Battling Ennui at the FCC

When Julius Genachowski takes over as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, he’s got a lot on his plate. The president’s former Harvard Law chum, and a major player in the Obama digital campaign revolution, has, like, issues. There’s the digital TV deadline. The thorny commerce v. populist problem of network neutrality. The political hot […]

When Julius Genachowski takes over as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, he’s got a lot on his plate.

The president’s former Harvard Law chum, and a major player in the Obama digital campaign revolution, has, like, issues. There’s the digital TV deadline. The thorny commerce v. populist problem of network neutrality. The political hot button decision on whether to restore the fairness doctrine. Oh and don’t forget the Obama administration’s goal of universal high speed access. As in, for everybody.

But Genachowski’s first challenge could be restoring morale. After four years under Kevin Martin’s leadership, the agency is in a sour mood, according to a report from the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management. In its 2008 Federal Human Capital Survey, the agency found plenty of satisfaction among FCC employees about their own teams. But asked in question #37 about the top hierarchy, only 38% of staffers agreed, or strongly agreed, that “my organization’s leaders maintain high standards of honesty and integrity.”

To see the full report, go here

Of course it didn’t take a government study to divine this lack of enthusiasm within the ranks. Back when Congress did a lengthy investigation of Martin's leadership – a scathing report accusing him of manipulating and suppressing information that was entitled “Deception and Distrust” – employees responded by wearing black.