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25th Anniversary of FCC Decision Enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

25th Anniversary of FCC Decision Enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
A series of posts describing how this all came about. (Click on picture above)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Shouldn't FCC Want to Develop Some
Staff With ITU Work Experience?

The FCC's International Bureau was created under Chairman Hundt to coordinate all the Commission's international activities in the national interest. It has done so in many areas, but those of who have observed it closely also know how "turf conscious/protective" it is.

A recent publicly available staff paper from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, "
Framework for an Expanded Cadre of Nuclear Regulatory Commission Employees with International Experience", outlines the advantages in terms of international influence and furthering international goals of having some staff members who have worked at your agency's international counterpart. In the case of FCC this is ITU -- while for NRC it is IAEA . (Lest you say that NRC doesn't have the same bifurcated responsibility as the FCC/NTIA split, NRC has plenty of turf battles with DOE, a cabinet level Executive Branch agency.) The paper
"provides a framework for identifying current and future activities that can provide staff with focused opportunities to participate in international activities in the interest of expanding the cadre of NRC employees with international experience. Specific ideas that are currently being developed to assist managers and staff in identifying and supporting activities that align with the Commission’s commitment to be involved in relevant international activities are also outlined."
For those readers not familiar with federal civil service laws and regulations, federal employees may be detailed to international organizations such as ITU and IAEA for several years as employees of the international organization and at no cost to the US agency. Indeed, one can even keep all your retirement credit if you want to by paying fees. The only requirement of the employing agency is to reemploy or make a serious attempt to reemploy the employee when he/she returns.

In the past the FCC personnel bureaucrats cringed at this thought and tried to deny even the existence of this option. Certainly there was never any circulation within the FCC staff of ITU staff vacancies. (FCC staffers - here's the link to see what the vacancies are. Circulate it among your friends.)

So a constructive suggestion for FCC IB and HR management: Look at the NRC document and decide what type of policy is best for FCC and the country. Then tell the staff what you decided. I would be surprised if the status quo of hiding the existence of vacancies at the ITU and the facilitation that federal civil service laws and regulations give to such details.

8th Floor readers: Ask IB and OMD where they stand on this and how many FCC employees have worked at ITU in recent years and under what circumstances. Consider asking for an FCC analog to the NRC paper.

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