BBG Watch Commentary
FY2016 Administration Budget Proposal for the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) calls for de-federalization of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB) Radio and TV Marti operations serving Cuba and Voice of America (VOA) Latin American outreach.
The bipartisan bill to reform the Broadcasting Board of Governors, H.R. 4490 – the United States International Communications Reform Act, which was unanimously passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House of Representatives, would have preserved the federal status of the OCB and the Voice of America. But the bill, which was introduced on April 28, 2014 by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), was never acted upon by the U.S. Senate after its passage last summer by the House. It is not known whether this or similar bill to reform the BBG will be reintroduced and what its provisions might be.
THE BUDGET (WHITE HOUSE PROPOSAL) FOR FISCAL YEAR 2016: “The Broadcasting Board of Governors is authorized to establish an independent grantee organization, as a private nonprofit organization, to carry out any and all Agency broadcasting and related programs to the Latin America and Caribbean region, including Cuba. The Board or its delegate may make and supervise grants to this grantee. Such a grantee shall not be considered a federal agency or instrumentality and shall adhere to the same standards or professionalism and accountability required of all Broadcasting Board of Governors broadcasters and grantees. The Broadcasting Board of Governors is authorized to transfer any facilities or equipment to such grantee. Broadcasting Board of Governors employees may be detailed to such a grantee, notwithstanding any other provision of law. Grants to this grantee shall satisfy any provisions of law requiring a federal entity, rather than a grantee, to carry out broadcasting to Cuba or other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.”