IPcentral Weblog
  The DACA Blog

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Two Mikes Agree With May On Sunshine
(previous | next)

Well, it's not everyday (or even every week...) that one of the FCC commissioners agrees with me on something. So it was a pleasant surprise when I discovered that both Michael Powell and Michael Copps did so recently. In a joint letter to Senator Ted Stevens, Chairman of the Commerce Committee, the two Michaels advocated modifying the Sunshine Act "to permit closed deliberations among Commisioners in appropriate circumstance." In support, they cited my law review article, Reforming the Sunshine Act, published in the Administrative Law Review in 1997.

In their letter, Chairman Powell and Commissioner Copps echo many of the points I made in the article, which was based on work I did while chairing a special committee of the Administrative Conference of the United States examining Sunshine Act reform. Powell and Copps assert that the Sunshine Act "is a barrier to the substantive exchange of ideas among Commissioners, hampering our abilities to obtain the benefit of each other's views, input, or comments, and hampering efforts to maximize consensus on the complex issues before us."

In other words, according to those who live with it, the Sunshine Act works to defeat one of the claimed advantages of a multimember "expert" agency like the FCC--the likelihood of reaching better decisions through collegial back-and-forth discussions that improve the final work product.

As I have explained here and at greater length here, I think, for a variety of reasons, it is time to explore whether we need a new institutional model for the FCC. For example, if the FCC were headed by a single administrator, the Sunshine Act issue would be obviated. But if we are going to stick with the existing multimember commission model, the argument for reforming the Sunshine Act put forward by the two Mikes deserves serious consideration.

posted by Randolph May @ 12:07 PM | The FCC

Share |

Link to this Entry | Printer-Friendly

Post a Comment:

Blog Main
RSS Feed  
Recent Posts
  EFF-PFF Amicus Brief in Schwarzenegger v. EMA Supreme Court Videogame Violence Case
New OECD Study Finds That Improved IPR Protections Benefit Developing Countries
Hubris, Cowardice, File-sharing, and TechDirt
iPhones, DRM, and Doom-Mongers
"Rogue Archivist" Carl Malamud On How to Fix Gov2.0
Coping with Information Overload: Thoughts on Hamlet's BlackBerry by William Powers
How Many Times Has Michael "Dr. Doom" Copps Forecast an Internet Apocalypse?
Google / Verizon Proposal May Be Important Compromise, But Regulatory Trajectory Concerns Many
Two Schools of Internet Pessimism
GAO: Wireless Prices Plummeting; Public Knowledge: We Must Regulate!
Archives by Month
  September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
  - (see all)
Archives by Topic
  - A La Carte
- Add category
- Advertising & Marketing
- Antitrust & Competition Policy
- Appleplectics
- Books & Book Reviews
- Broadband
- Cable
- Campaign Finance Law
- Capitalism
- Capitol Hill
- China
- Commons
- Communications
- Copyright
- Cutting the Video Cord
- Cyber-Security
- Digital Americas
- Digital Europe
- Digital Europe 2006
- Digital TV
- E-commerce
- e-Government & Transparency
- Economics
- Education
- Electricity
- Energy
- Events
- Exaflood
- Free Speech
- Gambling
- General
- Generic Rant
- Global Innovation
- Googlephobia
- Googlephobia
- Human Capital
- Innovation
- Intermediary Deputization & Section 230
- Internet
- Internet Governance
- Internet TV
- Interoperability
- IP
- Local Franchising
- Mass Media
- Media Regulation
- Monetary Policy
- Municipal Ownership
- Net Neutrality
- Neutrality
- Non-PFF Podcasts
- Ongoing Series
- Online Safety & Parental Controls
- Open Source
- PFF Podcasts
- Philosophy / Cyber-Libertarianism
- Privacy
- Privacy Solutions
- Regulation
- Search
- Security
- Software
- Space
- Spectrum
- Sports
- State Policy
- Supreme Court
- Taxes
- The FCC
- The FTC
- The News Frontier
- Think Tanks
- Trade
- Trademark
- Universal Service
- Video Games & Virtual Worlds
- VoIP
- What We're Reading
- Wireless
- Wireline
Archives by Author
PFF Blogosphere Archives
We welcome comments by email - look for a link to the author's email address in the byline of each post. Please let us know if we may publish your remarks.

The Progress & Freedom Foundation