NTIA Officially Requests Interest for FirstNet Board Members (5/8/12)
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) officially began the recruitment of the board of directors of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). FirstNet is an independent authority within NTIA directed to establish a single nationwide, interoperable public-safety broadband network.
The board of directors will be responsible for making strategic decisions regarding FirstNet’s operations. Expressions of interest for membership on the FirstNet board will be accepted until May 25.
The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 created FirstNet. The act requires that the board be established no later than Aug. 20.
The FirstNet board will be composed of 15 individuals. The act names the secretary of Homeland Security, the attorney general and the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as permanent members of the board. The secretary of commerce will select the remaining 12 members. Each board member must have expertise in at least one of the following areas: public safety, technical, network and financial. In addition, three board members must represent the collective interests of states, localities, tribes and territories; three board members must have served as public-safety professionals; and the board should reflect geographical and regional diversity as well as rural and urban representation.
Responsibilities of the board will include creating the strategic framework for the public-safety network, ensuring nationwide standards for use and access to the network based on commercial standards, working to deliver economies of scale for public safety, maximizing opportunities for long-term cost savings and improved functionality, integrating federal first responders and public-safety-related uses to maximize the efficiency of the new network, and formulating a fee collection system to ensure FirstNet self sustainability.
FirstNet board members will be appointed as federal government employees and will be compensated at the daily rate of basic pay for level IV of the executive schedule — about $155,000 per year. Each board member must be a U.S. citizen, can’t be a registered lobbyist, and can’t be a registered agent of, employed by, or receive payments from, a foreign government. The board will meet at the call of the chair and not less than once each quarter. Initial board members will serve one-, two- or three-year terms. Subsequent board members will be appointed for a term of three years, and board members may not serve more than two consecutive terms.
FirstNet Board members will be required to comply with certain federal conflict of interest statutes and ethics regulations, including some financial disclosure requirements. FirstNet board members will generally be prohibited from participating on any particular matter that will have a direct and predictable effect on his or her personal financial interests or on the interests of the appointee’s spouse, minor children or non-federal employer.
At the direction of the secretary of commerce, NTIA has been conducting outreach to the public-safety community and industry to solicit nominations for candidates to the board who satisfy the statutory requirements for membership. In addition, NTIA will accept expressions of interest from any individual or organization that wishes to propose a candidate. All parties wishing to be considered should submit their full name, address, telephone number, email address, a current resume, and a statement of qualifications referencing the legislation’s eligibility requirements as described in this notice.
The secretary of commerce will select FirstNet candidates based on the eligibility requirements in the act and input and recommendations from NTIA. Board candidates will be evaluated based on their ability to contribute to the goals and objectives of FirstNet. Board candidates will be vetted through the Department of Commerce and may be subject to an appropriate background check for security clearance.
The full notice is available here.
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