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House E&C Committee Calls for Audit of FCC

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology have called for an audit of the Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau to be spearheaded by the Government Accountability Office.

Full Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), along with subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Vice Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH) wrote to GAO Comptroller Gene L. Dodaro, requesting a report in conjunction with the subcommittee’s ongoing oversight of the commission.

They began by expressing the “committee’s concern with the openness, transparency, and fairness” of the FCC and reminding Dodaro of past inquiries under multiple chairmen. Upton, Walden and Latta then cited specific trepidations regarding the commission’s efforts to reduce backlogs, its success in meeting bureau and office performance metrics, and proposed field office closures.

They closed by asking the GAO to “consider the following questions:

● Has the FCC implemented performance measures and performance goals consistent with GAO’s 2008 recommendations? If not, how does the FCC measure the effectiveness of the enforcement program?
● In the intervening seven years, would GAO recommend additional or revised recommendations to the FCC in effectively tracking the effectiveness of the FCC enforcement program?
● Is the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau meeting its mission of protecting the consumer, ensuring public safety, and encouraging competition? What changes should be made to improve performance to ensure that consumers are being protected and FCC leadership is accountable?
● The FCC has invested millions of dollars in IT improvements in the Enforcement Bureau and the Consumer & Government Affairs Bureau since 2007. How much has the FCC spent on these improvements? Have these improvements lead to an improved enforcement program at the FCC to the benefit of consumers and other stakeholders?”

Read the full letter here.