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Application Deadline for FCC-Native Nations Broadband Task Force

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Released: May 15, 2014

PUBLIC NOTICE

Federal Communications Commission
445 12th St., S.W.

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 14-665
Released: May 15, 2014

FCC EXTENDS DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS OF TRIBAL GOVERNMENT

REPRESENTATIVES TO SERVE ON THE FCC-NATIVE NATIONS BROADBAND

TASK FORCE

The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) issued a Public Notice on March 12,
2014 announcing that the Commission, through the Office of Native Affairs and Policy (ONAP), is
seeking applications for open positions on the FCC-Native Nations Broadband Task Force (Task Force).1
Since issuing the call for applicants in the March 12th Public Notice, ONAP has undertaken a nationwide
search for qualified nominees for the Task Force. ONAP received several nominations and applications.
However, ONAP has determined that an extended search is necessary to ensure that the Task Force has
the requisite subject matter expertise and appropriate regional representation. Therefore, by this Public
Notice, ONAP extends the deadline for applications until

July 3, 2014

.

The Task Force, which is composed of senior Commission staff and elected or appointed leaders
from federally-recognized Tribal governments or governmental entities, or their designated employees, is
part of the Commission’s efforts to ensure that the concerns of Tribal gove rnments are considered in all
relevant Commission proceedings. Since its creation in March 2011, the Task Force has assisted the
Commission in fulfilling its commitment to increasing broadband deployment and adoption on Tribal
lands.2 The Task Force is responsible for, among other things, assisting in developing and executing the
Commission’s consultation policy, eliciting input from Tribal governments, ensuring that Tribal concerns
are considered in all Commission proceedings related to broadband, develo ping additional
recommendations for promoting broadband deployment and adoption on Tribal lands, and coordinating
with external entities, including other federal departments and agencies.

The Task Force has provided recommendations to the Commission on a broad range of topics,
including, but not limited to, Tribal consultation priorities, the continuing reforms to the universal service
fund (USF), the use of and policies regarding spectrum over Tribal lands, E -rate, and Lifeline and Link
Up on Tribal lands.

1 See FCC Seeks Nominations for Tribal Government Representatives to serve on the FCC-Native Nations
Broadband Task Force
, Public Notice, 29 FCC Rcd 2709 (Off. of Native Aff. & Pol’y 2014).
2 See Chairman Genachowski Names Members to the FCC-Native Nations Broadband Task Force, Public Notice,
26 FCC Rcd 2467 (2011); see also Establishing a Government-to-Government Relationship with Indian Tribes,
Policy Statement, 16 FCC Rcd 4078, 4080-81 (2000); see also Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan
(rel. Mar. 16, 2010) at 184 (Recommendation 9.14) available at http://www.broadband.gov/plan/.

A.

Duties of Task Force Members

Task Force members must be committed to a three-year term of service, which requires
participation, either in person or by teleconference, in the meetings of the Task Force. The Task Force
meets in person twice a year, with one meeting held at the Commission in Washington, DC and the other
held in the field. The Task Force supplements these semiannual meetings with four teleconferences.
While full participation is expected, Task Force members are required to attend fifty percent (50%) of the
annual meetings, to include at least one in-person meeting, and at least two teleconferences. Attendance
in person is at the Task Force member’s own expense. Members also have an initial and continuing
obligation to disclose any interests in, or connections to, persons or entities who are or will be regulated
by, or who have interests before, the Commission.

B.

Recommitment of Current Task Force Members

Current Task Force members who wish to recommit themselves to the Task Force must submit a
letter stating their intent to continue to serve on the Task Force, their position as an elected or appointed
leader from a federally-recognized Tribal government or governmental entity (or as a designated
employee), and a letter from their elected Tribal government official or officials expressing the Tribal
government’s support for the Task Force member’s continued membership as a Tribal representative on
the Task Force.

C.

