Lawmaker: FCC 'plagued at times by process failures'

It seems the Federal Communications Commission has a communications problem.

During a hearing before a congressional panel Tuesday, four members acknowledged that they were never made aware of an interagency memorandum their chairman spent 18 months working on, leading one lawmaker to charge that the agency is "plagued at times by process failures."

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When asked about the memo, Republican FCC Commissioner Mike O'Rielly told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that he spoke with members of the Federal Trade Commission about the memo.

"They were notified of it last Thursday. I learned of it yesterday morning."

The joint FCC-FTC memorandum issued on Monday seeks to delineate lines of authority between the two agencies with regard to consumer protection, in order to avoid "duplicative, redundant, or inconsistent oversight." The memo establishes regular meetings, consultations and data-sharing practices between the agencies. It comes in response to concerns that the FCC has slowly been usurping consumer protection powers that belong to the FTC.

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