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WASHINGTON -- Free Press voiced support today for proposed efforts by the Federal Communications Commission to reform its own system for independent presentations, known as the ex parte process. In reply comments filed today, Free Press strongly endorsed the Commission’s proposal to require disclosure by ex parte filers whose financial interests in agency proceedings are not obvious, threatening the transparency and integrity of the process.

Free Press Policy Counsel M. Chris Riley said: “As with other government processes, whether in Congress or agencies, FCC administrative proceedings must meet a high standard of transparency and integrity. We support the FCC’s proposal to include disclosure requirements when a participant in these proceedings may have a conflict of interest. The absence of such disclosure could undermine the FCC’s ability – and obligation – to shape communications policy for the benefit of the public.”

The Free Press filing also supports the FCC’s proposal to increase enforcement of the ex parte rules, but argues that fines may not serve as a deterrent for deep-pocketed industry, and that rules limiting future participation in proceedings may be more effective.

Link to Free Press comments in the ex parte reform docket:

Link to the ex parte reform NPRM:

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