FCC’s Martin asks Congress for funding to end industry junkets

March 6, 2006

The FCC’s longtime tradition of having those being regulated (i.e., broadcasters and others seeking favorable policies) paying the travel and entertainment expenses of its members is about to end. For example, the NAB has paid for FCC members and staff to attend the annual NAB trade show in Las Vegas.

FCC chairman Kevin Martin last week asked a House Appropriations subcommittee to help him bring the practice to an end. Martin requested a $235,000 increase in the commission’s travel budget so he can totally eliminate all industry-paid travel for commission employees.

“In response to the concerns of this subcommittee,” Martin testified, “we extended the prohibition on accepting industry-sponsored travel last year to include additional managers within the commission. Even with the extended prohibition, however, the commission accepted approximately $260,000 from industry sources to pay for important travel during fiscal year 2005. If this request is approved, we believe we can address your concerns and eliminate industry-sponsored travel for all commission employees.”

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