By Radio INK - Dec. 6, 2007
WASHINGTON -- December 4, 2007: House Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-MI) told FCC Chairman Kevin Martin in a letter Monday that he's concerned about "procedural breakdowns" at the FCC and that the Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation will be conducting a probe into the agency.
"Given several events and proceedings over the past year, I am rapidly losing confidence that the commission has been conducting its affairs in an appropriate manner," Dingell wrote to Martin. Though he said it's not true in the case of every proceeding, Dingell said that "a trend appears to be emerging of short-circuiting procedural norms, suggesting a larger breakdown at the agency."
He continued, "For instance, the commission does not put the text of proposed rules out for notice and comment; there is little public notice of certain proposed commission actions; and commissioners are often not informed of the details of draft items until it is too late to provide the necessary scrutiny and analysis that is so important to reasoned decisionmaking."
Martin and the four other FCC commissioners are all on the witness list for a hearing on media ownership by Commerce's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, set for 9:30 a.m. tomorrow.
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