Acting Chairman Copps
Addresses FCC Staff
Welcome change came to FCC yesterday with an address by Acting Chairman Copps to the FCC staff. Paralleling actions at the White House, Copps took quick action to try to undo some of the more pernicious policies of the ancienne regime and improve FCC effectiveness. Here is his statement on improved communications within FCC:
"Second is how Commissioners and Bureaus communicate between and among themselves. In order for all of us to do our jobs well, make reasonable policy decisions, oversee the regulated industries under our purview, and represent American consumers, we must improve these lines of communication as well. To promote more openness, starting this coming week, we will have a weekly Chairman’s Office Briefing with Bureau and Office chiefs, or their designees, and we will include a representative from each Commissioner’s office.I hope the new FCC will also consider one of my suggestions at the FCC Reform Conference:
Opening up these meetings will, I am convinced, significantly improve the quality of our decision-making. It will also expedite the business of the Commission. I also want to ensure that my Commissioner colleagues have unfettered access to the Bureaus, with the presumption being that requests for information will be honored, and that there will be positive outreach from the Bureaus and Offices to them, with the presumption being that important information shouldn’t have to be asked for—it should be provided.
I realize this is not a bureau-created problem but, beginning now, requests from Commissioners’ offices—not just the Chairman’s Office—should be answered directly and as quickly as possibly, just as if the Chairman’s Office is asking for it and without the need for running those requests through the Chairman’s office first—the only exception I can currently think of being the very narrow one that such requests not be unusually time-consuming or necessitate an excessive juggling of Bureau or Office resources. In those cases, we will attempt to craft a workable solution."
"Open Door PolicyCongratulations Chmn. Copps on a good new beginning!
The House Energy and Commerce report documents how employees have been forbidden to speak to commissioners without the approval of the Chairman’s Office. This policy should be immediately revoked and a responsible system for staff members to express concerns over policy issues should be developed. The State Department model might be one for follow. Allowing responsible expression of employee concerns may actually decrease “leaks” as staffers feel that their thoughts are at least being considered rather than being totally ignored."
(From Ars Technica)