47 CFR § 0.141 - Functions of the Bureau.

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§ 0.141 Functions of the Bureau.

The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau develops and administers the Commission's consumer and governmental affairs policies and initiatives to enhance the public's understanding of the Commission's work and to facilitate the Agency's relationships with other governmental agencies and organizations. The Bureau is responsible for rulemaking proceedings regarding general consumer education policies and procedures and serves as the primary Commission entity responsible for communicating with the general public regarding Commission policies, programs, and activities in order to facilitate public participation in the Commission's decision-making processes. The Bureau also performs the following functions:

(a) Advises and makes recommendations to the Commission, or acts for the Commission under delegated authority, in matters pertaining to consumers and governmental affairs. This includes policy development and coordination as well as adjudication and rulemaking.

(b) Collaborates with, and advises and assists, the public, state and local governments, and other governmental agencies and industry groups on consumer matters.

(c) Advises the Commission and other Bureaus and Offices of consumer and governmental affairs-related areas of concern or interest; initiates, reviews, and coordinates orders, programs and actions, in conjunction with other Bureaus and Offices, in matters regarding consumer education policies and procedures, and any other related issues affecting consumer policy; represents the Commission on consumer and governmental-related committees, working groups, task forces and conferences within and outside the Commission; and provides expert advice and assistance to Bureaus and Offices and consumers regarding compliance with applicable disability and accessibility requirements, rules, and regulations.

(d) Collects and analyzes information from industry, other Bureaus and Offices, and the media, as well as information received in the Bureau from informal consumer inquiries and complaints, rulemakings, and consumer forums; identifies trends that affect consumers; in consultation with the Office of the Managing Director, provides objectives and evaluation methods for the public information portion of the Commission's Government Performance and Results Act submissions and other Commission-wide strategic planning efforts.

(e) Researches, develops, and distributes materials to inform consumers about the Commission's rules, proposals, and events, and to promote consumer participation in Commission rulemakings and activities; maintains the Commission's Consumer Information Directory; develops a library of commonly requested materials on issues of interest to all consumers. Ensures that alternative translations of Commission materials are available to Commission employees, Bureaus, Offices, and members of the public.

(f) Advises and makes recommendations to the Commission, or acts for the Commission under delegated authority, in matters pertaining to persons with disabilities. Provides expert advice and assistance, as required, to other Bureaus and Offices, consumers, industry, and others on issues relevant to persons with disabilities. Initiates rulemakings, where appropriate; reviews relevant agenda items and other documents and coordinates with Bureaus and Offices to develop recommendations and propose policies to ensure that communications are accessible to persons with disabilities, in conformance with existing disability laws and policies, and that they support the Commission's goal of increasing accessibility of communications services and technologies for persons with disabilities.

(g) Plans, develops, and conducts consumer outreach and education initiatives to educate the public about important Commission regulatory programs. In coordination with other Bureaus and Offices, establishes liaison(s) for information sharing purposes to ensure coordination on all consumer outreach projects. Ensures that alternative translations of Commission materials are available to Commission employees, Bureaus, Offices and members of the public.

(h) Serves as the official FCC records custodian for designated records, including intake processing, organization and file maintenance, reference services, and retirement and retrieval of records; manages the Electronic Comment Filing System and certifies records for adjudicatory and court proceedings. Maintains manual and computerized files that provide for the public inspection of public record materials concerning Broadcast Ownership, AM/FM/TV, TV translators, FM Translators, Cable TV, Wireless, Auction, Common Carrier Tariff matters, International space station files, earth station files, DBS files, and other miscellaneous international files. Also maintains for public inspection Time Brokerage and Affiliation Agreements, court citation files, and legislative histories concerning telecommunications dockets. Provides the public and Commission staff prompt access to manual and computerized records and filing systems. Periodically reviews the status of open docketed proceedings and, following:

(1) Consultation with and concurrence from the relevant bureau or office with responsibility for a particular proceeding,

(2) The issuance of a public notice listing proceedings under consideration for termination, and;

(3) A reasonable period during which interested parties may comment, closes any docket in which no further action is required or contemplated (with termination constituting a final determination in any such proceeding).

(i) Provides informal mediation and resolution of individual informal consumer inquiries and complaints consistent with Commission regulations. Resolves certain classes of informal complaints, as specified by the Commission, through findings of fact and issuance of orders. Receives, reviews, and analyzes responses to informal complaints; maintains manual and computerized files that permit the public inspection of informal consumer complaints; mediates and attempts to settle unresolved disputes in informal complaints as appropriate; and coordinates with other Bureaus and Offices to ensure that consumers are provided with accurate, up-to-date information. Develops and fosters partnerships with state regulatory entities to promote the sharing of information pertaining to informal complaint files maintained by the Bureau.

(j) Provides leadership to other Bureaus and Offices for dissemination of consumer information via the Internet.

(k) In coordination with other Bureaus and Offices, handles Congressional and other correspondence related to specific informal consumer complaints, or other specific matters within the responsibility of the Bureau, to the extent not otherwise handled by the Office of General Counsel or other Bureaus or Offices. Responds to and/or coordinates due diligence and other requests for information pertaining to informal inquiries and complaints under the responsibility of the Bureau with other Bureaus and Offices.

[67 FR 13219, Mar. 21, 2002, as amended at 76 FR 24388, May 2, 2011]

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