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Establishment of the Office of Economics and Analytics

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

Establishment of the Office of Economics and Analytics. This action is taken to enhance the role of economic analysis, the design and implementation of auctions, and the use and management of data at the Federal Communications Commission (the Commission or FCC). The Commission determined that the proper dispatch of its business and the public interest will be served by creating an Office of Economics and Analytics (the Office or OEA). In the Order, the Commission amended its Rules to reflect the new organizational structure, describe the Office's functions and delegated authority, and make other conforming changes. The Commission found it appropriate to make these organizational changes to integrate the use of economics and data analysis into the Commission's various rulemakings and other actions in a more comprehensive and thorough manner.

DATES:

Effective December 7, 2018.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Wayne Leighton, 202-418-0950.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This is a summary of the Commission's Order, in MD Docket No. 18-3; FCC 18-7, adopted on January 30, 2018 and released on January 31, 2018. The full text of this document is available at https://docs.fcc.gov/​public/​attachments/​FCC-18-7A1.pdf. Key objectives of this organizational change are to expand and deepen the use of economic analysis into Commission policy making, to enhance the development and use of auctions, and to implement consistent and effective agency-wide data practices and policies.

The Office will be charged with ensuring that economic analysis is deeply and consistently incorporated into the agency's regular operations, and will support work across the FCC and throughout the decision-making process. Specifically, it will: (A) Provide economic analysis, including cost-benefit analysis, for rulemakings, transactions, adjudications, and other Commission actions; (B) manage the FCC's auctions in support of and in coordination with FCC Bureaus and Offices; (C) develop policies and strategies to help manage the FCC's data resources and establish best practices for data use throughout the FCC in coordination with FCC Bureaus and Offices; and (D) conduct long-term research on ways to improve the Commission's policies and processes in each of these areas.

To accomplish these objectives and functions, the Office of Economics and Analytics will combine economists, attorneys, and data professionals from across the Commission. In particular, we intend for the majority of the Commission's economists currently in multiple Bureaus and Offices to staff the Office of Economics and Analytics.

To accomplish this organizational change, the following actions are taken.

  • The Commission will eliminate the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis (OSP) and generally shift OSP authorities and functions to the Office of Economics and Analytics.
  • The Commission will create an Economic Analysis Division within the Office of Economics and Analytics. The Economic Analysis Division will provide analytical and quantitative support as needed to Bureaus and Offices engaged in rulemakings, transactions, auctions, adjudications, and other matters.
  • The Commission will create an Industry Analysis Division within the Office of Economics and Analytics. To accomplish this, the Commission will generally shift the functions of the Industry Analysis and Technology Division of the Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) to OEA. Through its Industry Analysis Division, OEA will serve as the Commission's principal resource with regard to designing and administering significant, economically-relevant data collections used by a variety of Bureaus and Offices, providing support to Bureaus and Offices with respect to these data collections as well as support using the data for Continuity of Operations (COOP)/Emergency Response Group (ERG)/Incident Management Team (IMT), and performing analyses and studies.
  • The Commission will create an Auctions Division within the Office of Economics and Analytics. To accomplish this, the Commission will generally shift the functions of the Auctions and Spectrum Access Division in the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) to OEA. Through its Auctions Division and in consultation with WTB and WCB, OEA will serve as the Commission's principal resource with regard to all auction design and implementation issues. OEA will collaborate with other Bureaus involved in establishing and conducting auctions, such as spectrum or universal service auctions.
  • The Commission will create a Data Division within the Office of Economics and Analytics. The Data Division will help develop and implement best practices, processes, and standards for data management in order to meet the needs of Commission staff who rely on data to inform policymaking and other core activities of the Commission.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This document does not contain new or modified information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any new or modified information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

Congressional Review Act

The Commission will not send a copy of this Order pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A), because the adopted rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice that do not “substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties.”

The amendments adopted herein pertain to agency organization, procedure, and practice. Consequently, the notice and comment and effective date provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act contained in 5 U.S.C. 553(b) and (d) do not apply.

Consistent with the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, this reorganization will not become effective until the appropriate clearance has been obtained, and the Order has thereafter been published in the Federal Register.

Ordering Clauses

Accordingly, it is ordered that, pursuant to sections 1, 4, 5(b), 5(c), 201(b), and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154, 155(b), 155(c), 201(b), 303(r), this Order is adopted.

It is further ordered that part 0 of the Commission rules is amended as set forth in the Final Rules section.

It is further ordered that this Order will become effective December 7, 2018 in accordance with paragraph 7 of the Order (MD Docket No. 18-3; FCC 18-7, adopted on January 30, 2018 and released on January 31, 2018).

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 0

  • Classified information
  • Freedom of information
  • Government publications
  • Infants and children
  • Organization and functions (Government agencies)
  • Postal Service
  • Privacy
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Sunshine Act
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Federal Communications Commission.

Katura Jackson,

Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.

End Signature

Final Rules

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 0 as follows:

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PART 0—COMMISSION ORGANIZATION

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1. The authority citation for part 0 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: Secs. 5, 48 Stat. 1068, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 155, 225, unless otherwise noted.

