Dingell announces probe into FCC transparency

[via office of Rep. Dingell]

Rep. John D. Dingell (D-MI), Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, wrote today to Kevin J. Martin, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), raising concerns about a breakdown in proper procedure at the FCC and launching an inquiry by the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to ensure that the agency’s processes are fair, open, and transparent and serve the public interest. In the letter, Dingell requested a firm commitment from Chairman Martin to publishing proposed rules in advance of Commission meetings, providing sufficient time to review proposed orders and rules, and providing Commissioners with all of the relevant information on which proposed orders and rules are based.

“Procedural breakdowns at the agency tasked with overseeing communications laws for our entire nation jeopardize the public interest it is bound to serve,” said Dingell. “Our nation is founded on fair, open, and transparent government, and the Federal Communications Commission is certainly no exception. When that openness and transparency is compromised, so too is public confidence in the agency.”

“I have received several complaints from the public and professionals within the communications industry about how Chairman Martin is conducting business at the FCC,” said Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. “It is one thing to be an aggressive leader, but many of the allegations indicate possible abuse of power and an attempt to intentionally keep fellow Commissioners in the dark. I look forward to investigating these concerns to be sure that the FCC Chairman is not disenfranchising his fellow Commissioners and the American public he is supposed to serve.”

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