AP Government: Agency Project
Federal Trade Commission
https://www.ftc.gov/THE COMPONENT PARTS AND STRUCTURE OF THE AGENCY
There are three bureaus that seek to help achieve the Federal Trade Commission achieve its goals.
Bureau of Competition: The Bureau of Competition seeks to prevent anticompetitive mergers and other anticompetitive business practices in the marketplace. The Bureau promotes competition and protects consumers’ freedom to choose goods and services in an open marketplace at a price and quality that fit their needs by enforcing antitrust laws.
Bureau of Consumer Protection: The Commission’s second mandate or goal is to protect consumers against unfair, deceptive and or fraudulent practices. This Bureau enforces a variety of consumer protection laws that were enacted by Congress, and trade regulation rules issued by the Commission. Actions that the Bureau partakes in include individual company and industry-wide investigations, administrative and federal court litigation, rulemaking proceedings, and consumer and business education. The Bureau also contributes to the Commission’s on-going efforts to inform Congress and other government entities of the impact that proposed actions could have on consumers.
Bureau of Economics: This Bureau helps the FTC evaluate its actions toward an economic impact. The Bureau does so by providing economic analysis and support to antitrust and consumer protection investigations and rulemakings. It analyzes the impact of government regulation on competition and consumers and provides Congress, the Executive Branch, and the public with economic analysis of market processes as they relate to antitrust, consumer protection, and regulation.
There is a list of offices that make up the structure of the Federal Trade Commission…
Financial Management Office: This office’s responsibilities include agency-wide budget, financial accounting, and acquisition policies and services, program performance reporting, compliance with federal financial regulations and statues and management audit review.
Office of Administrative Law Judges: This office has the responsibility of performing the initial adjudicative fact-finding in Commission administrative complaint proceedings. The FTC Act, Administrative Procedure Act guides this procedure relevant case law interpreting these statutes, and the FTC’s Rules of Practice, 16 C.F.R. Part 3.
Office of Congressional Relations: Serves as a resource to Congress on competition and consumer protection policy.
Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Workplace Inclusion: Ensures that the FTC maintains a work environment that is free from all forms of illegal discrimination, including reprisal and harassment.
Office of International Affairs: The FTC works with international competition and consumer protection agencies to promote cooperation and convergence toward the best practices.
Office of the Executive Director: Responsible for the administration and management of the Commission.
Office of the General Counsel: Commission’s legal officer and adviser.
Office of Policy Planning: Assists the Commission with development and implementation of long-range competition consumer protection policy initiatives and advises staff on cases raising new or complex policy and legal issues.
Office of Public Affairs: Agency’s main point of contact with the media. Is responsible for informing the public with FTC’s diverse law enforcement actions and policy work.
Office of the Secretary: The Office of the Secretary overlooks prompt processing of all matters presented to the Commission as well as supporting the Commission’s decision-making process and ensures the efficient operation of the Commission.
THE AGENCY’S ANNUAL BUDGET
The annual budget the FTC requested for the year of 2018 came to be a total of $306,317,000 dollars. The FTC requested 1,140 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions. The justification behind this was that this will permit the FTC to meet ongoing challenges of its mission to protect consumers and promote competition.
In the last ten years, the appropriation committee has increased the money given to the FTC gradually. In the last two years, the amount of money granted has ranged to be $300 million dollars. * SEE CHART BELOW.
Fiscal Year Appropriation Amount(in millions) FTE Utilized
2010 $292 1,136*
2011 $291 1,160*
2012 $312 1,132*
2013 $296 1,144*
2014 $298 1,145*
2015 $293 1,144*
2016 $307 1,165*
2017 $313 TBD
** cited via https://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/bureaus-offices/office-executive-director/financial-management-office/ftc-appropriationAGENCY’S MAJOR PROGRAMS
International Fellows Program
“Through its International Fellows Program, the FTC participates in staff exchanges with non-U.S. competition, consumer protection, and privacy agencies for terms of three to six months.”
https://www.ftc.gov/policy/international/international-fellows-programParticipants of this program participate in investigations, enforcement actions, and other projects that FTC attorneys, investigators, and economists set up. Participants gain first-hand appreciation of the practices and approaches that the FTC uses in its enforcement mission. By also sharing insights into home agencies, participants can see home agencies’ approaches. Participants return to home agencies to share what they have learned, apply experience in work for home agencies, and help improve cross-border relations of cooperation via relationships they have developed. The FTC staff also benefit from insights provided by the Fellows (participants).
