Federal Communications Commission: Provision for the Use of the 220-222 MHz Band by Private Land Mobile Radio Service and Final Rule

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-04-15.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

      United States
GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      Office of the General Counsel


      April 15, 1997

      The Honorable John McCain
      The Honorable Ernest F. Hollings
      Ranking Minority Member
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
      United States Senate

      The Honorable Thomas J. Bliley, Jr.
      The Honorable John D. Dingell
      Ranking Minority Member
      Committee on Commerce
      House of Representatives

      Subject:   Federal Communications Commission: Provision for the Use of the
                 220-222 MHz Band by Private Land Mobile Radio Service; Final Rule

      Pursuant to section 801(a)(2)(A) of title 5, United States Code, this is our report
      on a major rule promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC),
      entitled "Provision for the Use of the 220-222 MHz Band by Private Land Mobile
      Radio Service; Final Rule and Proposed Rule" (PR Docket No. 89-552; GN Docket
      No. 93-252; PP Docket No. 93-253; FCC 97-57). We received the rule on April 1,
      1997. It was published in the Federal Register as a final rule on April 3, 1997.
      62 Fed. Reg. 15978.

      The final rule will govern the future operation and licensing of the 220-222 MHz
      band as part of the FCC's implementation of the regulatory framework for mobile
      radio services enacted by Congress in section 6002(b) of the Omnibus Budget
      Reconciliation Act of 1993, which amended section 3(n) and 332 of the
      Communications Act of 1934.

      Enclosed is our assessment of the FCC's compliance with the procedural steps
      required by section 801(a)(1)(B)(i) through (iv) of title 5 with respect to the rule.
      Our review indicates that the FCC complied with the applicable requirements.

If you have any questions about this report, please contact James Vickers, Assistant
General Counsel, at (202) 512-8210. The official responsible for GAO evaluation
work relating to the Federal Communications Commission is John Anderson,
Director of Transportation Issues. Mr. Anderson can be reached at (202) 512-2834.

Robert P. Murphy
General Counsel


cc: Andrew S. Fishel
    Managing Director
    Federal Communications Commission

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       ANALYSIS UNDER 5 U.S.C. § 801(a)(1)(B)(i)-(iv) OF A MAJOR RULE
                                ISSUED BY
                (PR Docket No. 89-552; GN Docket No. 93-252;
                     PP Docket No. 93-253; FCC 97-57)

(i) Cost-benefit analysis

The FCC, in its report to our Office, states that it was not required to prepare and
did not prepare a cost-benefit analysis of the final rule.

(ii) Agency actions relevant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 603-605,
607 and 609

The FCC prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis in connection with the
proposed rule and published it in the proposed rule's preamble. 60 Fed. Reg. 46565.

The preamble to the final rule contains the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis.
62 Fed. Reg. 15984. The analysis describes the reason for the final rule and the
legal basis for it. The analysis also includes descriptions and estimates of the
number of small entities affected by the final rule; a discussion of the
recordkeeping, reporting, and other compliance requirements; and the steps taken
to minimize the burdens on small entities. These include the adoption of a two-
tiered definition of small entities which allows greater flexibility for qualifying small
businesses through varying bidding credits. Alternatives which were considered and
either accepted or rejected and the reasons why such actions were taken are also

The analysis notes that no comments were received specifically addressing the
Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, but the final analysis discusses general
comments received which could have an impact on small entities.

(iii) Agency actions relevant to sections 202-205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform
Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. §§ 1532-1535

As an independent regulatory agency, the FCC is not subject to title II of the
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

(iv) Other relevant information or requirements under acts and executive orders

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.

The final rule was promulgated using the notice and comment procedures of
5 U.S.C. § 553. On September 7, 1995, the FCC published in the Federal Register a
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and requested comments on the proposed rule.
60 Fed. Reg. 46564.

The preamble to the final rule discusses the comments received and any changes
the FCC made to the proposed rule as a result of the comments. It also states the
reasons why it did not make changes suggested by commenters.

Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3520

The final rule contains an information collection which is subject to review by the
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act. In
the preamble to the final rule, the FCC explains the need for the information and
the burden estimate related to the collection. It is estimated that the collection of
the information which will be used by the FCC to verify licensee compliance with
the FCC's rules and regulations and to ensure the integrity of the 220 MHz service
will result in 176,200 burden hours annually.

The FCC invites comments on the information collection, including the necessity of
the collection and the accuracy of the burden estimate, to be sent to the FCC and
to OMB. The information collection will not have to be complied with until OMB
approves the collection and issues an OMB control number.

Statutory authorization for the rule

The final rule was promulgated under the authority of sections 4, 302, 303, 307, 309,
and 332 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. §§ 154, 302, 303, 307, 309,
and 332).

Executive Order No. 12866

The rule, promulgated by an independent regulatory agency, is not subject to the
review requirements of Executive Order No. 12866.

The Commission did not identify any other statutes or executive orders imposing
requirements on the rulemaking.

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