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Statement of FirstNet Board Chairman Sam Ginn

October 25, 2013

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WASHINGTON -- "On May 8, 2013, the FirstNet Board established a Special Review Committee in response to concerns expressed by Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald.  With the assistance of the Department of Commerce Office of the Chief Counsel for Economic Affairs, the Special Review Committee launched a two-stage review of the issues raised.  Phase I of the review examined concerns regarding:  (1) openness and transparency in decision making by the FirstNet Board; (2) Board members access to records; and (3) the development of a plan for FirstNet’s national public safety broadband network.  Phase 2 of the review would focus on ethics concerns and FirstNet’s procurement activities.

The Special Review Committee presented its Phase I report to the Board at a September 23, 2013 meeting. The Committee noted that it would issue a subsequent report on the ethics and procurement issues.

During the closed session, I informed the Board that I am asking the Commerce Department’s Office of the Inspector General to take over Phase 2 of the Special Review Committee’s work. The outstanding procurement issues are complicated. FirstNet is working cooperatively with the Inspector General and anticipates a prompt and complete resolution of all outstanding issues.

I am greatly appreciative of the work of Barry Robinson and his team from the Commerce Department’s Economic Affairs Chief Counsel’s Office for the hundreds of hours they’ve spent on Phase I of this review. We recognize that they have day jobs, and their work for the Special Review Committee undoubtedly added to their work load.  So we thank them for their assistance."