On February 18, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted two Notices of Proposed Rulemakings (NPRMs) seeking comment on proposed revisions to the FCC's ex parte, Sunshine Period and other procedural rules. While the FCC has not released the text of the NPRMs, the FCC published a News Release summarizing the two NPRMs.

According to information released by the FCC, the NPRMs will propose that the Commission make the following revisions to its rules:

  • Delegate authority to the staff to terminate inactive dockets Delegate authority to bureau and office chiefs to dismiss or deny defective or repetitious reconsideration petitions that do not warrant consideration by the full Commission
  • Amend the rule that permits the Commission, on its own motion, to reconsider any FCC action within 30 days of public notice of that decision to make clear that the Commission may modify its decision, not merely set it aside or vacate it
  • Require additional information in summaries of ex parte presentations
  • Require faster electronic filing-within four hours of a presentation-of notices of permitted ex parte presentations made during the Sunshine Period
  • Start the Sunshine PeriodProhibitions at midnight after a Sunshine Notice has issued

The NPRMs will also seek comment on, among other things:

  • Whether to modify the current exceptions to the agency's Sunshine Period Prohibitions
  • Whether to require disclosure of ownership or other information in filings at the Commission, including disclosure requirements similar to those used by federal courts
  • What sanctions the agency should impose for violations of its ex parte rules and other enforcement issues
  • How the ex parte rules should apply in the context of the FCC's new media initiatives, such as its Internet blogs