McDowell Discusses FCC Reform 'Wish List'
February 3, 2009 at 11:01 AM (PT)
FCC Commissioner ROBERT M. MCDOWELL told a luncheon audience of the FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS BAR ASSOCIATION MONDAY (2/2) that the Commission should "commence a thorough operational, financial and ethics audit of the Commission and its related entities," adding, "The purpose wouldn’t be to initiate a witch hunt against anyone or anything ... I’m merely seeking to take the first step on the road to improving the agency."
Joking that "I sort of feel like I’ve been sitting on Santa’s knee giving him my geeky FCC reform wish list," MCDOWELL proposed that the Commission hold "town hall" in WASHINGTON and other cities for general public input, and called for a financial review examining the Commission’s contracting process and the collection and distribution of administrative and regulatory fees.
He also suggested an "ethics audit" to "ensure that all of our protocols, rules and conduct are up to the highest standards of government best practices. Faith in the ethics of government officials has, in some cases, eroded over the years and we should make sure that we are doing all that we can to maintain the public’s trust."
Other proposals floated by MCDOWELL in the speech included establishing and publishing Open Meeting dates for the entire 2009 calendar year and creating, publishing on the FCC website and updating regularly an "easy-to-read matrix setting forth a listing of all pending proceedings and the status of each…. The taxpayers should know what they are paying for."
He also suggested that the Commission "establish and release a schedule for the production of all statistical reports and analyses regularly conducted by the Commission, and publish annual updates of that schedule." And on the need to overhaul the FCC’s internal information flow, collaboration and processes, MCDOWELL asserted, "No commissioner should learn of official actions through the trade press. We could call this our 'leave no commissioner behind' program."