Can The FCC Vote Faster?

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o'rielly-testifyingTheoretically, yes, but would it, is the question.


FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly has always been pushing his colleagues to improve their processes in the spirit of greater efficiency.

Now he has proposed the commission push through lower profile, noncontroversial items faster. Called “circulation,” the term stems from years ago when paper was literally “circulated” through the different offices.

The station transactions too, consisted of huge stacks of paper years ago, but that’s another story for another day.

Now the commissioners cast their votes on computer. Because circulated items have a lower profile and can be less time sensitive and/or technical, they may “linger” for many months without receiving votes, he blogs.

Now he’s proposing items on the list longer than six months be pulled so they can be re-freshed with the latest information. He also notes if an item doesn’t have a majority of votes after many months, it’s unlikely it will get enough votes to rigger must vote procedures.

A re-write may fix that too, according to sources.

O’Rielly suggests the Chairman’s office pull the item off circulation and work with staff and commissioners to reach a consensus. Experts we contacted believe this makes sense.

They were less sure about his other idea to convert longstanding circulation items to monthly open meeting agenda items, noting that while such a change would, in theory, seem to get them voted on faster, making that really happen was a little more complicated.

What do you think? Write me at: [email protected]


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