Congress should be more aware of possible conflicts-of-interist when confirming candidates for federal regulatory agency positions, according to a report released by the Business Roundtable.
The group of 120 chief executive officers of major companies makes several recommendations to improve the overall quality of regulatory commissions while at the same time noting "there is no substitute for the vigilance and determination of the President to make the best appointments possible."
According to the report, current statutes "generally do not even require evidence of competence and suitability for regulatory commissions, except in very broad terms," and recommends Congress require that nominees be scruitinzed for such things as level of education or experience.
And, the report notes, it would help to pay the regulators more for their work.
The Roundtable further called for improvement of standards in the areas of financial disclosure and post-service employment.
In providing for financial disclosure, the report also recommended "safeguards as to the use of financial reports."
The report also calls for "the establishment of blind trusts that are truly blind and independent of the office holder," to avoid conflicts in terms of investments. Such a system, the report notes, would also allow individfuals to still participate in government service "when divestiture (of assets) would be too financially onerous."
The report suggests creation of an Office of Ethics in the Civil Service Commission" to provide uniform guidance to agencies and to centralize executive branch responsibility for ethics enforcement."
The business group also suggested a "relocation period" of three months at full pay for regulators to find new jobs in private sector if they have served a full term in office. Such a period which curb the problem of officials job hunting while still in office, and at the same time make government service more attractive.