Following the January Open Meeting, the Commission released an Order announcing that it is creating an Office of Economics and Analytics (“the Office” or “OEA”), and amends the Commission’s rules to reflect the new organizational structure, describe the Office’s functions and authority, and make other conforming changes.

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 throughout the decision-making process. Specifically, it will: 1) provide economic analysis, including cost-benefit analysis, for rulemakings, transactions, adjudications, and other Commission actions; 2) manage the FCC’s auctions in support of and in coordination with FCC Bureaus and Offices; 3) 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; 4) conduct long-term research on ways to improve the Commission’s policies and processes in each of these areas. The FCC intends for the majority of the Commission’s economists currently in multiple Bureaus and Offices to staff the Office of Economics and Analytics.

To effectuate the organizational change, the Commission takes the following actions:

  • Eliminates the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy (“OSP”) and generally shifts OSP authorities and functions to the OEA.
  • Creates an Economic Analysis Division within the OEA to provide analytical and quantitative support as needed to Bureaus and Offices engaged in rulemakings, transactions, auctions, adjudications, and other matters.
  • Creates an Industry Analysis Division within the OEA by shifting the functions of the Industry Analysis and Technology Division of WCB to OEA. This division will serve as the Commission’s principal resources 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.
  • Creates an Auctions Division by shifting the functions of the auctions and Spectrum Access Division in the WTB to OEA. Through this division and in consultation with the WTB and WCB, OEA will serve as the principal resource with regard to all auction design and implementation issues, and will collaborate with other Bureaus involved in establishing and conduction auctions (i.e., spectrum or universal service auctions).
  • Creates a Data Division to help develop and implement best practices, processes, and standards for data management to meet the needs of Commission staff who rely on data to inform policymaking and other core activities of the Commission.

This reorganization will not become effective until the appropriate clearance has been obtained, and the Order has been published in the Federal Register. The Commission includes the specific changes made to the rules in the Appendix of the Order.

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