House Report Looks At FCC Backlog
November 16, 2011 at 4:15 AM (PT)
The House Energy and Commerce Committee has released its "Staff Report on the Workload of the Federal Communications Commission," and the report concludes that while "the data demonstrate that there have been substantial improvements in the handling of the Commission’s workload since Chairman GENACHOWSKI joined the Commission ... the Commission still faces significant challenges in its work, including a significant backlog of unanswered petitions and unheard consumer complaints. And there are currently no statutory assurances that future chairmen will remain faithful to what progress Chairman GENACHOWSKI has made."
The report says that as of JULY 5th, 3,472 open proceedings, 26,335 petitions and requests, 1,385 petitions for reconsideration, 1,531,893 unaddressed consumer complaints, and 33,233 license applications and renewals were pending. Of the open proceedings, 93% were dormant for over two years, although the Commission has worked to clear some of the backlog and closed 999 dockets on NOVEMBER 1st. Similarly, 20% of petitions and requests have been pending for more than two years and most of those have been untouched for over five years. 62% of pending petitions for reconsideration and applications for review have been waiting for over two years, and over half of those have been languishing for over five years.
The panel uses its conclusion to promote the Process Reform Act and the Consolidated Reporting Act as "modest first steps" towards making the FCC open and responsive.