Improved Staff Openness & New Priorities

One of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s most welcomed, yet least noted, process reforms has been his unequivocal direction that staff should be completely up front with all Commissioners, not just the Chairman. The message from the Chairman was that all staff will not withhold information requested by Commissioners or fail to share information that is pertinent to the many matters before us. This should be very liberating for staff as they don’t have to worry about being sent to the proverbial doghouse for helping Commissioners do their jobs.

At a time when Commission leadership has changed and is reconsidering and reconstructing its approach to many issues across the agency, there needs to be a realization from everyone that those priorities of the past Commission – not directly required by statute – should not necessarily be the focus of staff time. With resources at such a relative premium, staff attention shouldn’t be spent pursuing outdated goals.For instance, it wouldn’t make sense to have staff still focus their valuable time on those cybersecurity and privacy issues over which the Commission lacks statutory authority. Moreover, our enforcement staff should move away from headline grabbing and eye popping penalties that will never be collected. Let’s refocus our attention on our statutory responsibilities and realize a new Chairman gets to set the Commission’s agenda.

Improved Staff Openness & New Priorities FCC's O'Rielly Praises Pai for Bureau Staff Openness (B&C)