Committee Members will hear from the following nominees:
Mr. Todd J. Zinser, Inspector General - Designate, United States Department of Commerce
Mr. Robert Clarke Brown, Member of the Board of Directors - Designate, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
Mr. Carl B. Kress, Commissioner - Designate, Federal Maritime Commission
Mr. A. Paul Anderson, Commissioner (Reappointment), Federal Maritime Commission
Daniel K. InouyeSenatorPublic service is a noble calling, and we thank those nominees who are willing to spend their careers in government as well as those who lend their expertise garnered from a successful career in the private sector to public enterprises.The Inspector General for the Department of Commerce is charged with the oversight of a wide array of programs, including conservation and management of ocean resources, trade promotion and enforcement, and spectrum policy.It is vital that the Inspector General remain above politics. The independence of the Department of Commerce Inspector General, and all inspectors general, must be without doubt. Congress and this Committee will be depending on this office to both ferret out waste, fraud, and abuse, and to develop policy and programs across all of the Department’s diverse portfolio of programs.Mr. Zinser, this job will require significant commitment, dedication, and a constant pursuit of the facts. I hope your long career at the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General will serve you well in setting the example at an office that has been in turmoil for some time.The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has been tasked with the very important mission of ensuring that U.S. international trade is open to all nations on fair and equitable terms.As U.S. global trade continues to expand, we will become even more dependent on maritime commerce for ‘just-in-time’ delivery of consumer goods and manufacturing components. The FMC must remain diligent in monitoring the shipping practices of our trading partners to ensure fairness and to protect American consumers from collusion and anti-competitive behavior. We welcome the testimony of Mr. Paul Anderson, and Mr. Carl Kress, who have been nominated to serve as Commissioners.Recently, issues have been brought to my attention concerning the management and operations of the FMC. In addition to post hearing questions, the Committee intends to hold an oversight hearing on the FMC in the near future. I am hopeful the sitting Commissioners will make themselves available to testify before the Committee at that time.Mr. Robert Clarke Brown is a current Member of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA). As such, he is one of the primary individuals responsible for the day-to-day operations, finances, and effectiveness of two of the major airports serving this region. Mr. Brown is being reappointed to the MWAA Board and can share with the Committee and the Board his experience at the Authority as MWAA prepares to meet the challenges that face the Washington region’s airports in the coming years.Today we will examine these four nominees’ credentials and views. Thank you again for your commitment to public service. Should you be confirmed, I look forward to working with each of you.
Ted StevensSenatorMr. Chairman, thank you for holding today’s hearing. These individuals have been selected to fulfill vital roles within their organizations and I thank them for their willingness to serve.The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has a critical responsibility to the millions of travelers who pass through Washington Dulles International and RonaldReagan Washington National Airports each year, and it is essential that these two airports be run efficiently. I was once a member of this Board so I understand the challenges it faces. Mr. Brown, you have already served a number of years on the Board and I appreciate your continued service.The Inspector general’s office is charged with conducting independent and objective investigations within a department and it is crucial that this position be filled by an individual who remains honest and impartial throughout the investigative and auditing process. I look forward to hearing Mr. Zinser’s vision for the ig’s office at the department of commerce.The maritime industry is vital to U.S. commerce. Protecting ocean borne transportation and the security of our ports is of the utmost importance. I welcome our two nominees for the federal maritime commission and look forward to hearing from them.
Witness Panel 1
Mr. Todd J. ZinserInspector General - DesignateU.S. Department of Commerce
Mr. Robert Clarke BrownMember of the Board of Directors - DesignateMetropolitan Washington Airports Authority
Mr. Carl B. KressCommissioner - DesignateFederal Maritime Commission
Mr. A. Paul AndersonCommissioner (Reappointment)Federal Maritime Commission