Summary: H.R.2977 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (06/03/1992)

Public Telecommunications Act of 1992 - Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to authorize appropriations for the public telecommunications facilities program for FY 1992 through 1994 and for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) for FY 1994 through 1996.

Reduces from ten to nine the number of CPB board members, lengthens the terms of each member from five to six years, and staggers the terms of the members.

Makes a prohibition on the receipt of compensation from other sources by CPB officers inapplicable to compensation for services on boards of directors of other organizations that do not receive CPB funds. Subjects service on such boards to annual advance approval by the CPB board.

Permits CPB funds to be allocated for training programs for employees of public broadcast stations.

Directs CPB, in recognition of the importance of educational programs and services, and the expansion of public radio services, to unserved and underserved audiences, to prepare and submit to the Congress an annual report for FY 1994 through 1996 on its activities and expenditures relating to those programs and services.

Requires an annual report for FY 1992 through 1995 concerning the performance of the CPB independent production service.

Prohibits CPB funding for any public broadcast station licensee that fails to certify to the CPB that it is in compliance with certain Federal regulations concerning equal employment or that fails to submit (in the case of licensees with more than five full-time employees) a certain statistical report identifying employees in specified job categories by race and sex and the annual number of job openings.

Permits a public telecommunications entity receiving CPB funding to submit financial statements in lieu of required biennial (currently, biannual) audits if the CPB determines that the cost burden of audits is excessive in light of the entity's financial condition.

Directs CPB, subsequent to the award of funds for the production or acquisition of national broadcast programming, to make the following available for public inspection: (1) grant and solicitation guidelines for programming proposals; (2) the reasons for selecting the proposal for which the award was made; (3) information on each program for which the award was made, including the names of the awardee and producer, the monetary amount, and the title and description of the program; (4) a report based on the final audit findings from any award audit by the CPB or Comptroller General; and (5) reports required to be provided by the awardee relating to national public broadcasting programming funded, produced, or acquired by the awardee with such funds.

Makes available for public inspection: (1) the final report required by CPB annually from each recipient of funds; and (2) an annual list of national programs distributed by public broadcasting entities that receive national public broadcasting programming funds and are engaged primarily in the national distribution of public television or radio programs.

Prohibits CPB from contracting to provide funds to any independent production service unless such service agrees to comply with specified public inspection requirements.

Directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to promulgate regulations to prohibit the broadcasting of indecent programming between six a.m. and: (1) ten p.m. on any day by any public radio or television station that goes off the air at or before 12 midnight; and (2) 12 midnight on any day for any other station.

Repeals a provision of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1989 that requires the FCC to promulgate regulations to enforce a prohibition on the broadcasting of obscene language 24 hours a day.

Requires CPB to report to the Congress on: (1) the most effective way to establish and implement a ready-to-learn public television channel; and (2) the most effective use of existing telecommunications facilities to establish and implement distance learning projects in rural areas.

Directs the CPB board of directors to: (1) establish a policy and set of procedures to provide for public comment on public broadcast programming and for reviews of programming for quality, objectivity, and balance; and (2) report to the President annually, summarizing efforts to achieve quality, objectivity, and balance in programming.

Requires CPB to develop guidelines to assure that program credits for public television programs that receive CPB production funding adequately disclose that the cost of producing the program was paid for by CPB funding and indicate that CPB is partially funded from Federal tax revenues.