Most surely: Terminate Dormant Proceedings

Author:  

Michael O' Rielly

FCC Commissioner

Last week, the Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau (CGB) released a Public Notice seeking comment on whether to terminate almost 650 heavy proceedings (i. e., dockets which have no planned action and no more comments expected).   I applaud Chairman Wheeler for initiating this item as well as the CBG staff as well as the individual Bureaus and Offices that worked on this document.  

The charts below, prepared by my great staff, help visualize the scope of the Commission’ s i9000 recent effort.   As the 1st chart shows, the agency provides over 2, 800 open procedures pending.   The second chart organizes— by Bureau and Office— the specific proceedings contemplated for closure within the Public Notice.  

I’ m in the process of reviewing CGB’ s recommendations and its related attachment, but in general I believe that closing outdated FCC proceedings makes a lot of sense.   Doing so could help the agency become more organized and focused on decisions that need to be produced.   It could also make it simpler for both Congress and the public to track what the agency is working on or still considering.   And yes it could help prevent the Commission from using antiquated information as a basis for regulating.  

In fact , cleaning the regulatory decks is something we should probably do more often— maybe even annually.   The particular Commission may also want to consider generating an automatic closure process.   Maybe after a year, and with appropriate notice, we could close proceedings that have been concluded and for which no further pleadings are filed.   This could significantly reduce the number of unnecessary open procedures, while still allowing public access to the documents that were generated.  

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