E-mail a link to this directive


Number: DOO 10-10
Effective Date: 1992-09-28


.01 This Order prescribes the scope of authority and functions of the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information. (The functions of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) are covered in DOO 25-7.)

.02 This revision reflects the deletion of the position of Deputy Administrator for Operations, and incorporates outstanding amendments to the Order.


The position of Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information (the "Assistant Secretary") was established by Section 4 of Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1977. The Assistant Secretary is appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.


.01 The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is hereby established as an operating unit of the Department of Commerce.

.02 The Assistant Secretary shall head NTIA as the Administrator.

.03 The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information shall be the Assistant Secretary's principal policy advisor; shall perform such other functions as the Assistant Secretary shall from time to time assign or delegate; and shall act as Assistant Secretary during the absence or disability of the Assistant Secretary or in the event of a vacancy in the office of the Assistant Secretary.


Pursuant to the authority vested in the Secretary of Commerce by Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1950, Section 4 and 5.B of Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1977 and Executive Order 12046 of March 26, 1978; the functions, personnel, funds, property, and records transferred to the Secretary of Commerce pursuant to Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1977 are hereby transferred to the NTIA.


.01 Pursuant to the authority vested in the Secretary of Commerce by law, and subject to such policies and directives as the Secretary may prescribe, the Assistant Secretary is hereby delegated the authority vested in the Secretary of Commerce under:

a. Section 5.B of Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1977, and by Executive Order 12046; including:

1. Subsection 201(a) of the Communications Satellite Act of 1962 (47 U.S.C. 701 et seq.) as amended to advise and assist the President in connection with the functions previously conferred upon the President as described more particularly in Part B, Section 7 of Executive Order 12046.

2. Subsection 305(a) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 305(a)) to assign frequencies to, and amend, modify, and revoke frequency assignments for radio stations belonging to and operated by the United States, subject to the disposition of appeals by the Director, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and make frequency allocations.

3. Subsection 305(d) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, (47 U.S.C. 305(d)), to authorize a foreign government to construct and operate a radio station pursuant to this subsection and the assignment of a frequency for its use shall be made only upon recommendation of the Secretary of State and after consultation with the Attorney General and the Chairperson of the Federal Communications Commission.

b. 15 U.S.C. 3710a and Executive Order 12591 to transfer Federal telecommunications technology by, among other things, entering into cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) with other Federal laboratories, State and local governments, universities and the private sector and by licensing, assigning or waiving rights to intellectual property developed pursuant to such CRADAs or from within individual laboratories.

c. 15 U.S.C. 272(12) and (13), which relate to the investigation of the conditions which affect transmission of radio waves and to the compilation and distribution of information about such transmissions.

d. 15 U.S.C. 272(9), the functions which relate to the investigation of non-ionizing radiation, its uses, and means of protection of persons from harmful effects, to the extent appropriate to coordination of research throughout the Executive Branch.

e. 47 U.S.C. sections 390-393A and 397 (contained in the Communications Act of 1934, as amended), which govern the implementation and administration of assistance for public telecommunications facilities.

f. Section 5112(b) of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-418) relating to telecommunications research and the publication of results.

g. 47 U.S.C. section 394 (contained in the Communications Act of 1934, as amended), which establishes the National Endowment for Children's Educational Television. (P.L. 101-437 of October 18, 1990.)

.02 The Assistant Secretary may exercise other authorities of the Secretary to the extent applicable to performing the functions assigned in this Order. This includes the use of administrative and monetary authorities contained in 15 U.S.C. 271 et seq., as may be necessary or desirable to perform the NTIA functions; and the authority to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce of the United States in effecting, and as such commerce may be affected by, the development and implementation of telecommunications and information systems.

.03 The Assistant Secretary may redelegate any authority conferred by this Order to any employee of the NTIA, and may authorize further redelegation by any such employee as appropriate, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed.


