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Information Collection Being Submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval

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Federal Communications Commission.


Notice and request for comments.


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995. Comments are requested concerning (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.


Written comments should be submitted on or before September 15, 2011. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contacts below as soon as possible.


Direct all PRA comments to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB, via fax 202-395-5167, or via e-mail; and to Cathy Williams, FCC, via e-mail and to Include in the comments the OMB control number as shown in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below.

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For additional information or copies of the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918. To view a copy of this information collection request (ICR) submitted to OMB: (1) Go to the Web page​public/​do/​PRAMain, (2) look for the section of the Web page called “Currently Under Review,” (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the “Select Agency” box below the “Currently Under Review” heading, (4) select “Federal Communications Commission” from the list of agencies presented in the “Select Agency” box, (5) click the “Submit” button to the right of the “Select Agency” box, (6) when the list of FCC ICRs currently under review appears, look for the OMB control number of this ICR and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC submission to OMB will be displayed.

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OMB Control Number: 3060-0214.

Title: Sections 73.3526 and 73.3527, Local Public Inspection Files; Sections 76.1701 and 73.1943, Political Files.

Form Number: N/A.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; not for-profit institutions.

Number of Respondents and Responses: 25,422 respondents; 59,833 responses.

Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour to 109 hours.

Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping and third party disclosure requirements.

Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefit. The statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in Sections 154(i), 303 and 308 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

Total Annual Burden: 2,176,815 hours.

Total Annual Cost: None.

Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

Needs and Uses: The Commission published a 60-day notice on April 18, 2011 seeking comments from the public (see 76 FR 21739). This current published notice is seeking an Start Printed Page 50731additional 30 days of public comment. The Commission received the previous comments from the 60-day notice and has taken them into account.

The Commission first adopted a public inspection file requirement more than 40 years ago. The public file requirement grew out of Congress' 1960 amendment of Sections 309 and 311 of the Communications Act of 1934. Finding that Congress, in enacting these provisions, was guarding “the right of the general public to be informed, not merely the rights of those who have special interests,” the Commission adopted the public inspection file requirement to “make information to which the public already has a right more readily available, so that the public will be encouraged to play a more active part in dialogue with broadcast licensees.” In return for their exclusive use of public spectrum, broadcasters must operate and program their stations in the “public interest, convenience and necessity.” This means that all stations must be responsive and accountable to their local community of license. The manner in which broadcasters communicate with their communities is a core function of their role as licensees. Specific items in the public file, listed below, include items that provide station information to the public, like ownership reports, contour maps, citizens agreements, EEO reports and quarterly lists of programs that the stations believe addressed important issues in their community. Access to the public inspection file allows the public to monitor a station's public interest performance. The information provided in a station's public file enables citizens to engage in an informed dialog with their local stations or to file complaints or petitions to deny the renewal of a station's license. Comments, complaints, and petitions to deny filed by the viewing public have long been a part of the regulatory and the renewal process. As part of the Commission's license renewal process, the Commission does not routinely monitor every aspect of stations' compliance with Commission rules; rather, it depends on viewers and listeners to provide information about whether stations are meeting their public interest obligations.

The following Information Collection Requirements are part of this collection and have been approved by OMB:

47 CFR 73.3526(a) and 73.3527(a) require that licensees and permittees of commercial and noncommercial educational (NCE) broadcast stations maintain a local public inspection file. The contents of the file vary according to type of service and status. A separate file shall be maintained for each station for which an application is pending or for which an authorization is outstanding. The public inspection file must be maintained so long as an authorization to operate the station is outstanding.

47 CFR 73.3526(b) and 73.3527(b) require that the public inspection file be maintained at the main studio of the station. An applicant for a new station or change of community shall maintain its file at an accessible place in the proposed community of license or at its proposed main studio.

47 CFR 73.3526(c) and 73.3527(c) require the licensee/permittee to make the file available for public inspection at any time during regular business hours. All or part of this file may be maintained in a computer database as long as a computer terminal is made available to members of the public. Materials in the public file must be made available for review, printing or reproduction upon request.

Licensees that maintain their main studios and public file outside their communities of license are required to mail a copy of “The Public and Broadcasting” to anyone requesting a copy. Licensees shall be prepared to assist members of the public in identifying the documents they may want to be sent to them by mail.

47 CFR 73.3526(d) and 73.3527(d) require an assignor to maintain the public inspection file until such time as the assignment is consummated. At that time, the assignee is required to maintain the file.

47 CFR 73.3526(e) and 73.3527(e) specify the contents of the public inspection files. Separate rule sections not subject to this information collection require the creation and submission to the Commission of many of the items that must be retained in the public inspection file. As such, the burden estimates for creation and submission of these documents are calculated in other information collections. The burden estimates included in this information collection pertain only to making these items publicly available. We have listed below some of the relevant information collections pertaining to the creation and submission of such documents. The documents to be retained in the public inspection files are as follows:

(a) A copy of the current FCC authorization to construct or operate the station, as well as any other documents necessary to reflect any modifications thereto or any conditions that the FCC has placed on the authorization;

