On February 7th, FSF's Randolph May issued a media advisory concerning the bills introduced to implement Sunshine Act reforms. Here is his statement:
"As a very longstanding advocate of reforming the Sunshine Act, and one who has written often about the need to change it, I applaud the introduction of the proposed "FCC Collaboration Act" by Reps. Eshoo, Shimkus, and Doyle, and Senators Heller and Klobuchar. And I am pleased the bill has bipartisan sponsorship.
By allowing more than two of the five FCC members to meet together to discuss agency business, the bill, if adopted, would facilitate more collaboration and a franker exchange of views among the FCC commissioners. And it would also enable the Commission to accomplish its work more efficiently because the exchange of views can take place directly, rather than through a series of one-on-one "round robin" discussions or through various staff intermediaries shuttling between the commissioners' offices. The current Sunshine Act restrictions are fundamentally at odds with the very rationale for the establishment of multi-member commissions and with notions concerning how they can most effectively function.
While I applaud the reintroduction of the bill, I do wish to state my preference would be for the Sunshine Act reform to be incorporated into a bill encompassing a broader range of necessary reforms. Indeed, the "FCC Reform Act of 2011," which contained a number of other desirable FCC process reforms, such as cost-benefit analysis requirements and shot clocks, included the same Sunshine Act proposal now introduced separately. I testified last year at a hearing on the "FCC Reform Act" and supported adoption of many of its provisions. And the House of Representatives ultimately adopted the bill.
So, while I support adoption of the FCC Collaboration Act, I'd like to see it adopted in conjunction with some other process reforms that warrant bipartisan support as well."