FCC's Copps Talks (Internal) Communication At FCBA
February 25, 2009 at 5:25 AM (PT)
Acting FCC Chairman MICHAEL J. COPPS told the FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS BAR ASSOCIATION that "Opening up clogged lines of communication is, I think, the vital first step of FCC reform."
COPPS said that he seeks "Communication among Commissioners, where each one has access to the data and analyses that inform decision-making, where Commissioners get that information at the outset rather than at the end of the process, and maybe one day, where we can reform the closed meeting rule to actually allow Commissioners to talk and reason together occasionally as a group.
"Communication between Commissioners and Bureaus, so every Commissioner can ask for and get information and briefings from the Bureaus whenever they want, and wherein the Bureaus know they are free to provide it and are supposed to provide it. And communication across bureaus and offices, so that we begin again to pull in harness on cross-cutting issues—and all of the big issues are cross-cutting. If folks can’t share their varied expertise and experiences among themselves, the sum of what we do can never exceed the parts. If we do share, the sum will almost invariably be greater than the parts."
COPPS voiced doubt that the Commission needs to be the subject of a "vast reorganization of the Commission," saying that "I’m not so sure that such wide-ranging reorganization is always the first or best answer to the problems we confront…. let’s be really sure that’s the road we need to travel before we start down it, because comprehensive reorganizations are invariably disruptive; they can all too easily damage department or agency morale; and they take precious time away from those rare moments of reform—like we have now—when our energies would be better focused on good policy outcomes rather than moving the furniture around."