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FCC Looks to Makes Rule Changes to Improve Efficiency

Ex parte process would be tweaked, among others

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed revising some of its rules as part of its effort to make processes more efficient.

In two notices of proposed rulemaking approved at its meeting last Thursday, the FCC seeks comment on revisions to rules that govern commission practice and procedure as well as its “ex parte” rules about how industry lobbyists talk with agency decision-makers.

In the “procedures” notice, the agency is looking to reduce backlogs, improve the openness of its proceedings and reduce confusion about deadlines to the public about deadlines. It proposes to make more use of e-filing and to give staff the authority to wipe out inactive dockets and notify parties of FCC proceedings electronically rather than by mail.

The agency also proposes giving authority to bureau and office chiefs to dismiss or deny defective or repetitious reconsideration petitions that do not need consideration by the full commission.

In its “ex parte” NPRM, the agency proposed requiring a summary of each visit to the commission, rather just when new material is discussed, and also seeks comment on requiring faster e-filing of summaries regarding agenda items during the week before a public commission meeting.

The full text of the NPRMs, with comment deadlines and docket information, is not yet out.