FCC Announces First 2016 EEO Audits

Posted on February 29th, 2016 by

Twice a year, every year, the FCC sends audit letters to broadcast stations around the country requesting information on their compliance with the FCC’s EEO requirements. Typically, about 5% of all stations are audited each year.

The first EEO audits of 2016 were launched on February 24th, with 279 radio and television stations on the receiving end of EEO audit letters. If your station has received one, review it carefully, note the deadline for responding (April 11, 2016), and start gathering what you need to comply with the audit. Could you be on the list, but haven’t seen the letter just yet? Possibly. Check this list for your station. And if you’re curious about what an audit letter looks like and what it asks for, review the February 24, 2016 letter, which is attached to the public notice announcing the audits. Even if your station is not on the list, use it to do a dry-run for responding, which will also be a good compliance double check for your program.

What if your station was audited last year? What if you need more time to gather information in order to timely respond to the audit? In both cases, email Lewis Pulley at the FCC at lewis.pulley@fcc.gov and he’ll help out. The last thing you want to do is fail to respond, which is punishable by sanctions.

A few other notes. For privacy reasons, the FCC wants your response to exclude personal information about individuals such as social security numbers or home addresses. Also, the accuracy of your response must be certified by an officer, partner or other principal of the station licensee, so check vacation and work schedules to be sure your station’s signatory will be around.