House Set to Vote on Commonsense FCC Process Reform Act

March 11, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – This evening, the House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 3675, the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act, bipartisan legislation that aims to increase transparency and predictability at the commission. The FCC recently weighed on in the debate when it released its Report on FCC Process, which similarly focuses on improving the commission’s operations.

“We welcome Chairman Wheeler’s dedication to improving operations at the commission, but legislation is still necessary to get the reforms on the books. Without codifying the reforms into law, there is no protection from a future chairman who may not appreciate the need for such transparency, predictability, and accountability,” said Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR). “The proposal put forward by the commission’s working group is a good one, and not surprisingly agrees with many of the recommendations included in the FCC Process Reform Act. With this in mind, we expect the House to swiftly approve H.R. 3675 with broad support and urge our colleagues in the Senate to follow suit in short order.”

There are a number of proposed reforms that are shared by both H.R. 3675 and the FCC’s report. Among them are:

Proposed Reform H.R. 3675, the FCC Process Reform Act Report on FCC Process
Establishing minimum comment periods
Publishing the status of open rulemakings
Establishing timelines for action on filings and disposition of petitions
Establishing procedures for including the specific language of a proposed rule or amendment in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
Requiring performance measures for all new or amended program activities
Providing commissioners adequate time to review items before making a decision
Establishing timelines for processing license applications
Developing any required performance measures so that they rely on data already collected by the FCC
Reviewing FCC procedures periodically
Providing the public access to information about the FCC budget and appropriations
Requiring the FCC to complete all necessary actions for Federal Register publication within a set time   
Requiring publication of all consumer complaint information in a searchable public database
Requiring greater transparency in the handling of FOIA requests and resulting documents

 

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