Chairman Kovacic Announces the "FTC at 100" Self-Assessement Exercise

Cite this Article
Joshua D. Wright, Chairman Kovacic Announces the "FTC at 100" Self-Assessement Exercise, Truth on the Market (June 19, 2008),

Chairman Kovacic has posted a paper announcing a major self-assessment initiative at the FTC: The FTC at 100: Into our Second Century.  Here is the opening paragraph:

Albert Cummins was one of the chief sponsors of the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914. In the weeks before the passage of the legislation that would create the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Cummins predicted that the new agency “will be found to be the most efficient protection to the people of the United States that Congress has ever given the people by way of a regulation of commerce.”  Just over six years from now, the FTC will reach the one hundredth anniversary of the statute that gave it life. How well is the agency fulfilling the destiny that Congress foresaw for it in 1914? What type of institution should we aspire to be when the Commission’s second century begins in 2014?

The motivation of the presentation was the announcement of the FTC’s self-assessment project which will take the form of external consultations and workshops involving academics, industry and agency officials starting in late July and extending throughout the calendar year.  in the United States and abroad.  The self-assessment will focus on six questions and themes identified by the Chairman:

  1. First, when we ask how well the Commission is carrying out its responsibilities, by what criteria should we assess its work?
  2. Second, by what techniques should we measure the agency’s success in meeting the normative criteria by which we determine whether the agency is performing well? Once standards for assessing performance are chosen, it is necessary to decide how to apply them. How, in other words, are grades to be calculated?
  3. Third, what resources – personnel, facilities, equipment – will the FTC need to perform its duties in the future?
  4. Fourth, what methods should the FTC use to select its strategy for exercising its powers?
  5. Fifth, how can the FTC strengthen its processes for implementing its programs?
  6. Sixth, how can the FTC better fulfill its duties by improving links with other government bodies and nongovernment organizations?