05.19.2011 04:00 PM
Public Watchdogs Ask FCC To Make Recusal Process Public
WASHINGTON: Public Knowledge, a public-interest lobby, is asking the Federal Communications Commission to require commissioners and staff negotiating for new employment to make those intentions public. The request was prompted by the news that Republican Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker would leave her post a month early to become a lobbyist for NBCUniversal. Baker voted in favor of Comcast’s takeover of NBCUniversal and spoke out against imposing conditions.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, PK President Gigi B. Sohn noted that PK’s FCC Reform report last year noted the lack of transparency in post-FCC employment. The letter also noted that officials recusing themselves from dockets or issues because of employment negotiations had in the past been required to file a publicly available letter with the recusal information. That requirement has lapsed, and Public Knowledge said Genachowski should “immediately reinstitute this requirement.”


“As you are no doubt aware, there has been a great deal of public discussion surrounding the timing of the departure of Commissioner Meredith Baker,” Sohn wrote. “Although all available evidence suggests that she and her staff are adhering to current recusal procedures, those procedures have at least one easily corrected deficiency. No one in the public, and probably few at the commission, knew that she had talked with Comcast about possible future employment until she announced her departure.”


There once was a public-disclosure requirement, but it has apparently lapsed.


“We suggest that you immediately reinstitute this requirement, which would cover all commissioners and staff at the earliest possible stage of serious employment negotiations,” Sohn said. “As we. . . noted in the report, ‘When agency staff can move easily in and out of careers with companies the agency regulates and the law firms that represent them, the problem of agency capture is exacerbated.’”



Comments
Post New Comment
If you are already a member, or would like to receive email alerts as new comments are
made, please login or register.

Enter the code shown above:

(Note: If you cannot read the numbers in the above
image, reload the page to generate a new one.)

No Comments Found




Thursday 10:05 AM
NAB Requests Expedited Review of Spectrum Auction Lawsuit
“Broadcasters assigned to new channels following the auction could be forced to accept reductions in their coverage area and population served, with no practical remedy.” ~NAB

Sue Sillitoe, White Noise PR /   Tuesday 10:20 AM
Visual Unity Strengthens Its Marketing Team
Brian Galante /   Tuesday 11:49 AM
TNDV Mobile Production Fleet Grows with Elevation

 
Featured Articles
Discover TV Technology