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Copps Praises FCC Collaboration Act

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Released: March 10, 2011

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.


Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

News Media Contact:
March 10, 2011
Margaret McCarthy (202) 418-2000




"I am thrilled that Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Congressman John Shimkus, and
Congressman Mike Doyle have introduced the Federal Communications Commission
Collaboration Act. If there is only one action we could take this year to reform the FCC, this
should be it.
"The inability of Commissioners to get together and talk as a group makes zero sense.
The statutory bar on more than two Commissioners talking together outside a public meeting has
had pernicious and unintended consequences--stifling collaborative discussions among
colleagues, delaying timely decision-making, discouraging collegiality and short-changing
consumers and the public interest. For almost a decade I have seen first-hand and up close
the heavy costs of this prohibition.
"Elected representatives, cabinet officials, judges and just about everyone else have the
opportunity for face-to-face discussion before deciding public issues. I see no reason why
Commissioners of the FCC should not have the same opportunity at their disposal--especially
when balanced, as this legislation is, with specific safeguards designed to preserve
transparency. Reaching agreement on the complex issues pending before us is difficult enough
in the best of circumstances, but is infinitely more so when we cannot even talk about them
among ourselves. Each of the five Commissioners brings to the FCC special experiences
and unique talents that we cannot fully leverage without communicating directly with each other.
"The Federal Communications Commission Collaboration Act is a prudent, balanced
proposal that recognizes the benefits of permitting the Commission to do its business collectively
while maintaining full transparency of the process. This is a reform whose time has come. I
thank the Representatives for their leadership on this much needed reform and wish them success
in seeing it through to enactment this year."
- FCC -

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