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2. Amend § 0.5 by revising paragraph (a)(4) to read as follows:

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General description of Commission organization and operations.

(a) * * *

(4) Office of Economics and Analytics.

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3. Revise § 0.21 and the undesignated center heading immediately preceding it to read as follows:

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Office of Economics and Analytics

Functions of the Office.

The Office of Economics and Analytics advises and makes recommendations to the Commission in the areas of economic and data analysis and data management policy. The Office reviews all Commission actions involving significant economic or data analysis and provides expertise, guidance, and assistance to the Bureaus and other Offices in applying the principles of economic and data analysis. The Office coordinates the Commission's research and development activities relating to economic and data analysis and data management policy. In addition, the Office serves, in close coordination with other relevant Bureaus and Offices, as a principal resource for policy and administrative staff of the Commission with regard to the design, implementation, and administration of auctions. The Office also establishes and implements Commission data management policies in conjunction with the relevant Bureaus and Offices and with the Office of Managing Director and Office of General Counsel. The Office of Economics and Analytics has the following duties and responsibilities:

(a) Identifies and evaluates significant communications policy issues, based on the principles and methods of economics and data analysis.

(b) Collaborates with and advises other Bureaus and Offices in the areas of economic and data analysis and with respect to the analysis of benefits, costs, and regulatory impacts of Commission policies, rules, and proposals.

(c) Prepares a rigorous, economically-grounded cost-benefit analysis for every rulemaking deemed to have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more.

(d) Confirms that the Office of Economics and Analytics has reviewed each Commission rulemaking to ensure it is complete before release to the public.

(e) Reviews and comments on all significant issues of economic and data analysis raised in connection with actions proposed to be taken by the Commission and advises the Commission regarding such issues.

(f) Develops, recommends, and implements data management policies in conjunction with the Office of Managing Director, the Office of General Counsel, and relevant Bureaus and Offices, and collaborates with and advises other Bureaus and Offices with respect to data management and data analysis.

(g) Manages the Commission's economic and data analysis research programs, recommends budget levels and priorities for these programs, and serves as central account manager for all contractual economic and data analysis research studies funded by the Commission.

(h) Conducts economic, statistical, cost-benefit, and other data analysis of the impact of existing and proposed communications policies and operations, including cooperative studies with other staff units and consultant and contract efforts as appropriate.

(i) Coordinates the Commission's evaluation of government (state and federal), academic, and industry-sponsored research affecting Commission policy.

(j) Coordinates with other Bureaus and Offices in making recommendations to the Commission on communications policy issues that involve economic and data analysis, to include cost-benefit analysis; represents the Commission at appropriate discussions and conferences.

(k) Develops and recommends procedures and plans for effective economic and data analysis, to include cost-benefit analysis, within the Commission.

(l) Seeks to ensure that FCC policy encourages and promotes competitive markets by providing Bureaus and Offices with the necessary support to identify, evaluate, and resolve competition issues.

(m) In conjunction with the relevant subject matter Bureau, serves as the Commission's principal policy and administrative staff resource with regard to the design, implementation, and administration of auctions and other types of competitive bidding.

(n) Administers Commission spectrum auctions for wireless telecommunications in conjunction with the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. Administers Commission spectrum auctions for broadcasting in conjunction with the Media Bureau. Works with the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to develop recommendations to the Commission on policies, programs and rules concerning auctions of spectrum for wireless telecommunications. In conjunction with the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Media Bureau, Wireline Competition Bureau, and other relevant Bureaus and Offices, advises the Commission on policy relating to auctions and competitive bidding to achieve other Commission policy objectives. Administers procurement of auction-related services from outside contractors. Provides policy, administrative and technical assistance to other Bureaus and Offices on auction issues.

(o) In conjunction with the Wireline Competition Bureau and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, provides policy and administrative staff resources for the use of market-based mechanisms, including competitive bidding, to distribute universal service support.

(p) With respect to applicable data and reporting duties assigned to the Office, coordinates with the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau and other relevant Bureaus and Offices on all matters affecting public safety, homeland security, national security, emergency management, disaster management, and related issues.

(q) With respect to applicable data and reporting duties assigned to the Office, and in coordination with the Wireline Competition Bureau and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, provides federal staff support for the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service and the Federal-State Joint Board on Jurisdictional Separations.

(r) In coordination with other relevant Bureaus and Offices, provides economic, financial, and technical analyses of communications markets and provider performance.

(s) In coordination with the Wireline Competition Bureau, provides technical support for de novo review of decisions of the Administrative Council for Terminal Attachments regarding technical criteria pursuant to § 68.614.

(t) Prepares briefings, position papers, and proposed Commission actions, as appropriate.

(u) In coordination with other relevant Bureaus and Offices, develops and recommends responses to legislative, regulatory or judicial inquiries and proposals concerning or affecting matters within the purview of its functions.

