Proposed actions

On one hand as a candidate board member it would be premature on my part to start prescribing solutions and write prescriptions without full consultation and agreement on issues – with other stakeholders (board members, government officials) and especially CIRA staff.

Board governance is all about the roles of oversight and insight: “noses in, fingers out”. While I am reluctant to propose recommendations to the possible challenges that I identified without a more fulsome understanding of the issues at hand, I do want to show knowledge and competence and so my answers are somewhat “hypothetical”.

WRT to the 1st challenge – excellence in operations

  1. Due diligence over operations, maintain strict compliance, along with performance measurement and quality assurance
  2. Continue international participation to get best practices, etc.
  3. Consider adoption of ISO standards

WRT to the 2nd challenge – marketing

While CIRA has a social media strategy and a President who blogs, CIRA could start creating more mind share among Canadians by

  1. Developing and presenting policy papers on all aspects of the internet – not just maintaining the .CA domain.
  2. Showcase its prominent role in security of the .CA domain.
  3. Launch a search for new products following the Ipsos Reid study.

WRT to the 3rd challenge – mandate

The nostrum – define yourself or others will define you – applies. CIRA has the opportunity to shape public policy, to show that it is the custodian and steward and in time to become the champion for what Canadians feel about the internet. That would increase its relevancy and position it well for its next evolution. .

I suspect that the few Canadians that know CIRA, see it as a birth registry whereas it should be an important pillar of our economy.

WRT to the 4th challenges – new revenue sources.

I would be curious to review the CIRA investment policy as it might be too risk averse; conceivably the wrong firm has been hired as the investment manager. Astute money management can produce remarkable results, as some pension funds have found out.

The other obvious approach – aside from finding new products – is to raise fees. While not a favoured approach, especially given the size of “restricted investments” currently, it is an alternative that needs review.