Business Regulation and Consumer Protection:

The Management and Operation of FCC's Public Reference Rooms

T-RCED-88-25: Published: Mar 17, 1988. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) management of its public reference rooms, specifically: (1) the ease of use; (2) its document security measures; and (3) whether its document handling procedures adequately ensured complete and up-to-date files. GAO found that: (1) the rooms were difficult to use, since FCC operated them on a self-help basis with limited staff assistance; (2) FCC guidelines and manuals did not provide information specific enough to assist users; (3) the rooms operated on an honor system with limited internal safeguards; and (4) FCC document handling procedures contributed to missing documents and created backlogs of unrecorded documents. GAO believes that FCC should: (1) provide better guidance for reference room users; and (2) institute stronger internal controls for its documents.

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