Promoting and maintaining trust and confidence in the .au domain is at the heart of our new Compliance Posture and Compliance Plan. They assist auDA, registrars and registrants to work together to lift levels of compliance with the .au Licensing Framework.
Our Compliance Posture
The Compliance Posture informs how we work to assist registrars and registrants to achieve compliance with the .au Licensing Framework, which includes the .au Licensing Rules. Our approach is outcome focussed, with fairness as a guiding principle.
The Posture sets out a risk-based approach to compliance, whereby the action we take is proportionate to the risk we are addressing. We are guided by a three-step approach, using a range of different compliance tools such as communication, education, direct support and guidance. Enforcement action is used as a last resort. The Compliance Posture helps to make us more efficient and effective in our compliance work and supports a more positive customer experience.
Our three-step approach to compliance
- Communicate and educate: We provide people with the information they need in order to encourage and enable their compliance with the rules. This is provided through a range of channels such as our website and social media accounts, and through partnerships with stakeholders such as registrars, government and community organisations.
- Guide and facilitate: We directly support people and organisations to understand their obligations and what they need to do to comply with the rules. This may occur during the course of a complaint to auDA, or a discussion we have with a registrar about their compliance requirements.
- Enforce our rules: We recognise that there are circumstances in which the first two steps may not work, and direct action is required to ensure compliance with the rules. This might be because it is not possible for the non-compliance to be remedied, or there is fraudulent conduct by someone who is not interested in complying with the rules. The .au Licensing Rules provide clarity as to when auDA or a registrar can suspend or cancel a domain name licence.
Our 2021-22 Compliance Plan
Our Compliance Plan, published for the first time in 2021-22, sets out our compliance priorities for the year and the compliance activities we will be undertaking to keep the .au domain secure, reliable and trusted for all Internet users.
This year we are focussed on uplifting compliance in several key areas that have been identified through a variety of mechanisms, including analysis of complaints data and registry data. Our compliance priorities include:
- Assisting registrars to undertake complete and accurate validation of eligibility for domain names, at the time they are registered, transferred or renewed
- Ensuring only genuine not-for-profit and charity organisations hold org.au domain names
- Ensuring that the Australian trade mark requirements under the .au Licensing Rules are met
- Making sure that registry records correctly show the names of legal entities responsible for licences registered on behalf of trusts and unincorporated bodies.
We address these priorities through audits of the registry data and registrar validation processes, and the provision of tools and training materials to support registrars in addressing compliance.
Following the introduction of the .au Licensing Rules on 12 April 2021, we are also prioritising assistance to registrars to help them meet their compliance obligations under the new rules.
We will measure our performance against the Compliance Plan and report on the outcome. The results will inform our 2022-23 Compliance Plan.
Read more about our approach to compliance, including the full Compliance Posture and Compliance Plan here.