Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

GAO Releases Report Critical of FCC

The Governmental Accountability Office has released a report that says that the FCC generally follows established procedures in rulemaking, except when it doesn't. Here's an excerpt.

FCC generally followed the rulemaking process in the four case studies of completed rulemakings that GAO reviewed, but several stakeholders had access to nonpublic information. Specifically, each of the four rulemakings included steps as required by law and opportunities for public participation. Within the case studies, most ex parte filings complied with FCC rules. However, in the case studies and in discussions with other stakeholders that regularly participate in FCC rulemakings, multiple stakeholders generally knew when the commission scheduled votes on proposed rules well before FCC notified the public. FCC rules prohibit disclosing this information outside of FCC. Other stakeholders said that they cannot learn when rules are scheduled for a vote until FCC releases the public meeting agenda, at which time FCC rules prohibit stakeholders from lobbying FCC. As a result, stakeholders with advance information about which rules are scheduled for a vote would know when it is most effective to lobby FCC, while stakeholders without this information would not.

Read the GAO's report, requested by Representative Edward Markey (D-Mass.) more than a year ago, here.

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