This week, the House will vote on the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act, H.R. 3309, which will bring greater transparency and predictability to the FCC's operations. Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) today underscored the need for these reforms, highlighting the number of items still awaiting a decision by the FCC. Last year, the committee released an initial report on the Workload of the FCC, which outlined the number of pending items at the Commission based on July data.
"Last November's staff report confirmed that Chairman Genachowski has made good progress on FCC process, but there is much work left to be done," said Walden. "The Commission's recent response has shown continued improvements in many areas at the Commission, but significant backlogs still remain, with 4,984 petitions, 3,950 applications, and more than 1,083 consumer complaints still pending at the Commission. These workload issues highlight the need for good process, and that's why it's important we move forward with process reform legislation now, so that the agency locks in the gains it has already made and so that the public will see it continue to improve into the future."
Stearns said, "I have challenged agencies to rid themselves of unnecessary regulations and provide certainty to the industries they regulate. The Federal Communications Commission's work to reduce the backlog of satellite and broadcast applications signifies Chairman Genachowski's commitment to good process--as does his decision to publish the FCC's budget on its homepage--but there is still a ways to go. More than 3,600 petitions and licenses have been pending at the Commission for more than five years, and that's a lifetime in today's marketplace. I hope the FCC will work to eliminate a significant amount of the backlog and show signs of improvement by its next report due in July."