House Launches FCC Investigation; Warns Against Destroying Documents
House Energy & Commerce Committee Looking Into Federal Communications Commission's ‘Regulatory Procedures and Practices’
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/8/2008 4:38:00 PM
As promised, the House Energy & Commerce Committee launched a formal investigation into the Federal Communications Commission's "regulatory procedures and practices."
The committee was following up on a Dec. 3 letter asking the chairman about procedural criticisms.
Committee leaders advised Martin Tuesday that they expect FCC staffers to cooperate and ordered the agency to start preserving all documents and e-mails, adding for emphasis that no historical records "shall be destroyed, modified, altered, deleted, removed, relocated, or otherwise negligently or intentionally handled so as to make them inaccessible to the committee."
The investigation followed complaints externally and internally about how items were brought to a vote, information that was leaking to some lobbyists and not to others and complaints about Martin's resolve to vote on modifying the ban on newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership -- which passed Dec. 18 -- despite attempts to stop or delay the vote by members of FCC oversight committees in both Houses.
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