(b) A copy of any application tendered for filing with the FCC, together with all related material, and copies of Initial Decision and Final Decisions in hearing cases. If petitions to deny are filed against the application, a statement that such a petition has been filed shall be maintained in the file together with the name and address of the party filing the petition [Application for Construction Permit for Commercial Broadcast Station (OMB control number 3060-0027, FCC Form 301; Application for New Commercial or Noncommercial Educational Broadcast Station License (OMB control number 3060-0029, FCC Form 340); Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License, FCC Form 314; Application for Consent to Transfer Control of Entity Holding Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License, FCC Form 315; Section 73.3580, Local Public Notice of Filing of Broadcast Applications (OMB control number 3060-0031)];

(c) For commercial broadcast stations, a copy of every written citizen agreement;

(d) A copy of any service contour maps, submitted with any application, together with any other information in the application showing service contours and/or main studio and transmitter location;

(e) A copy of the most recent, complete Ownership Report (FCC Form 323) filed with the FCC for the station, together with any statements filed with the FCC certifying that the current Report is accurate [Ownership Report for Broadcast Station (OMB control number 3060-0010, FCC Form 323); Ownership Report for Noncommercial Educational TV, FM or Standard Broadcast Station (OMB control number 3060-0084, FCC Form 323-E)];

(f) A political file of records required by 47 CFR 73.1943 concerning broadcasts by candidates for public office [Section 73.1942, Candidates Rates, 76.206, Candidates Rates, Section 76.1611, Political Cable Rates and Classes of Time (OMB control number 3060-0501)];

(g) An Equal Employment Opportunity File required by 47 CFR 73.2080 [Broadcast EEO Program Report, FCC Form 396 (OMB control number 3060-0113); Multi-Channel Video Program Distributor EEO Program Annual Report (OMB control number 3060-1033, FCC Form 396-C)].

(h) A copy of the most recent edition of the manual entitled “The Public and Broadcasting;”

(i) For commercial broadcast stations, all written comments and suggestions (letters and electronic mail) received from the public regarding operation of the station;Start Printed Page 50732

(j) Material having a substantial bearing on a matter which is the subject of an FCC investigation or complaint to the FCC of which the applicant/permittee/licensee has been advised;

(k) For commercial radio and TV broadcast stations and non-exempt NCE broadcast stations, a list of programs that have provided the station's most significant treatment of community issues. This list is kept on a quarterly basis and contains a brief description of how each issue was treated;

(l) For commercial TV broadcast stations, records sufficient to permit substantiation of the station's certification, in its license renewal application, of compliance with the commercial limits on children's television programming. The records must be placed in the public file quarterly. The FCC Form 398, Children's Television Programming Reports, reflecting efforts made by the licensee during the preceding quarter, and efforts planned for the next quarter, to serve the educational and informational needs of children must be placed in the public file quarterly [Children's Television Programming Report (OMB control number 3060-0754, FCC Form 398)];

(m) For NCE stations, a list of donors supporting specific programs. The list is to be retained for two years from the date of the broadcast of the specific program supported, and will be reserved for sponsors/underwriters of specific programming;

(n) Each applicant for renewal of license shall place in the public file a statement certifying compliance with the pre-filing and post-filing local public notice announcements. These statements shall be placed in the public file within 7 days of the last day of broadcast [Section 73.3580, Local Public Notice of Filing of Broadcast Applications (OMB control number 3060-0031)];

(o) Commercial radio and TV licensees who provide programming to another licensee's station, pursuant to time brokerage agreements, are required to keep copies of those agreements in their public inspection files, with confidential information blocked out where appropriate;

(p) Commercial TV stations must make an election between retransmission consent and must-carry status once every three years. Television stations that fail to make an election will be deemed to have elected must-carry status. This statement must be placed in the station's public inspection file. This rule codifies Section 325(b)(3)(B) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended [Section 73.1601, Deletion of Repositioning of Broadcast Signals; Section 76.1617, Initial Must-Carry Notice; and Sections 76.1697 and 76.1708, Principal Headend (OMB control number 3060-0649)];

(q) NCE television stations requesting mandatory carriage on any cable system pursuant to 47 CFR 76.56 shall place in its public file the request and relevant correspondence; and

(r) Commercial radio and TV licensees who have entered into joint sales agreements must place the agreements in the public inspection file, with confidential and propriety information blocked out where appropriate.

47 CFR 73.1212(e), 73.1943 and 76.1701 require licensees of broadcast stations and every cable television system to keep and permit public inspection of a complete record (political file) of all requests for broadcast and cablecast time made by or on behalf of candidates for public office, together with an appropriate notation showing the disposition made by the system of such requests, and the charges made, if any, if the request is granted. The disposition includes the schedule of time purchased, when the spots actually aired, the rates charged, and the classes of time purchased. Also, when free time is provided for use by or on behalf of candidates, a record of the free time provided is to be placed in the political file as soon as possible and maintained for a period of two years. 47 CFR 73.1212(e) and 76.1701 also require that, when an entity sponsors broadcast or cablecast material that concerns a political matter or a discussion of a controversial issue of public importance, a list must be maintained in the public file of the system that includes the sponsoring entity's chief executive officers, or members of its executive committee or of its board of directors [Sections 73.1212, 76.1615 and 76.1715, Sponsorship Identification (OMB control number 3060-0174); Section 73.1942, Candidates Rates, 76.206, Candidates Rates, Section 76.1611, Political Cable Rates and Classes of Time (OMB control number 3060-0501)].

The Commission is requesting an extension of this information collection for a three year period from OMB.

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Federal Communications Commission.

Marlene H. Dortch,

Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Office of Managing Director.

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[FR Doc. 2011-20719 Filed 8-15-11; 8:45 am]