FCC Reform Advocates Praise Pai's Transparency TrialThune says publishing agenda items makes agency 'more credible and more accountable' 2/02/2017 12:31 PM Eastern
FCC chairman Ajit Pai was getting plenty of warm fuzzies from process reform fans for testing increased transparency by publishing the texts of proposals and orders before they are voted on at the agency's public meetings.
"I applaud Chairman Pai for beginning the practice of making public the content of items intended to be voted on at FCC Open Meetings,” Sen. John Thune, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said. “Commissioner O'Rielly also deserves credit for long advocating for this change. After leading an investigation last year into the FCC’s manipulation of information in advance of open meetings, I believe that a more transparent FCC will be more credible and more accountable. I am pleased that the new leadership is correcting this long-recognized process flaw.”
"Chairman Pai is taking quick and decisive action to make the agency more transparent," said Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman of the Communications Subcommittee. "The American people stand to benefit from this important and long-overdue reform."
Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who has long backed FCC process reform legislation, said: “Transparency should be a cornerstone of government, and the FCC is no exception to this. While the previous leadership at the FCC did not embrace this idea, I applaud FCC chairman Pai for setting an early example in his chairmanship by releasing the text of the rules before the Commission votes and appreciate Commissioner O’Rielly’s commitment to this effort.... As the leading advocate for FCC process reform in the Senate, I will continue working to codify this important transparency reform at the FCC.”
AT&T SVP Joan Marsh said: “Clear and transparent processes lead to better regulatory results. FCC Chairman Pai made clear his commitment to these goals with the voting process reform he enacted at his first Open Meeting. Today’s announcement underscores that commitment even further. The pilot program of releasing proposed rules to the public, before they are voted on by the FCC, allows for greater public engagement and ultimately better government actions. We applaud chairman Pai’s and his fellow commissioners’ efforts to improve the agency’s transparency to produce better results.”
Randolph May, president of free market think tank The Free State Foundation also supported the move, an approach the former FCC official had recommended in a blog post Wednesday (Feb. 1).
“I certainly commend chairman Pai for starting a trial regarding the public release of draft agenda items at the time they are circulated for consideration by the commissioners," May said. "There is no reason why reform of FCC processes can’t be subject to trials in cases where there are non-frivolous concerns raised about the change in process."