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NAB Asks OMB To Reject FCC Estimate of Online Political File Paperwork Burdens

The National Association of Broadcasters has asked the Office of Management and Budget to reject the information-collection requirements of the FCC's new online public file order, particularly the requirement that stations provide the commission with their political files, including spot prices, so they can be posted on an FCC Web site for everyone to see. 

NAB wants OMB to make the commission test its paperwork burden theories before applying them to broadcasters.

OMB's 30-day comment period on its Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) review of the new FCC rules began June 11, and NAB wasted no time taking aim at them. Among the PRA requirements is to "evaluate the accuracy of [an] agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information" and insure that it is not unecessarily burdensome or duplicative. 

NAB says the FCC was way off in its estimate and that the burden is duplicative. In its comments, NAB points out that OMB has said that an information-collection requirement will be rejected "unless it is clearly justified and '[t]he burden on the public [is] completely accounted for and minimized to the extent practicable...'"

NAB says the FCC's estimate of the administrative burdens of complying with the rule is "rife with omissions," low balls that  burden, duplicates reporting requirements.

"The Commission has failed to provide an accurate, supportable estimate of the burden of complying with the online political file requirements," said NAB. "At a minimum, and consistent with its rules, OMB should instruct the Commission to establish a "pilot program" to test its online public file proposals in order to develop a "specific, objectively supported estimate."