The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has petitioned the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to revise the rules and process by which a Commissioner will be disqualified from an adjudication or rule-making procedure if the Commissioner does not agree to a voluntary recusal. It is a reasonable, common sense, and non-burdensome proposal that will serve the public good and enhance the reputation of the FTC.
As such, the Lexington Institute strongly supports this proposal, via public comments in the docket (FTC-2023-0059).
The proposal requires that the report of the FTC Ethics Official determination regarding a requested recusal, the Commissioner’s response, and the basis for the Commission’s ruling all be part of the public record.
FTC commissioners and staff should welcome and embrace this proposal. It will provide more transparency and respect for how decisions are made, thereby lowering costs and reputational harm the FTC would otherwise incur. It will also reduce the likelihood of FTC decisions being vacated after extensive time and work.
Furthermore, when a Commissioner refuses to accept the recusal recommendation of the FTC Ethics Official and the other commissioners accept their participation, it raises the obvious question: Why? When this process is generally secretive, as it is now, policymakers, parties before the FTC, and the public have a well-founded basis to be skeptical, and even suspicious, that there has been potentially inappropriate deal-making among commissioners.
To read the full comments filed with the Federal Trade Commission, please click here.
Find Archived Articles: