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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB096 (1995)

ARLB096 FCC OKs closings plan

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 96  ARLB096
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  October 17, 1995
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB096 FCC OKs closings plan

The FCC has approved a field office restructuring plan that it says
will improve operations and save money.  The plan, submitted to the
Commissioners by FCC Chairman Reed Hundt on August 17, would
automate the FCC's network of airwave monitoring stations and reduce
the number of field offices and field personnel in the Compliance
and Information Bureau (CIB).

The plan also will improve public information services by
establishing a new toll-free national call center, the FCC said.
The Commission's field enforcement activities would be maintained at
current levels.

The plan would close nine separate attended high frequency
monitoring stations, and three additional monitoring sites within
FCC field offices.  Technological advances permit the replacement of
these monitoring stations with a national automated monitoring
network by the summer of 1996, the FCC said, and ''overall,
monitoring capacities will be enhanced.''  One facility in
Laurel/Columbia, Maryland, will remain as the network central

The new FCC Call Center would, for the first time, enable the public
anywhere in the United States to call one toll-free number to reach
the FCC for information or to report complaints.  The Center will
handle this function more efficiently, and with greater convenience
to the public, than is now possible in the dispersed field offices,
the FCC said.

The FCC said that, under the plan, authorized staffing in the CIB
will decrease by about one-third by the beginning of FY 1997.  The
CIB plan will require an investment of 5 to 7 million dollars in
equipment and personnel in fiscal years 1996 and 1997 and the
Commission estimates it would save more than 8 million (in current
dollars) annually thereafter.

Hundt said, ''The CIB restructuring plan will enable us to enforce
the rules that govern the nation's airwaves better and cheaper.  We
will also be able to provide information services to the public
better and cheaper.''

As is required for all major FCC reorganizations, the CIB
restructuring plan must be reviewed by the House and Senate
Appropriations Committees.  At the same time, the FCC will begin
required negotiations with the union that represents FCC employees.

More information is in November 1995 QST, page 92.


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