"The current conflict of interest policy, as applied to the Alaska Board of Fisheries, works against its productivity."
- Sen. Wagoner
"An Act relating to participation in matters before the Board of Fisheries by members of the board; and providing for an effective date."
Alaska is unique in its vastness and abundant resources, yet its number of inhabitants is few. To effectively assure that our lay boards and commissions are comprised of qualified individuals, appointments are made through the governor and confirmed by the legislature. Because of the small number of inhabitants in our state, it often becomes difficult for a board to operate in a manner that utilizes the full extent of its make-up.
The current conflict of interest policy, as applied to the Alaska Board of Fisheries, works against its productivity. It is not in the best interest of the state to have board members disqualify themselves from participation in matters in which they may have a direct interest, because it follows that these areas would be the ones in which members have the most expertise.
If the same policy were applied to state legislators, seldom would there be a piece of legislation that would not find some members disqualified from participation. This bill mandates full personal disclosure on matters related to the subject for eligible participation, but requires a board member to actively participate in the discussion and vote.
There was an amendment to this bill, in the Senate Resources Committee, that would sunset the changes made in SB 69. On June 30, 2009, if the Legislature does not change this date, the conflict of interest policy for the Board of Fisheries would revert back to the way it is currently.