9 Comm. Law. 1 (1991)

handle is hein.journals/comlaw9 and id is 1 raw text is: Communications
Publication  of the Forur
on Communications Law
American Bar Association
Volume 9, Number 1, Winter 1991  w  W
inil IIO.I . ,.lB]m 1 i p.lllO t p,_ O] I.t | * kLl 1[  i [O] *  *  3*  An

Interview with Alfred C. Sikes,
Chairman of the
Federal Communications Commission
[Editors' Note: On December 17, 1990, CL Editors Marcia Cranberg and David Leibowitz, and Chairperson
of the Forum on Communications Law Patricia Reilly, met with Federal Communications Commission Chair-
man Al Sikes for a discussion on a range of communications law issues. Following are excerpts from that
discussion.]

Collegiality at FCC
Communications Law-
yer: We certainly do
appreciate your taking
time today to visit with
us. The first question:
There has been some
talk that the open
meetings requirements
actually do not oper-
ate in the public inter-
est in that they make it
much more difficult
for Commissioners to
engage in effective de-
cision making. I'm
wondering if you con-
cur in that view, or if
you have any thoughts
as to what changes, if
any, you would like to
see made.
Alfred C. Sikes: Well,
the sunshine law is a
multifaceted law that
is intended to cover a
lot of different cir-
cumstances, and so it
strikes me that any questions to
whether the sunshine law is or isn't
operating in the public interest is
an overly broad question.
CL: Well, I guess I'm specifically
referring to certain of Commis-
sioner Duggan's comments made
not too long ago to the Federal
Communications Bar Association,
in which he stated that the prohi-
bitions on commissioners talking

among themselves has resulted in
substantial reliance upon the staff
to get a lot of the underlying work
done.
ACS: I have c~rtainly said to
Commissioner Duggan, and a
number of others over the year or
so that I have been here, that I
think there are unnecessary im-
pediments to Commissioners
working together when their

working   together
would not constitute
deals in secret, but
would constitute be-
ing briefed, for exam-
ple, or engaging in
some more adminis-
trative-like function.
So, I'm certainly open
to any reform of the
sunshine law  that
might have that as its
end. The sunshine law
had, however, as its
principal objective
precluding  public
bodies from operating'
in secret, and I don't
think that fundamen-
tal purpose should be
undermined.
The whole issue of
collegiality, which
was raised in Com-
missioner Duggan's
speech, is something
that I have been work-
Continued on page 20

Illustration by Juvenal Martinez

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