Public Knowledge Calls On FCC To Reinstitute Disclosure Rule For Staffers Negotiating For New Jobs
May 20, 2011 at 4:14 AM (PT)
Commissioner MEREDITH ATTWELL BAKER's exit from the FCC to join COMCAST's NBCUNIVERSAL division has drawn a request from advocacy group PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE that the Commission restore its prior requirement of public disclosure of staff members negotiating for new employment.
In a letter to Chairman JULIUS GENACHOWSKI, PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE President GIGI SOHN noted of BAKER, "Although all available evidence suggests that she and her staff are adhering to current recusal procedures, those procedures have at least one easily corrected deficiency. No one in the public, and probably few at the Commission, knew that she had talked with COMCAST about possible future employment until she announced her departure."
Reminding GENACHOWSKI, "Some years ago, there was a requirement that anyone negotiating employment with an organization doing business with the Commission was not only required to recuse him or herself, but to file a letter, available for public viewing, with the recusal information," SOHN called on him to "immediately reinstitute this requirement, which would cover all commissioners and staff at the earliest possible stage of serious employment negotiations."