– “The FTC has hosted 74 staff members from sister agencies around the world. The Fellows have come from competition, consumer protection, and privacy agencies in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, El Salvador, the European Commission, France, Honduras, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Mauritius, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Vietnam and Zambia.
Fellows have joined FTC teams in our Bureau of Competition, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Bureau of Economics, Office of Policy Planning, and Office of International Affairs.”
Citation comes from https://www.ftc.gov/policy/international/international-fellows-program for the purpose of this government agency project. This is not a quote produced by the writer of this project.
Premerger Notification Program
The Hart-Scott-Rodino Act established the federal premerger notification program. This program provides the FTC and the Department of Justice with information about large mergers and acquisitions before they occur. Parties in certain proposed transactions are required to submit premerger notification to the FTC and DOJ. This requirement consists of filling out a HSR form aka also called a “Notification and Report Form for Certain Mergers and Acquisitions,” with information about each company’s business. The parties may not close/complete their deal until the waiting period outlined in the HSR Act has passed, or the government has granted early termination of the waiting period.
International Technical Assistance Program
By establishing this program the FTC helps countries around the world to develop and enhance their own competition and consumer protection programs. Experienced attorneys and economists are placed as resident advisors and conduct short-term training programs; these experts provide on-the-job training and help develop the investigative and analytical skills of the agency staff. The FTC also introduce staff to available tools to improve the agency’s effectiveness in requesting and assessing remedies in the context of the country’s laws, traditions, and economic circumstances. The FTC explains how competition, truthful advertising, and marketing advance elements of economic efficiency, consumer welfare, and consumer choice.
+ The U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s technical assistance program is one of the agency’s flagship initiatives.
– FTC TA missions focus primarily on competition matters.
The FTC expanded its consumer protection international technical assistance work these past few years. The FTC’s goal with its technical assistance program is to help foreign counterparts develop and strengthen institutional frameworks to better protect both U.S. and foreign consumers.
The Federal Trade Commission seeks to provide assistance on such issues as…
– Mobile commerce
+ Including mobile payments
– Privacy and data security
– Financial practices
+ Including financial literacy
– Credit reporting
– Payday lending
– Pyramid schemes
– False and misleading advertising
– Legal framework and regulatory reform
– Enforcement capacity
– Various consumer fraud areas
In the fiscal year of 2016, the FTC has a goal to provide technical assistance on consumer and privacy issues in Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, India, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa, among others. The FTC has already provided assistance to around 70 countries.
FTC Identity Theft Program (OCTOBER 1998- SEPTERMBER 2003)
Congress enacted the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act (“the Identity Theft Act” or “the Act”).
This act was enacted under the FTC to direct the following…
– Establish the federal government’s central repository for identity theft complaints and to provide victim assistance and consumer education.
Congress directed FTC to establish procedures of…
Logging the receipt of complaints by victims of identity theft
Provide and assist identity theft victims by providing them with informational materials
Refer complaints to appropriate entities, making sure to forward complaints to the major national consumer reporting agencies and law enforcement agencies
International Consumer Protection
International Competition and Consumer Protection Cooperation Agreements
THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN THE AGENCY INCLUDING THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE
Governed by a small number of commissioners, usually 5 to 10 members appointed by the president and confirmed by Senate for fixed terms. President cannot fire regulatory commission members as easily as he can fire WHO staff and cabinet officers.
SC stated presidents cannot fire members of regulatory agencies without just cause as of the case Humphrey’s Executor v. United States, 1935.
A Commission is headed by five Commissioners, nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, each serving a seven-year term. No more than three Commissioners can be of the same political party. The President chooses one Commissioner to act as Chairman.
AGENCY EXECUTIVE: Maureen K. Ohlausen is the acting chairman as of January 25, 2017
As of October 2016, there are two vacant Commissioner Seats and two chairmen. Chairwomen Edith Ramirez resigned February 2017.
In the fiscal year of 2016 there were a number of 1,165 employees FTE.
The 1,161 civil service employees of the FTC consisted of…
+ 644 Attorneys
+ 244 Business Operations (excluding separately listed occupations)
+ 81 Economists
+ 55 Paralegal Specialists
+ 46 Professionals (excluding attorneys and economists)
+ 46 Investigative & Merger Analysts
+ 45 Other
There is a diagram provided below to represent the leadership structure of the FTC.
