Background: The FCC today declined to make public
recusal statements from Commission employees.
The Commission letter to Public Knowledge
PK’s original request is here.
The following statement is attributed to Harold
Feld, legal director of Public Knowledge:
“At a time when public confidence in
government is at a low ebb, and when the Obama Administration has promised high
levels of transparency, it is disappointing that the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) would shield from the public potential transitions of
Commission staff to private industry. “It is even more disappointing that the
Commission did not even attempt to craft a solution to balance the privacy concerns
of employees against the public perception of perpetual revolving doors at
regulatory agencies. It could have put
the issue out for comment to consider possible remedies to bolster public
confidence in the agency. The FCC has
the authority to do so, but chose not to.
recognize the need for privacy, we also recognize the need for the public to be
aware of the extent to which regulators may be seeking or discussing employment
with companies they regulate. There
seemed to be no lack of job opportunities for staff when the agency made
voluntary recusals public in the past, and we see no harm in
continuing that policy or some variation of it.”