A Look at the FCC’s Process [11:13 am]
It’s odd for an agency that has the word “communications” as its middle name, but the Federal Communications Commission routinely leaves the public in the dark about how it makes critical policy decisions.
[...] On April 25, the agency issued a “notice of proposed rulemaking” that laid out the general framework for what would be included in the rules and it requested comment from interested parties.
Flash forward to July 10: In a front-page newspaper story, Martin previewed his proposal for the auction rules. He said his proposal would promote a “truly open broadband network — one that would open the door to a lot of innovative services for consumers.”
[...] FCC rules say the “content of agenda items” — such as draft proposals — are “nonpublic information” and “shall not be disclosed, directly or indirectly, to any person outside the Commission.”
Employees who break the rule can be terminated.
Martin made his media push before his proposal was circulated among the other four commissioners, a move criticized by former FCC General Counsel Henry Geller.
“In my day you couldn’t treat the other commissioners that way,” Geller said. “It’s kind of a fait accompli.”