New Applicants

The application for appointment to the Task Force does not require a particular format; however,
it must include the following information: (1) name and position of the applicant with respect to a
particular Tribal government; (2) telephone number; (3) mailing address and/or e-mail address; (4) a brief
description of the applicant’s area of expertise and qualifications to serve on the Task Force; (5) and a
nominating letter from the relevant elected Tribal government official or officials in support of the
applicant. In the case of a person seeking to serve as a “designated employee,” the name of the elected
officer on whose behalf the employee would be acting and a copy of the officer’s designation letter is also
required. A designated employee must be on the staff of a Tribal government, and part of the
governmental process. The designated employee’s experience and qualifications should be
commensurate with the functions of the Task Force, and not ministerial, such as a professional or
administrative assistant.

D.

Alternates

The application of a new appointment to the Task Force, as well as the recommitment of an
existing member, should include the nomination of an alternate representative who can participate in the
case of the primary member’s lack of availability for a particular meeting or tasks. An alternate’s
participation will not count towards the participation of the primary member, and should the primary
member cease to serve or qualify to serve, the alternate does not become a replacement. The alternate
representative’s experience and qualifications should be commensurate with the functions of the Task
Force, and not ministerial, such as a professional or administrative assistant.

E.

Application Submission for New Applicants and Returning Task Force Members

Applicants and Task Force members must submit the required information to the Commission no
later than July 3, 2014. The required information should be submitted via email to Robert Finley at
robert.finley@fcc.gov. Please electronically copy lyle.ishida@fcc.gov and native@fcc.gov. If
submitting the required information through email is not possible, please contact Robert Finley at (202)
418-7835 (voice) or 1-800-835-5322 (TTY) or email to determine another method of delivery. If
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submitting by regular mail, send to: Federal Communications Commission, Office of Native Affairs and
Policy, Attention: Robert Finley (4C-425), 445 12th St., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.

F.

Expiration of Task Force Membership or Removal

In the case of an elected or an appointed Tribal representative no longer holding office in a Tribal
government, or a Tribal designated employee no longer employed by the Tribal government, the Tribal
representative must give notice to the Task Force and their seat the Task Force expires immediately with
the expiration of their elected or appointed term, or period of employment, in the case of designated
employee. Task Force members who do not attend at least one in-person meeting and participate in at
least two teleconferences will be removed from the Task Force. Members of the Task Force who fail to
disclose any interests in, or connections to, persons or entities that are or will be regulated by, or who
have interests before, the Commission, will be removed from the Task Force.

EXEMPTION FROM THE FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT
FOR “INTERGOVERNMENTAL COMMUNICATION”

Pursuant to the “intergovernmental communication” exemption in Sec. 204(b) of the Unfunded
Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (“UMRA”), 2 U.S.C. §1534(b), the Task Force will not be subject to the
requirements or procedures set forth in the Federal Advisory Committee Act (“FACA”), 5 U.S.C. App. 2
(1988). Section 204(b) of UMRA provides an exemption from FACA for intergovernmental
communications involving meetings between Federal officials and Federal employees and “elected
officers of State, local and Tribal governments (or their designated employees with authority to act on
their behalf) acting in their official capacities.” Therefore, applicants for the Task Force must be
individuals who satisfy these requirements.
As it applies to the Task Force, because the input that Congress sought to facilitate through the
intergovernmental exemption is institutional in nature, the exemption covers Federal communications
with elected officers or their designated employees involved in the governmental process at the Tribal
level. Before the first meeting of the Task Force, those seeking nomination as a “designated employee”
should provide a letter or other documentation from the elected officer of the Tribal government for
whom the employee would be acting, advising the Commission that such employee is duly authorized to
act on such official’s behalf. Following these procedures will ensure that the Task Force may operate
with adequate flexibility and within its FACA-exempt status.

ACCESSIBLE FORMATS

To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print,
electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to native@fcc.gov or call the Office of Native Affairs and
Policy at (202) 418-2930 (voice).
For further information contact: Robert Finley, Legal Advisor, Office of Native Affairs and
Policy, Federal Communications Commission, (202) 418-7835 (voice) or 1-800-835-5322 (TTY), or
robert.finley@fcc.gov.
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