Wheeler Creates Process Task Force

To Look Into Issues Raised by Commissioner Michael O'Rielly

The Federal Communications Commission will create a new task force to look into the "legitimate process concerns" raised by Republican commissioner Michael O'Rielly.

That was the message from FCC chairman Tom Wheeler at a House FCC oversight hearing Thursday (March 19) and came before the Republican commissioners were able to start leveling their process reform complaint. All five were in attendance.

O'Rielly has leveled numerous complaints about how the FCC is run, including at a Senate hearing this week, saying too much FCC business is conducted on delegated authority and that item language should be published before a vote.

While Wheeler pointed out that there were fewer decisions on delegated authority in this commission than in any of the previous 15 years, he said O'Reilly had raised some legitimate concerns; Wheeler said he had already directed that a task force be formed, with each commissioner getting to name a member, that would look at how other similarly situated agencies conduct business, with an eye toward improving the FCC's processes.

The task force will be headed by Diane Cornell, special counsel to the Office of the Chairman, who headed up early Wheeler efforts to identify FCC reforms.

Pai said he welcomed the chairman’s announcement. In his opening statement, commissioner O'Rielly echoed his criticisms of the process, including delegated authority, without comment on the chairman's task force announcement.