The Assistant Secretary shall:

a. Serve as the President's principal advisor on telecommunications policies pertaining to the Nation's economic and technological advancement and to the regulation of the telecommunications industry.

b. Advise the Director, OMB on the development of policies for procurement and management of Federal telecommunications systems.

c. Conduct studies and evaluations concerning telecommunications research and development, the initiation, improvement, expansion, testing, operation, and use of Federal telecommunications systems and programs, and make recommendations concerning their scope and funding to appropriate agency officials and to the Director, OMB.

d. Actively promote the transfer of telecommunications technology developed in NTIA's laboratory and offices to State and local governments, universities and the private sector.

e. Develop and set forth, in coordination with the Secretary of State and other interested agencies, plans, policies, and programs which relate to international telecommunications issues, conferences, and negotiations. The Assistant Secretary shall coordinate economic, technical, operational, and related preparations, for U.S. participation in international telecommunications conferences and negotiations; provide advice and assistance to the Secretary of State with respect to international telecommunications policies to strengthen the position and serve the best interests of the United States in the conduct of foreign affairs.

f. Provide for the coordination of the telecommunications activities of the Executive Branch and assist in the formulation of policies and standards for the telecommunications activities of the Executive Branch including considerations of interoperability, privacy, security, spectrum use, and emergency readiness.

g. Develop and set forth telecommunications policies pertaining to the Nation's economic and technological advancement and the regulation of the telecommunications industry.

h. Ensure that the Executive Branch views on telecommunications matters are effectively presented to the Federal Communications Commission and, in coordination with the Director, OMB, and the Congress.

i. Assign frequencies to, and amend, modify, and revoke frequency assignments for radio stations belonging to and operated by the United States, make frequency allocations, establish policies concerning spectrum assignment allocation and use, and provide the various departments and agencies with guidance to assure that their conduct of telecommunications activities is consistent with these policies.

j. Develop, in cooperation with the Federal Communications Commission, a comprehensive long-range plan for improved management of all electromagnetic spectrum resources, including jointly determining the National Table of Frequency Allocations.

k. Conduct studies and develop, set forth or recommend policies concerning the impact of the convergence of computer and communications technology and the emerging economic and social implications of the greater ability to originate, manipulate and move information.

l. Coordinate Federal telecommunications assistance to State and local governments; conduct studies to identify and provide assistance to remove barriers to telecommunications applications; conduct needs assessments to aid in the design of telecommunications services and provide experimental and pilot tests of telecommunications applications to fulfill national goals; and provide for the application of telecommunications technologies and services to avoid waste and achieve an efficient delivery of public services in the furtherance of national goals.

m. Participate with and perform staff services for the National Security Council and the Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy in carrying out their functions under Executive Order 12046.

n. Participate in evaluating the capability of telecommunications resources in recommending remedial actions and in developing policy options.

o. Review and coordinate research into the side effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation and coordinate, develop and set forth plans, policies, and programs thereof.

p. Acquire, analyze, synthesize and disseminate data and perform research in general on the description and prediction of electromagnetic wave propagation and the conditions which affect propagation, on the nature of electromagnetic noise and interference, and on methods for the more efficient use of the electromagnetic spectrum for telecommunications purposes; and prepare and issue predictions of electromagnetic wave propagation conditions and warnings of disturbances in those conditions.

q. To the extent it is deemed necessary to continue the Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee (IRAC), that Committee shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Assistant Secretary.

r. Perform analysis, engineering, and administrative functions, including the maintenance of necessary files and data bases, as necessary in the performance of assigned responsibilities for the management of electromagnetic spectrum.

s. Conduct research and analysis of electromagnetic propagation, radio systems characteristics, and operating techniques affecting the utilization of the electromagnetic spectrum, in coordination with specialized, related research and analysis performed by other Federal agencies in their areas of responsibility.

t. Conduct research and analysis in the general field of telecommunications sciences in support of assigned functions and in support of other Government agencies.

u. Conduct and coordinate economic and technical analyses of telecommunications policies, activities, and opportunities in support of assigned responsibilities.

v. Make grants, enter into cooperative agreements, or make proposals for contracts related to any aspect of assigned responsibilities, in accordance with Department rules.

w. Issue such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the functions delegated by this Order.

x. Conduct such other activities as are incident to the performance of telecommunications and information functions assigned in this Order.

y. Enter into CRADAs and intellectual property licenses for the transfer and/or commercialization of telecommunications technology, as needed.

z. Protect valuable telecommunications technology by obtaining legal protection for intellectual property rights associated with such technology.


This Order supersedes Department Organization Order 10-10, dated May 9, 1978, as amended.

Signed by: Secretary of Commerce

Questions and Comments

Send Questions or Comments on the Commerce Directives Management program to Directives@doc.gov.

Office of Privacy and Open Government
Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce


Page last updated: August 26, 2016