What is an Independent regulatory agency?
An Independent regulatory agency is an organization that is formed in order to control certain section of a country without any government interference. The independent regulatory agency is usually formed for various reasons which all lead to the improvement of the services done by the regulatory agency (Cushman). The complexity of certain regulatory and supervisory tasks may lead to the need of an organization that is autonomous. This is because an autonomous organization is able to concentrate all its efforts in doing one task with leadership and management team that is able to focus on managing the organization unlike an organization which is managed by the government thus may receive relatively poor management due to the work load that will be done by the government consequently leading to delivery of poor services by the government (Goldstein).
The United States has also created regulatory agencies in order to prevent political interference in the operation of the organizations which would have otherwise led to poor management and operation. Government interference leads to the poor management of agencies since the political figures may be involved in the management for personal gains for instance, financial gain from the budgeting of the funds of the organization or such activities as employment favors (Vance). The independent regulatory agencies are also created in order to bring about rapid implementation of public authority in certain sectors (Independent Regulatory Commissions: Comparative Operating Data For Years 1949 And 1959: Compilation From Commission Reports And Answers To June 3, 1960..). This is because direct involvement of the public is made possible through their involvement in the running of the agencies. This would not have been possible if the government managed the regulatory agencies thus exercising its authority through the organizations.
Federal Communications Commission
The Federal Communications Commission specified in the Communications Act of 1934 was formed in the USA in order to provide fast and reliable world-wide wire and radio communication services with adequate facilities at reasonable charges without discrimination on such factors as race, religion, sex or national origin. This Act states that the agency was formed for the promotion of property and life protection and also national defense through the wire and radio communications (Largo).
The agency performs numerous functions in the United States within the radio and wire communications. Some of its functions include the assigning of frequency, power and call signs for radio. This means that if any individual wants to have a frequency for the transmission of signal must acquire it from the Federal Communications Commission. Other functions of FCC which also relate to radio communications include VHF and UHF television broadcast services, designating sign-on/sign-off times and operating power for broadcast stations. The Agency also inspects the content that is viewed on television programs, whether it is fit for viewing by the various groups of people, for instance television content that is healthy for viewing by children, cigarette advertising and political campaign content which should not lead to any unhealthy relationships in the political arena.
The FCC also puts a limit to the number of broadcasting outlets that may be owned by an individual or single company and reviews the restrictions occasionally. This is done to prevent media monopoly from emerging for instance, a single entity may not own a television station, a radio station, a newspaper and a cable network.
How the President, Congress or Supreme Court can influence or change the authority of the agency.
Even though independent agencies are free from control and interference from other parties such as president and other government officials, some of its power and influence can be altered by some institutions (Hoque). The President has influence over the agency in such ways as the appointing which is done by him or her, through the reorganization of the agency but which is only possible through congressional approval. The president can also alter the agencys budget request and ignore legislative initiatives originating within the agency. He or she can also shape policy and provide direction by issuing executive orders (Wright).
The Congress also has influence on the agency in that it can confirm or reject nominees of the agencys top management positions and even checks the power of the agency. It also has the power to create or abolish agencies and transfer their functions (Rosen). The Congress can also expand or contract bureaucratic discretion and conduct program evaluations.
The Supreme Court influences the agency through various actions such as issuing of an order to an agency even before the rule is publicized.
Cushman, Robert Eugene. The Independent Regulatory Commissions. Octagon Books, 1972. Print.
Goldstein, Mark L. FCC Management: Improvements Needed In Communication, Decision-Making Processes, And Workforce Planning. DIANE Publishing, 2011. Print.
Hoque, Zahirul. Making Governments Accountable: The Role Of Public Accounts Committees And National Audit Offices. Routledge, 2015. Print.
Independent Regulatory Commissions: Comparative Operating Data For Years 1949 And 1959: Compilation From Commission Reports And Answers To June 3, 1960... U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1960. Print.
Largo, Martha.P. The Federal Communications Commission: What Role?. Nova Publishers, 2004. Print.
Rosen, Bernard. Holding Government Bureaucracies Accountable. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998. Print.
Vance, Mary A. Administrative Agencies And Independent Regulatory Commissions: A Bibliography. Vance Bibliographies, 1981. Print.
Wright, Patrick J. Making State Agencies More Accountable. Mackinac Center for Public Policy, 2006. Print.
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