46 CFR 501.5 - Functions of the organizational components of the Federal Maritime Commission.
As further provided in subpart C of this part, the functions, including the delegated authority of the Commission's organizational components and/or officials to exercise their functions and to take all actions necessary to direct and carry out their assigned duties and responsibilities under the lines of responsibility set forth in § 501.4, are briefly set forth as follows:
(a) Chairman. As the chief executive and administrative officer of the Commission, the Chairman presides at meetings of the Commission, administers the policies of the Commission to its responsible officials, and ensures the efficient discharge of their responsibilities. The Chairman provides management direction to the Offices of Equal Employment Opportunity, Secretary, General Counsel, Administrative Law Judges, Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services, and Managing Director with respect to all matters concerning overall Commission workflow, resource allocation (both staff and budgetary), work priorities and similar managerial matters; and establishes, as necessary, various committees and boards to address overall operations of the agency. The Chairman serves as appeals officer under the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and the Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act of 1998. The Chairman appoints the heads of major administrative units after consultation with the other Commissioners. In addition, the Chairman, as “head of the agency,” has certain responsibilities under Federal laws and directives not specifically related to shipping. For example, the special offices or officers within the Commission, listed under paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3) of this section, are appointed or designated by the Chairman, are under his or her direct supervision and report directly to the Chairman:
(1) Under the direction and management of the Office Director, the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) ensures that statutory and regulatory prohibitions against discrimination in employment and the requirements for related programs are fully implemented. As such, the Office administers and implements comprehensive programs on discrimination complaints processing, affirmative action and special emphasis. The Director, EEO, advises the Chairman regarding EEO's plans, procedures, regulations, reports and other matters pertaining to policy and the agency's programs. Additionally, the Director provides leadership and advice to managers and supervisors in carrying out their respective responsibilities in equal employment opportunity. The EEO Office administers and implements these program responsibilities in accordance with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) Regulations at 29 CFR Part 1614 and other relevant EEOC Directives and Bulletins.
(2) The Information Security Officer is a senior agency official designated under § 503.52 of this chapter to direct and administer the Commission's information security program, which includes an active oversight and security education program to ensure effective implementation of Executive Orders 12958 and 12968.
(3) The Designated Agency Ethics Official and Alternate are appropriate agency employees formally designated under 5 CFR 2638.202 and § 508.101 of this chapter to coordinate and manage the ethics program as set forth in 5 CFR 2638.203, which includes the functions of advising on matters of employee responsibilities and conduct, and serving as the Commission's designee(s) to the Office of Government Ethics on such matters. They provide counseling and guidance to employees on conflicts of interest and other ethical matters.
(b) Commissioners. The members of the Commission, including the Chairman, implement various shipping statutes and related directives by rendering decisions, issuing orders, and adopting and enforcing rules and regulations governing persons subject to the shipping statutes; and perform other duties and functions as may be appropriate under reorganization plans, statutes, executive orders, and regulations. In addition, the Inspector General reports to and is under the general supervision of the Commission.
(1) Under the direction and management of the Inspector General, the Office of Inspector General conducts, supervises and coordinates audits and investigations relating to the programs and operations of the Commission; reviews existing and proposed legislation and regulations pertaining to such programs and operations; provides leadership and coordination and recommends policies for activities designed to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the administration of, and to prevent and detect waste, fraud and abuse in, such programs and operations; and advises the Commission and the Congress fully and currently about problems and deficiencies relating to the administration of such programs and operations and the necessity for and progress of corrective action.
(c) Secretary. Under the direction and management of the Secretary, the Office of the Secretary:
(1) Is responsible for the preparation, maintenance and disposition of the official files and records documenting the business of the Commission. In this regard, the Office:
(i) Prepares and, as appropriate, publishes agenda of matters for action by the Commission; prepares and maintains the minutes with respect to such actions; signs, serves and issues, on behalf of the Commission, documents implementing such actions, and coordinates follow-up thereon.
(ii) Receives and processes formal and informal complaints involving alleged statutory violations, petitions for relief, special dockets applications, applications to correct clerical or administrative errors in service contracts, requests for conciliation service, staff recommendations for investigation and rulemaking proceedings, and motions and filings relating thereto.
(iii) Disseminates information regarding the proceedings, activities, functions, and responsibilities of the Commission to the maritime industry, news media, general public, and other government agencies. In this capacity the Office also:
(A) Administers the Commission's Freedom of Information Act, Privacy Act and Government in the Sunshine Act responsibilities; the Secretary serves as the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act Officer.
(B) Authenticates records of the Commission.
(C) Compiles and publishes the bound volumes of Commission decisions.
(D) Coordinates publication of documents, including rules and modifications thereto with the Office of the Federal Register; the Secretary serves as the Federal Register Liaison Officer and Certifying Officer.
(E) Oversees the content and organization of the Commission's Web site and authorizes the publication of documents thereon.
(3) Manages the Commission's library and related services.
(4) Serves as the lead executive responsible for development, in coordination with the Managing Director, of the agency's strategic plan, monitoring of results of strategic goals and objectives, and preparation of all required reports.
(d) General Counsel. Under the direction and management of the General Counsel, the Office of the General Counsel:
(1) Reviews for legal sufficiency all staff memoranda and recommendations that are presented for Commission action and staff actions acted upon pursuant to delegated authority under §§ 501.27(e) and 501.27(g).
(2) Provides written or oral legal opinions to the Commission, to the staff, and to the general public in appropriate cases.
(3) Prepares and/or reviews for legal sufficiency, before service, all final Commission decisions, orders, and regulations.
(4) Monitors, reviews and, as requested by the Committees of the Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, or the Chairman, prepares comments on all legislation introduced in the Congress affecting the Commission's programs or activities, and prepares draft legislation or amendments to legislation; coordinates such matters with the appropriate Bureau, Office or official and advises appropriate Commission officials of legislation that may impact the programs and activities of the Commission; prepares testimony for congressional hearings and responses to requests from congressional offices.
(5) Serves as the legal representative of the Commission in courts and in administrative proceedings before other government agencies.
(6) Monitors and reports on international maritime developments, including laws and practices of foreign governments which affect ocean shipping; and identifies potential state-controlled carriers within the meaning of section 3(8) of the Shipping Act of 1984 (46 U.S.C. 40102(8)), researches their status, and makes recommendations to the Commission concerning their classification.
(7) Represents the Commission in U.S. Government interagency groups dealing with international maritime issues; represents the Commission and acts as technical advisor in bilateral and multilateral maritime discussions; and coordinates Commission activities through liaison with other government agencies and programs and international organizations.
(8) Screens, routes, and maintains custody of U.S. Government and international organization documents, subject to the classification and safekeeping controls administered by the Commission's Information Security Officer.
(9) Reviews for legal sufficiency all adverse personnel actions, procurement activities, Freedom of Information Act, Privacy Act matters, requests for testimony by employees and production of official records in litigation and other administrative actions.
(e) Administrative Law Judges. Under the direction and management of the Chief Administrative Law Judge, the Office of Administrative Law Judges holds hearings and renders initial or recommended decisions in formal rulemaking and adjudicatory proceedings as provided in the Shipping Act of 1984, and other applicable laws and other matters assigned by the Commission, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act and the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure.
(f) Office of the Managing Director.
(1) The Managing Director:
(i) As Chief Operating Officer, is responsible to the Chairman for the management and coordination of Commission programs managed by the Bureaus of Certification and Licensing; Trade Analysis; Enforcement; the Commission's Area Representatives; Offices of Budget and Finance; Human Resources; Management Services; and Information Technology, as more fully described below, and thereby implements the regulatory policies of the Commission and the administrative policies and directives of the Chairman. The Managing Director also provides administrative guidance to the Offices of Equal Employment Opportunity and Inspector General;
(ii) The Office initiates recommendations, collaborating with other elements of the Commission as warranted, for long-range plans, new or revised policies and standards, and rules and regulations;
(iii) Ensures the periodic review and updating of Commission Orders;
(iv) Interprets and administers governmental policies and programs in a manner consistent with Federal guidelines, including those involving financial management, human resources, information technology, and procurement;
(v) Is responsible for coordinating records management activities and developing Paperwork Reduction Act clearances for submission to the Office of Management and Budget;
(vi) Is responsible for directing and administering the Commission's training and development function;
(x) Is the agency's Chief Financial Officer;
(xi) Is the agency's Chief Operating Officer;
(xii) Serves as the Senior Agency Official for Privacy under Commission Order 89;
(3) The Assistant Managing Director is the Commission's Chief Information Officer and Records Management Officer. The Assistant Managing Director provides direction to the Office of Information Technology in interpreting and administering governmental policies and programs for information technology in a manner consistent with federal guidelines. The Assistant Managing Director initiates recommendations, collaborating with other elements of the Commission as warranted, for long-range plans, new or revised policies and standards, and rules and regulations with respect to the use and security of information and technology.
(4) Other offices under the management direction of the Managing Director are as follows:
(i) The Office of Budget and Finance, under the direction and management of the Office Director, administers the Commission's financial management program, including fiscal accounting activities, fee and forfeiture collections, and payments, and ensures that Commission obligations and expenditures of appropriated funds are proper; develops annual budget justifications for submission to the Congress and the Office of Management and Budget; develops and administers internal controls systems that provide accountability for agency funds; administers the Commission's travel and cash management programs, ensures accountability for official passports; and assists in the development of proper levels of user fees.
(ii) The Office of Human Resources, under the direction and management of the Office Director, plans and administers a complete personnel management program including: Recruitment and placement; position classification and pay administration; occupational safety and health; employee counseling services; employee relations; workforce discipline; performance appraisal; incentive awards; retirement; personnel security; and the Commission's Human Capital Management Plan. The Office Director serves as the Commission's Human Capital Management Officer. A human resources specialist within the Office serves as the Information Security Officer under Commission Order 80.
(iii) The Office of Information Technology, under the direction and management of the Office Director, administers the Commission's information technology (“IT”) program under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, as amended, as well as other applicable laws that prescribe responsibility for operating the IT program. The Office provides administrative support with respect to information technology to the program operations of the Commission. The Office's functions include: Conducting IT management studies and surveys; managing data and voice telecommunications; developing and managing databases and applications; and administering IT contracts. The Office is also responsible for managing the computer security program. The Director of the Office serves as the Commission's Chief Technology Officer; the IT Security Officer reports to the Director of the Office under Commission Order 80.
(iv) The Office of Management Services, under the direction and management of the Office Director, directs and administers a variety of management support service functions of the Commission including conducting internal management reviews and recommending changes in organization and workflow processes. The Director of the Office is the Commission's principal Contracting Officer under Commission Order 112. Programs include: Acquisition of all goods and services used by the Commission; building security and emergency preparedness; real and personal property management; printing and copying; mail services; graphic design; equipment maintenance; and transportation. The Office Director is the agency's liaison with the Small Agency Council's Procurement and Administrative Services Committees and with the General Services Administration (“GSA”) and the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) on the Building Security Committee.
(g) Under the direction and management of the Bureau Director, the Bureau of Certification and Licensing:
(1) Through the Office of Transportation Intermediaries, has responsibility for reviewing applications for Ocean Transportation Intermediary (“OTI”) licenses, and maintaining records about licensees.
(2) Through the Office of Passenger Vessels and Information Processing, has responsibility for reviewing applications for certificates of financial responsibility with respect to passenger vessels, reviewing requests for substitution of alternative forms of financial protection, managing all activities with respect to evidence of financial responsibility for OTIs and passenger vessel owner/operators, and for developing and maintaining all Bureau database and records of OTI applicants and licensees.
(h) Under the direction and management of the Bureau Director, the Bureau of Trade Analysis, through its Office of Agreements; Office of Economics and Competition Analysis; and Office of Service Contracts and Tariffs, reviews agreements and monitors the concerted activities of common carriers by water, reviews and analyzes service contracts, monitors rates of government controlled carriers, reviews carrier published tariff systems under the accessibility and accuracy standards of the Shipping Act of 1984 (46 U.S.C. 40501(a)-(g)), responds to inquiries or issues that arise concerning service contracts or tariffs, and is responsible for competition oversight and market analysis.
(i) Under the direction and management of the Bureau Director, the Bureau of Enforcement:
(2) Initiates, processes and negotiates the informal compromise of civil penalties under § 501.28 and § 502.604 of this chapter, and represents the Commission in proceedings and circumstances as designated;
(4) Coordinates with other bureaus and offices to provide legal advice, attorney liaison, and prosecution, as warranted, in connection with enforcement matters;
(5) Conducts investigations leading to enforcement action, advises the Commission of evolving competitive practices in international oceanborne commerce, and assesses the practical repercussions of Commission regulations.
(j) Area Representatives. Maintain a presence in locations other than Washington, DC, with activities including the following:
(1) Representing the Commission within their respective geographic areas;
(2) Providing liaison between the Commission and the shipping industry and interested public; conveying pertinent information regarding regulatory activities and problems; and recommending courses of action and solutions to problems as they relate to the shipping public, the affected industry, and the Commission;
(4) Receiving and resolving informal complaints, in coordination with the Director, Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services;
(5) Investigating potential violations of the shipping statutes and the Commission's regulations;
(6) Conducting shipping industry surveillance programs to ensure compliance with the shipping statutes and the Commission's regulations. Such programs include common carrier audits, service contract audits and compliance checks of OTIs;
(7) Upon request of the Bureau of Certification and Licensing, auditing passenger vessel operators to determine the adequacy of performance bonds and the availability of funds to pay liability claims for death or injury, and assisting in the background surveys of OTI applicants;
(8) Conducting special surveys and studies, and recommending policies to strengthen enforcement of the shipping laws;
(9) Maintaining liaison with Federal and State agencies with respect to areas of mutual concern; and
(10) Providing assistance to the various bureaus and offices of the Commission, as appropriate and when requested.
(k) The Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services, under the direction and management of the Office Director, has responsibility for developing and implementing the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program, responds to consumer inquiries and complaints, and coordinates the Commission's efforts to resolve disputes within the shipping industry. The Office reviews existing and proposed legislation and regulations for impact on the shipping industry and its consumers and recommends appropriate policies and regulations to facilitate trade. The Director of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services is designated as the agency's Senior Dispute Resolution Specialist pursuant to section 3 of the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act, Public Law 101-552, as amended by section 4(a) of Public Law 104-320. The Director also serves as the Commission's Ombudsman.
(l) Boards and Committees. The following boards and committees are established by separate Commission orders to address matters relating to the overall operations of the Commission:
(1) The Executive Resources Board (“ERB”) is composed of members of the Senior Executive Service as designated by the Chairman. The Chairman shall designate an ERB chair on a rotational basis beginning October 1 of each year. The Board meets on an ad hoc basis to discuss, develop and submit recommendations to the Chairman on matters related to the merit staffing process for career appointments in the Senior Executive Service, including the executive qualifications of candidates for career appointment. The Board also plans and manages the Commission's executive development programs. Serving the Board in a non-voting advisory capacity are the Director, Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, the Training Officer, and the Director, Office of Human Resources, who also serves as the Board's secretary. [Commission Order No. 95.]
(2) The Performance Review Board (“PRB”) is chaired by a Commissioner designated by the Chairman, and is composed of a standing register of members which is published in the Federal Register. Once a year, the PRB Chairman appoints performance review panels from the membership to review individual performance appraisals and other relevant information pertaining to Senior Executives at the Commission, and to recommend final performance ratings to the Chairman. [Commission Order No. 115.] Every three years, the PRB considers supervisors' recommendations as to whether Senior Executives of the Commission should be recertified under the Ethics Reform Act of 1989, and makes appropriate recommendations to the Commission's Chairman. [Commission Order No. 118.]
(3) The Maritime Environmental Committee (“MEC”) is an internal Committee made up of Commission staff as designated by the Chairman. The MEC advises the Chairman and the Commission on issues involving environmental and sustainable shipping practices, initiatives, operational proposals, and similar matters affecting entities regulated by the Commission to assist the Commission in its review and regulation of agreements and in its statutory responsibility for ensuring an efficient ocean transportation system.