House Members Seek FCC Update on Reforms

The chairs of a couple of FCC oversight subcommittees in the House have asked the FCC for an "update" on its current workload and "backlog of issues" currently pending.

That came in a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler from Communications Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Tim Murphy (R-Pa.).

Walden has been a big supporter of FCC process reform, including helping achieve House passage of the FCC Process Reform Act, which passed the House in March.

“In order to better understand the scope of the commission’s challenge, we respectfully request that the commission update the committee on current workload, the magnitude of the current backlog of issues pending before the commission and its bureaus, and efforts to manage current and backlogged work," they wrote.

Wheeler has made reform a priority, including calling for a report on possible reforms that was issued on Feb. 14, with comment solicited through the end of March on its recommendation. The key recommendations were primarily to improve accountability, streamline internal review of FCC processes, reduce backlogs, "rework" licensing, modernize consumer complaint procedures, improve the drafting process for policy documents, improve the IT infrastructure and improve Web site functionality.

Walden and Murphy gave that effort a shout out. They said the report included reforms that, if instituted, would improve "transparency, efficiency and responsiveness. WE applaud this commitment to improving the Commission and look forward to working together to improve the FCC's processes."

They want the update by June 18.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.