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FCC Asks for Some Private Time

Saying that the other commissioners agree, Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell and Democrat Michael Copps want the full commission, or at least a quorum, to be able to meet sometimes in closed-door sessions.

Currently, no more than two commissioners are allowed to meet privately according to the open meeting requirement of the Sunshine in Government Act.

Powell and Copps argue in a letter to the House and Senate Commerce committees that relying on written communications and one-on-one meetings "do not foster frank, open discussion, and they are less efficient than in-person interchange among three or more commissioners would be."

They say FCC decisions would be better informed and explained if the commissioners were allowed to meet in private as well as public, with appropriate safeguards.