The Minister of Science and Higher Education in Poland has announced competition for the post of the director of the research and development unit under the name of Scientific and Academic Computer Network (NASK – Naukowa i Akademicka Sieć Komputerowa) in Warsaw. I would like to remind all, that NASK is responsible for .pl domain registry. The application deadline was subject to be extinct on the 7th of August 2009.
The fact that is striking is that the character of the organisation is constantly underlined as a research and development organisation, despite the fact that in Poland it is mostly known as the organisation which provides technical services and manages .pl domain registry. I believe that it would be proper to separate this function from the scientific function of the organisation. Should it not be achieved, the operation of NASK will never be fully transparent.
The announced competition for the director of NASK is connected to the latest revelations of Dziennik about which I wrote in the previous article – NASK lost 14 million PLN (3,5M EUR) in connection to the risky financial operations. What is more – it did not have the right to invest with application of such method. The aforementioned 14 million PLN, which came from the fees connected to the process of registration and .pl domain upkeep (which are the sort of national treasure), have been lost by NASK. Barbara Kudrycka, the Minister of Education notified the prosecutor’s office with respect to the issue, considering the seriousness of the issue. She also added: “The operations undertaken in connection to the finances of the aforementioned institution are intolerable. This was completely careless, it is forbidden to blow public money like that”. Read more about assets lost by NASK.
The document prepared by the Ministry presents the requirements with respect to the candidates for NASK director as well as in connection to the main tasks placed before the new director. Amongst others these include: planning of activity, personnel policy management, property management, representing NASK, financial reports, decision making processes.
Some of the candidate requirements:
– higher education,
– at least five years of professional experience,
– clean criminal record,
– the ability to organise scientific and research work,
– the knowledge of the IT industry,
– fluent command of a foreign language.
– academic degree,
– professional experience obtained in scientific institutions,
– the ability for the conveyance of negotiations,
– the knowledge of other foreign languages.
The document prepared by the Ministry also includes the following information: “Individuals who meet the stipulated conditions may be summoned by the Recruitment Committee to submit, within a stipulated deadline, the concept of further development of NASK (with consideration of its economical situation).”
Let’s only hope that the new director does not come to a conclusion that income subject to .pl domain fees shall finance the whole remaining activity of NASK, which does not generate any profit (including the covering of losses with the unrighteous investment of assets into currency exchange options).
Why do domain owners have to finance NASK academic research? Even if the research and development unit conveys these important and valuable research activities, let them be financed from all taxpayers money and not only those who want to purchase and own their own domain.
Moreover, NASK could make money with relation to its scientific and academic activity, if the results of the conveyed research were of value and if someone was wiling to pay for them. Unless the research is a meaningless addition to NASK commercial activity, which is based on collecting fees for domain registration and upkeep with application of highest possible prices and then doing all that can be done to spend all that heap of money.
The moment the new director of the Polish domain registry is chosen, I shall inform of this fact via my internet blog.