Sunday, January 18, 2009

What the SEC could learn from the NTSB

While most people don't see it at first, there's an interesting correlation between the Securities Exchange Commission and the National Transportation Safety Board with the way the two government organizations handle investigations after incidents.  

As a retired Air Force public affairs communications manage who has a lot of background in inspections and conducting training, here's what our new executive leadership could learn from the management style of both.

To me, it's amazing how everyone associated with Thursday's U.S. Airways accident have worked together to find the cause behind it.  To wit, I find the comments of Stephen Bradford, the president of the pilots association interesting when asked why his organization canceled a Monday morning interview by U.S. Airways Captain Chesley B. "Sully"  Sullenberger.

"If the NTSB perceives that we are in any way compromising the objectivity of the investigation by innocuously releasing information to the media, our status will be rescinded and we will be unable to help determine the causal factors leading up to this very positive and well-documented outcome," he said in an Associated Press interview.

Which brings the question:  What has the SEC done to investigate the financial crisis caused by the major brokers on Wall Street? And is there the level of cooperation between the financial markets and their government oversight groups?

Our air transportation is well regulated, and it has the consensus of everyone associated in the industry that protecting the safety of passengers comes first.  The NTSB isn't perfect, but its performance in the first phase of the U.S. Air investigation shows why most of us are confident that it's safe to fly in the first place.

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