The Federal Communications Commission has received approval from the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and the Office of Management and Budget to create a new Office of Economics and Analytics.
FCC chair Ajit Pai has advocated for a number of years that the agency needs to do more economic cost-benefit analysis of its rules to gauge their impact on the economy. The FCC signaled the office would be up and running by the end of the year. The office will bring together approximately 100 staffers including economists, attorneys and data specialists from across the FCC with the goal of improving the analysis and data usage.
Auction oversight will be moved under the new office. As part of the revamp, the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis will be eliminated and its staffers moved into the new office, as well as some staffers from other offices. Acting chief of the new office will be Giulia McHenry from the Office of Strategic Planning and Analysis, who used to be the chief economist at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which oversees government spectrum as the FCC does private spectrum, as well as serving as White House communications policy adviser.