Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

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Friday, October 5, 2007

Inspector General: No Evidence That Research Was Destroyed Or Suppressed

The FCC's Inspector General has released a report indicating that there is no evidence that draft research reports were suppressed or destroyed, as was hinted last year. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) and others asked the Inspector General to launch an investigation when concerns over two papers, "Do Local Owners Deliver More Localism", and "Review of the Radio Industry, 2003", surfaced. Here is the FCC's press release.

The Inspector General of the Federal Communications Commission has released a report finding that the evidence did not substantiate allegations that two draft research reports of staff economists in the Commission’s Media Bureau had been suppressed by senior managers at the Commission or that senior managers had ordered one of the reports to be destroyed.  The investigation was directed by Carla Conover, Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Investigations. 

FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin asked the Inspector General to look into these matters on September 18, 2006.   Senators Barbara Boxer, Byron Dorgan and Ron Wyden, as well as Members of Congress also urged the Inspector General to undertake the thorough investigation requested by Chairman Martin.  In addition, the Senators asked the Inspector General to investigate whether it was, or had been, a pattern or practice of anyone in senior Commission management to suppress similar information.  Based on the extensive and wide-ranging investigation conducted by Ms. Conover and her colleagues, the Inspector General found no evidence that there had ever been a pattern or practice of suppressing research at the Commission.

            The draft papers that were the subject of the allegations were titled “Do Local Owners Deliver More Localism” and “Review of the Radio Industry, 2003” and were made available on the Commission’s website, along with other material collected in response to a related FOIA request, during December 2006.

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