Washington - Feb 4, 2011 - In a report and order (GC Docket No. 10-44), the Federal Communications Commission revised portions of the commission's Part 1 procedural rules and Part 0 organizational rules. The FCC believes the revisions will increase the efficiency of commission decision-making, modernize commission procedures for the digital age, and enhance the openness and transparency of commission proceedings for practitioners and the public.
The rule revisions fall into three general categories.
1. Increase the efficiency of the FCC's docket management and enhance public participation by broadening the use of docketed proceedings; expanding the requirement for electronic filing (and reducing the scope of the obligation to file paper copies); and permitting staff in certain circumstances to notify parties electronically of docket filings and to close inactive dockets.
2. The FCC delegates authority to the staff to dismiss or deny defective or repetitive petitions for reconsideration of Commission decisions, and the agency amends the rule that authorizes the Commission to reconsider a decision on its own motion within 30 days to make clear that the Commission may modify a decision (not merely set it aside or vacate it).
3. The FCC implements changes to miscellaneous Part 1 and Part 0 rules: In Part 1 procedural rules, the FCC sets a default effective date for FCC rules in the event the commission does not specify an effective date in a rulemaking order; revises the computation of time rule to adopt the next business day approach when a Commission rule or order specifies that Commission action shall occur on a day when the agency is not open for business; clarify when the Commission''s headquarters and other offices will be considered to be open for business; and correct typographical errors in two debt collection rules. For Part 0 organizational rules, the makes a number of minor rules changes regarding requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to correct errors or omissions that have come to the FCC's attention since 2008, when it last amended these rules.
Paragraph 9 of the order may interest broadcasters. The FCC will now assign a docket number to any broadcast application for renewal, assignment or transfer as to which there is a timely filed petition to deny. The FCC believes the Commission and the public would benefit from the wider airing of views that the assignment of a docket number would facilitate.
Read the R&O at the FCC's website.