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FCC Postpones Meetings

The federal government remains closed due to blizzard

Due to back-to-back major snowstorms in the Washington metropolitan area this week, the Federal Communications Commission has postponed both a public forum on creating an emergency response center for pubic safety broadband communications and its monthly open public meeting, which were to have been held Wednesday and Thursday of this week respectively.

The federal government is closed today (Wednesday) because of the snow, which has wreaked havoc on the roads of the D.C. metro area.

The public forum will be rescheduled.

The commission’s February open monthly meeting is reset for Feb. 18 at 3 p.m. Two items on the agenda concern streamlining the agency’s processes to make the FCC’s work more transparent. One item is a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to “enhance the efficiency, openness and transparency of the commission’s proceedings by improving and modernizing certain organizational and procedural rules,” according to a summary of items to be voted on.

Another item on the voting list concerns the so-called “ex parte” rules, which govern reports written by those who meet with commission officials to sum up what was discussed.

Radio World has reported that the Government Accountability Office recently made several recommendations to strengthen internal communications and help FCC decisionmaking.

The GAO recommended that the commission clarify its ex parte rules to spell out what constitutes a sufficient meeting summary as well as to further explain FCC officials’ roles in making sure summaries are accurate; and create a mechanism to ensure that commissioners are notified promptly of substantive filings made on items that are about to be voted on.