Press Release

Committee Leaders Request Audit of FCC’s Enforcement Bureau


“The information submitted by the FCC in response to these inquiries has validated our concerns with FCC management and process”

WASHINGTON, DC – Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its Subcommittee on Communications and Technology today asked the Government Accountability Office – the nation’s nonpartisan watchdog – to complete a review of the management of the Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau. Full Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), along with subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Vice Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH), are seeking the report in conjunction with the subcommittee’s ongoing oversight of the commission.

The leaders wrote:

This committee’s concern with the openness, transparency, and fairness of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) process is well established and has led to multiple and varied inquiries into the management of the agency under multiple chairmen. These inquires include, among other things, the monitoring of the FCC’s backlog reduction efforts, the FCC’s success in meeting bureau and office performance metrics, and more recently the Chairman’s proposal to reduce the Enforcement Bureau’s geographic footprint by closing more than half of the Bureau’s field offices.

The information submitted by the FCC in response to these inquiries has validated our concerns with FCC management and process. One area of particular and ongoing concern is the management of the FCC’s largest subdivision – the Enforcement Bureau. …

We request that GAO take a comprehensive look at the management of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. Among other things, we request that GAO consider the following questions:

  1. Has the FCC implemented performance measures and performance goals consistent with GAO’s 2008 recommendations? If not, how does the FCC measure the effectiveness of the enforcement program?
  1. In the intervening seven years, would GAO recommend additional or revised recommendations to the FCC in effectively tracking the effectiveness of the FCC enforcement program?
  1. Is the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau meeting its mission of protecting the consumer, ensuring public safety, and encouraging competition? What changes should be made to improve performance to ensure that consumers are being protected and FCC leadership is accountable?
  1. The FCC has invested millions of dollars in IT improvements in the Enforcement Bureau and the Consumer & Government Affairs Bureau since 2007. How much has the FCC spent on these improvements? Have these improvements lead to an improved enforcement program at the FCC to the benefit of consumers and other stakeholders?

To read the full letter, click HERE.


Press Release