Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

Great Federal Employees Initiative

Honoree for Week of June 28, 2010

The FTC Do Not Call Team

In 2003, six outstanding employees of the Federal Trade Commission worked together to implement the national “Do Not Call” registry.  Americans used to be plagued by telemarketer solicitations – which always seemed to come just as families were sitting down at the dinner table.  Led by Eileen Harrington, the FTC’s Do Not Call Team consisted of Lois Greisman, Allen Hile, Stephen Warren, Carolyn Shanoff, and Lawrence DeMille-Wagman.  They all brought to the table a strong background in a number of fields, including law, marketing, and business.  The FTC’s “Do Not Call” registry launched seven years ago, and it quickly became a hit.  Within the first four days, 10 million Americans registered their phone numbers.  Just a year after it launched, a poll found that ninety-one percent of adults had heard of the registry, and over half had already signed up.  When Eileen and her team won the 2004 Service to America Medal for Citizen Services, the registry had nearly 60 million numbers.  Today, that has risen to over 150 million.  To turn a good idea into a great program, the team spent several months designing and implementing the “Do Not Call” registry as part of the FTC’s rulemaking process.  It required the participation of many at the Consumer Protection Bureau, the Economic Bureau, and the General Counsel’s Office.  Information system experts and legal minds worked closely together with senior executives, and they were joined by financial analysts and Congressional relations staff.  Once the policy had been crafted, there was a period of public comment, which saw over 64,000 suggestions on how to improve the registry, many of which were adopted in the final program.  In the seven years since the “Do Not Call” registry was launched, it has become one of the most successful government programs in terms of the number of Americans it has affected positively in such a short period of time. 

Read Senator Kaufman's full remarks onthe FTC HERE

100 Great Federal Employees
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