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4. Amend § 0.31 by revising paragraph (g) to read as follows:

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Functions of the Office.
* * * * *

(g) In cooperation with the relevant Bureaus and Offices, including the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Economics and Analytics, to advise the Commission, participate in and coordinate staff work with respect to general frequency allocation proceedings and other proceedings not within the jurisdiction of any single Bureau, and render service and advice Start Printed Page 63076with respect to rule making matters and proceedings affecting more than one Bureau.

* * * * *
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5. Amend § 0.91 by revising paragraph (p) to read as follows:

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Functions of the Office.
* * * * *

(p) In coordination with the Office of Economics and Analytics and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, serves as the Commission's principal policy and administrative staff resource with respect to the use of market-based mechanisms, including competitive bidding, to distribute universal service support. Develops, recommends and administers policies, programs, rules and procedures concerning the use of market-based mechanisms, including competitive bidding, to distribute universal service support.

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6. Amend § 0.131 by revising paragraphs (a), (c), and (r) to read as follows:

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Functions of the Bureau
* * * * *

(a) Advises and makes recommendations to the Commission, or acts for the Commission under delegated authority, in all matters pertaining to the licensing and regulation of wireless telecommunications, including ancillary operations related to the provision or use of such services; any matters concerning wireless carriers that also affect wireline carriers in cooperation with the Wireline Competition Bureau; and, in cooperation with the Office of Economics and Analytics, all matters regarding spectrum auctions and, in cooperation with the Wireline Competition Bureau, USF mechanisms affecting wireless carriers. These activities include: Policy development and coordination; conducting rulemaking and adjudicatory proceedings, including licensing and complaint proceedings for matters not within the responsibility of the Enforcement Bureau; acting on waivers of rules; acting on applications for service and facility authorizations; compliance and enforcement activities for matters not within the responsibility of the Enforcement Bureau; determining resource impacts of existing, planned or recommended Commission activities concerning wireless telecommunications, and developing and recommending resource deployment priorities.

* * * * *

(c) Serves as a staff resource, in coordination with the Office of Economics and Analytics, with regard to the development and implementation of spectrum policy through spectrum auctions. Develops, recommends and administers policies, programs and rules concerning licensing of spectrum for wireless telecommunications through auctions. Advises the Commission on policy, engineering and technical matters relating to auctions of spectrum used for other purposes.

* * * * *

(r) In coordination with the Wireline Competition Bureau and the Office of Economics and Analytics, develops and recommends policies, programs, rules and procedures concerning the use of market-based mechanisms, including competitive bidding, to distribute universal service support.

* * * * *
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7. Revise § 0.271 and the undesignated center heading immediately preceding it to read as follows:

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Office of Economics and Analytics

Authority delegated.

(a) Insofar as authority is not delegated to any other Bureau or Office, the Chief, Office of Economics and Analytics, is delegated authority to carry out the performance of functions and activities described in § 0.21, provided that the following matters shall be referred to the Commission en banc for disposition:

(1) Notices of proposed rulemaking and of inquiry, final orders in rulemaking proceedings and inquiry proceedings and non-editorial orders making changes, and any reports arising from any of the foregoing;

(2) Any petition, pleading, request, or other matter presenting new or novel questions of fact, law, or policy that cannot be resolved under existing precedents and guidelines; and

(3) Applications for review of actions taken to delegated authority, except that the Chief may dismiss any such application that does not comply with the filing requirements of § 1.115(d) and (f) of this chapter.

(4) Any applications that are in hearing status.

(b) Insofar as authority is not delegated to any other Bureau or Office, and with respect only to matters that are not in hearing status, the Chief, Office of Economics and Analytics, is delegated authority to deny requests for extension of time or to extend the time within which comments may be filed in dockets over which the Office of Economics and Analytics has primary authority.

(c) Insofar as authority is not delegated to any other Bureau or Office, the Chief, Office of Economics and Analytics, is authorized to dismiss or deny petitions for rulemaking that are repetitive or moot or that for other reasons plainly do not warrant consideration by the Commission.

(d) The Chief, Office of Economics and Analytics, is authorized to dismiss or deny petitions for reconsideration to the extent permitted by § 1.429(l) of this chapter and, jointly with the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, to the extent permitted by § 1.106 of this chapter.

(e) The Chief, Office of Economics and Analytics, is delegated authority to make nonsubstantive, editorial revisions to the Commission's rules and regulations contained in part 1, subparts Q, V, W, and AA, of this chapter.

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8. Add § 0.272 to read as follows:

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Record of actions taken.

The application and authorization files and other appropriate files of the Office of Economics and Analytics are designated as the Commission's official records of action of the Chief, Office of Economics and Analytics, pursuant to authority delegated to the Chief. The official records of action are maintained in the Reference Information Center in the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.

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9. Add § 0.273 to read as follows:

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Actions taken under delegated authority.

In discharging the authority conferred by § 0.271, the Chief, Office of Economics and Analytics, shall establish working relationships with other Bureaus and staff Offices to assure the effective coordination of actions taken in the analysis of regulatory impacts, including assessments of paperwork burdens and initial and final regulatory flexibility assessments.

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[FR Doc. 2018-26423 Filed 12-6-18; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6712-01-P