Government Speeds Political PostingsNAB argues that the FCC underestimated paperwork collection requirements of new rules 7/09/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern
It apparently did not take long for the Office of Management
and Budget to reject the National Association of
Broadcasters’ arguments that the FCC underestimated
the paperwork collection requirements of its new online
political file posting rules.
NAB had argued that the FCC had miscalculated the
burdens of compliance, or the duplication created by said
file postings. According to the NAB, on June 21—eight work
days after broadcasters submitted their comments—the
OMB informed the FCC that it had approved the rules. On
July 3, 30 days after the rules were published in the Federal
Register, the requirement officially kicked in.
The FCC approved the rules in April, but the OMB had
to sign off on the new requirements per the Paperwork
Reduction Act, which requires regulators to justify
additional reporting requirements of their regs. It was expected,
but the speed with which it was accomplished—
the Administration clearly wants the requirement to be
a working part of this election cycle—was in contrast to,
say, the network neutrality rules. It took the better part of
two months to vet those.
Separately, the NAB has filed suit against the file-posting
rules as arbitrary and capricious—they apply to TV stations,
but not cable or satellite operators, which also must publicize
who buys political time and ad prices, but don’t have to
submit those files to the FCC to post nationally online.