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Nominet fingers governance scrutineer

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Nominet has appointed management academic Professor Bob Garratt to conduct an independent review of its governance structures as it aims to steer though a crisis prompted by member unrest and pressure from Whitehall.

He'll report back before Christmas on whether Nominet's current set-up is able to effectively represent the interests of government, the public and wider industry - as well as its members.

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) says it thinks it might not, and wants Nominet to justify its independence from ministers. The Nominet executive has unsuccessfully tried to change the make-up of the board to tackle the perceived problem, while some members believe such moves will undermine the firm's democratic foundations.

The split has seen public mud-slinging on both sides and Nominet now plans to sue one of its non-executive director Jim Davies for conflict of interest. He in turn alleges mismanagement. Both sides reject the other's claims.

Garrett was a founder member of something called the Commonwealth Association for Corporate Governance, and works for the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency on banking governance, according to this bio. Nominet said he's also an external examiner of the Institute of Directors. Which is nice.

Nominet plans to present the findings of Garrett's review to senior BERR civil servant David Hendon. He told El Reg last week he hoped the members would accept any recommendations voluntarily, warning that regulation could be imposed.

Garrett's books include The Fish Rots from the Head: The Crisis in our Boardrooms and Thin on Top: Why Corporate Governance Matters. ®

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