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FCC Commissioner: Shouldn’t Be ‘Courtesy’ That I Know What Happens at FCC

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FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly (R) criticized the process of notifying commissioners about decisions made by the agency and its bureaus, saying “it’s a courtesy they’re letting me know what they’re going to do. And I just think that’s the wrong approach” and “I don’t think it’s something that — as a courtesy I’m allowed to know what’s happening at the commission” during an FCC oversight hearing on Wednesday.

“We have a uniform — an un-uniform situation now where — it’s called our 48-hour rule. And in some instances we’re allowed — we’re notified that we have 48 hours, we’re basically given a heads up for 48 hours. But only in certain instances. Sometimes it’s 48 hours, sometimes it’s 24 hours, sometimes its zero” he stated.

O’Rielly continued, “I got an email on Friday, from one of the bureaus that said, ‘as a courtesy, we’re letting you know.’ — It’s a courtesy they’re letting me know what they’re going to do. And I just think that’s the wrong approach. I went through the process to get on the commission to make as many decisions as possible, and I’m happy to vote in a quick and timely way. But, I don’t think it’s something that — as a courtesy I’m allowed to know what’s happening at the commission.”

He concluded, “we see that problem in the delegation area. Where things get delegated, in many instances, by previous commissions that I wasn’t part of, and now the delegation authority continues, and I don’t even have an ability to track what is being decided by the bureaus, separate from what’s happening at my level.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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