Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

On the Senate Floor, Sen. Kaufman Recognizes Great Federal Employees from Federal Trade Commission’s “Do Not Call” Team

June 29, 2010

Mr. President, I wish to talk about some other great Federal employees. Many of the great achievements I have hailed from this desk concern grand challenges relating to our national security, domestic tranquility, or our economic recovery. Today, I wish to recognize a team of highly skilled, highly motivated Federal employees whose achievement has positively affected the daily lives of average Americans.

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--I can remember it always seemed to happen around dinnertime--by telemarketer solicitations, which always seemed to come just when you least wanted them. The six men and women I am honoring today brought relief to families across the country by implementing the Do Not Call Registry. Led by Eileen Harrington, the 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 7 years ago this week quickly became a hit. Within the first 4 days, 10 million Americans registered their phone numbers. Just a year after it launched, a poll found--this is incredible--91 percent of adults had heard of the registry and--can you believe it--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. That was in 2004. 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 7 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 an incredibly short period of time.

I am also proud to share with my colleagues that all of the members of the FTC's ``do not call'' team are still serving in the Federal Government.

Eileen Harrington remained at the FTC for a few years and in 2009 was appointed as the Chief Operating Officer for the Small Business Administration.

Stephen Warren served as Chief Information Officer at the FTC until 2007, when he moved over to the Department of Veterans Affairs as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Information Technology.

Lois Greisman leads the FTC's Division of Marketing Practices within the Consumer Protection Bureau, and her responsibilities include enforcing the rules against telemarketing fraud and online investment schemes.

Also with the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection is Carolyn Shanoff, who today serves as the Associate Director for Consumer and Business Education. In this role, she has been instrumental in the fight against identity theft.

Allen Hile and Lawrence DeMille-Wagman are also still at the FTC. Allen serves as Assistant Director, and Lawrence works as an attorney.

We are all very fortunate that accomplished men and women such as these choose to stay in government and continue working on behalf of the American people. I hope my colleagues will join me in recognizing the great work of the FTC ``do not call'' team and thanking them on behalf of all Americans for their important work. They are all truly great Federal employees.

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