THE EXTENT TO WHICH AGENCY SUBCONTRACTS WORK
A subcontractor works under a contractor. Subcontractors in most cases are independent contractors that specialize in one field. According to the IRS, if a worker is a subcontractor, he or she is responsible for keeping his or her own records and paying his or her own income and self-employment taxes. A subcontractor does not need detailed instructions or even training on how work should be done. To determine if the worker is a subcontractor, the following factors of behavioral control, financial control, and relationship of the parties are used. A subcontractor usually provides himself his own tools and materials and can hire subcontractors and or employees himself. With a contract, a subcontractor and the agency agree to be independent.
The partnership agreement between the FTC and Small Business Administration s under sections 7(j) and 8(a) of the Small Business Act (the Act) (15 U.S.C. §§ 636 (j) and 637(a)) authorize the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to establish a business development program, which is known as the 8(a) Business Development (BD) Program. This program allows the development of small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals so they can compete in the mainstream of American economy.
The SBA is authorized to enter into all types of contracts with other federal agencies and to subcontract the performance of these contracts to qualified participants in the BD program.
The purpose of this PA (partnership agreement) is to delegate SBA’s contract execution functions to the FTC per requirements of 13 Code of Federal Regulations C.F.R. § 124.501.
A list of objectives under this partnership agreement is as follows…
Delineate responsibilities as they relate to oversight, monitoring and compliance with procurement laws and regulations governing 8(a) contracts between the SBA and FTC.
Establish procedures for offer and acceptance between the SBA and FTC
Establish that the SBA will respond to an offering letter within five working days if the contract is valued at more than the simplified acquisition threshold and within two days of receiving if the contract is valued at or below the simplified acquisition thresholds.
Emphasize that the SBA is the prime contractor on all 8(a) contract awards, modifications, options and purchase orders, and must receive all copies of contracts and subsequent modifications.
Establish uniform policies and procedures regarding applications of contracts and purchase orders to the 8(a) contracting process.
Monitor the FTC’s fulfillment to all requirements in the PA quarterly.
Suspend or rescind delegation of the PA if the FTC has violated any terms and conditions of the PA.
The FTC has also made a sort of subcontract agreement with the FCC in accordance to the net neutrality rules. ** SEE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION THAT WOULD BE HELPFUL IN UNDERSTANDING THE AGENCY
The Federal Trade Commission is an independent regulatory commission with the responsibility for making and enforcing rules to protect public interest in some sector of the economy and for judging disputes over rules. The FTC is responsible for regulating business practices and controlling monopolistic behavior as well as policing accuracy of advertising.
Strategic Goals of the FTC:
+ Protect Consumers
+ Maintain competition
+ Advance organizational performance
UNDER THE INSPECTOR GENERAL ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1988, THE OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1989 WITHIN THE FTC AS AN INDEPENDENT AND OBJECTIVE ORGANIZATION WITH THE PURPOSE OF CONDUCTING AUDITS AND INVESTGATIONS REALTING TO THE PROGRAMS AND OPERATIONS OF THE FTC. The purposes of conducted audits are to discover fraud, waste and abuse, to promote the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the agency. The office seeks out facts related to allegations of wrongdoing on part of FTC employees, individuals, and entities having contracts with or obtaining benefits from the agency.
Roslyn A. Mazer is the current Inspector General.
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION ACT OF 1914
Signed by Woodrow Wilson.
Establishes the FTC.
This act is the primary statue of the commission.
CITATION: “The commission’s purpose is to a. prevent unfair methods of competition and unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce; (b) seek monetary redress and other relief for conduct injurious to consumers; (c) prescribe rules defining with specificity acts or practices that are unfair or deceptive, and establishing requirements designed to prevent such acts or practices; (d) gather and compile information and conduct investigations relating to the organization, business, practices, and management of entities engaged in commerce; and (e) make reports and legislative recommendations to Congress and the public. A number of other statutes listed here are enforced under the FTC Act.”
Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 purposes cited by https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/statutes/federal-trade-commission-act** This is cited for the purpose of this government agency project. There is no intention of plagiarism.
This following link is an example of the FCC and FTC working together on terms of Net Neutrality.
This is an example of a financial report field by the FTC labeling the number of key goals accomplished in the fiscal year of 2016. Information was borrowed for the purpose of the government agency report and cited via link (pdf): https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/2016-one-page-ftc-performance-snapshot/fy16_snapshot.pdf