separate operations.  But again it
could be argued that competition issues arise.

If an Australian government business enterprise were constituted as a company
(and, therefore, subject to Commonwealth, State and/or Territory laws, unless it
has special powers or immunities under statute law), there are good reasons for
denying it access to a domain name.

Ian Johnston
Policy Consultant
Small Enterprise Telecommunications Centre Limited (SETEL)
Canberra  ACT  Australia
Phone: 02 6253 0869
Fax 02 6251 7835
Mobile:  0413 990 112

> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Kidston [mailto:j.kidston&#167;]
> Sent: Wednesday, 17 May 2000 9:56
> To: dns&#167;
> Subject: Re: [DNS] query
> In answer to James Tizard's query, I can offer some comment on practice
> within the Queensland Government space, although I am not qualified to
> address any policy issues involved.
> A number of 'corporatized' government instrumentalities, such as
> Queensland Rail and our various electricity corporations have registered
> domains within -,,,
> are examples.
> At CITEC, we are a 'commercialised' entity (as distinct from
> 'corporatized') and have adopted a split personality - we have
> registered both and is our
> "primary" domain.  As we are also a significant network service
> provider, we have considered whether we should also register with
> but have not done so to date.
> Other commercialised entities such as Q-Fleet and GoPrint have chosen to
> register solely with (,
> My own $0.02 worth on this subject is that it would be best left to each
> organisation to choose what domains they registered, based on the parent
> domain policies and the identity the organisation is projecting to the
> community.
> Regards
> John Kidston
> "Tizard, James (IEPO)" wrote:
> >
> > Noting the comment below that this is a general forum for discussing
> > Australian Domain issues, hoping this is not a FAQ (I've looked) I hope
> > someone might be able to point me in the right direction:
> >
> > I am interested in whether other Governments have addressed the policy issue
> > of appropriate domains for 'corporatized' government instrumentalities - ie
> > should they register domains in, or both?
> >
> > Our perhaps simplistic reasoning is that any entity that is ultimately
> > responsible to a Minister should register in  However, as many of
> > these also have an ACN number, they are also eligible to register in
> >
> >
> > all constructive comments gratefully accepted
> >
> > thanks in advance
> >
> > J Tizard
> > SA Government
> >
> --
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Received on Wed May 17 2000 - 15:19:26 UTC

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