12.07.2007 12:00 AM
Dingell Opens FCC Inquiry
Chairman of the House Commerce Committee Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich. raised concerns about “a breakdown in proper procedure” at the FCC and began an inquiry to ensure that the agency’s processes are fair, open and serving the public interest.
Dingell said he is following up on complaints he’s received about how the agency is being managed. The inquiry will be handled by the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
In a letter to Chairman Martin, Dingell asked for a commitment from the chairman to publishing proposed rules in advance of commission meetings, providing sufficient time to review proposed orders and rules, and providing commissioners with all relevant information on which proposed decisions are based.
Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., chairman of the subcommittee, stated that he’d received complaints from professionals in the communications industry as well as the public about how Martin is running the FCC.
“It is one thing to be an aggressive leader, but many of the allegations indicate possible abuse of power and an attempt to intentionally keep fellow commissioners in the dark.”
Dingell’s letter came after Democratic and Republican commissioners complained at the recent FCC meeting about a lack of adequate comment period and disclosure of items.
Martin noted the comments but said he had given several weeks notice for all items on the November agenda meeting and that many of those had been proposed months ago.