Committee Leaders Open Investigation of FCC Process

July 31, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Leaders today opened an investigation into the Federal Communications Commission’s decision-making process ahead of granting a waiver of auction rules to Grain Management LLC. Bloomberg News broke the story that the waiver would permit Grain to circumvent commission rules designed to ensure the independence of small businesses that receive bidding credits in FCC auctions.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA), write, “ The Energy and Commerce Committee is committed to conducting vigorous oversight to ensure that Commission processes are fair, open, and transparent, and that they serve the public interest. The granting of the Grain Management waiver raises questions about these processes.”

The leaders have requested documents from the commission related to the following questions by August 15, 2014.

  1. Copies of all draft versions of the order granting Grain Management a waiver of the AMR (attributable material relationship) rule.
  2. All communications from November 4, 2013, to present between Grain Management and the Commission.
  3. All communications from November 4, 2013, to present between or among the members or employees of the Commission relating to Grain Management, the application of the AMR rule, or the Commission’s designated entity rules, or to the grant of the waiver of the AMR rule for Grain Management. This request includes all communications regarding the use of delegated authority, options memos, and timelines for Commission action.
  4. All materials maintained or produced by the Commission’s Electronic Chairman’s Lifecycle Agenda Tracking System (eCLAS) related to the Grain Management waiver.
  5. All written and electronic communications from April 25, 2006, to present between Grain Management and the Commission regarding the Commission’s auction rules or procedures.
  6. All documents created by the Commission or submitted to the Commission on or after April 25, 2006, relating to the AMR rule.

To read the letter online, click here.

 

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