House committee requests FCC documents

On March 12, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce committee sent a letter to FCC commissioner Kevin Martin requesting specific agency documents as part of its investigation in the agency’s regulatory procedures.

The committee has gave the chairman two weeks to produce an extensive list of communications, including memos, handwritten notes, phone records and meeting schedules since January 2005 that are related to a dozen specific issues, such as:

  • Delays in preparing reports mandated by Congress.
  • Guidelines and directives imposed on FCC employees limiting their ability to communicate with on another on agency business.
  • A decision to discard or change the conclusions in a Media Bureau staff report entitled the “Report on the Packaging and Sale of Video Programming Services to the Public.”
  • The 10 studies on media ownership, including communications with those contracted to prepare the studies, the study data and peer review and the decision not to modify the radio/television cross-ownership rule, the local television ownership rule, the local radio ownership rule, the dual network rule, and the UHF discount.

The letter was signed by Reps. John D. Dingell (D-MI) and Joe Barton (R-TX), the chairman and ranking member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and by Bart Stupak (D-MI) and John Shimkus (R-IL), the chairman and ranking member of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.