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FCC Updates Procedural & Organizational Rules

WASHINGTON (CN) - The FCC has changed certain procedural and organizational rules.

The Federal Communications Commission rule revisions fall into three general categories.

First, the agency adopts several docket management measures, such as broadening the use of docketed proceedings; expanding the requirement for electronic filing (and reducing the scope of the obligation to file paper copies); and permitting staff in certain circumstances to notify parties electronically of docket filings and to close inactive dockets.

Second, the agency revises rules regarding the reconsideration of agency decisions, delegating authority to the staff to dismiss or deny defective or repetitive petitions for reconsideration of agency decisions, and amending the rule that authorizes the agency to reconsider a decision on its own motion within 30 days to make clear that the agency may modify a decision (not merely set it aside or vacate it).

Finally, the agency implements changes to miscellaneous regulations. To make its processes more uniform and understandable, the agency sets a default effective date for its rules in the event the agency does not specify an effective date in a rulemaking order and revises its computation of time rule to adopt the "next business day" approach when an agency rule or order specifies that the agency action must occur on a day when the agency is not open for business. To eliminate confusion, these rule amendments clarify when the agency's headquarters and other offices will be considered to be open for business; and corrects typographical errors in two debt collection rules. The agency also makes a number of minor rules changes regarding requests under the Freedom of Information Act to correct errors or omissions that have been noted following the agency's last amendment of these rules in 2008. Overall, these revisions are to increase the efficiency of the agency's decision-making, modernize agency procedures for the digital age and enhance the openness and transparency of agency proceedings for practitioners and the public.

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