PUBLIC LAW 9 4 - 2 1 0 — F E B. 5, 1976
90 STAT. 51
initiative and which has been pending before the Commission for a period of 3 or more years following the date of the order which instituted such proceeding.". OFFICE OF RAIL PUBLIC COUNSEL
SEC. 304. (a) Part I of the Interstate Commerce Act is amended by redesignating section 27 thereof as section 29 thereof and by inserting after section 26 thereof a new section 27, as follows:
49 USC 27.
u OFFICE OF RAIL PUBLIC COUNSEL
" SEC. 27. (1) There shall be established, within 60 days after the date of enactment of this section, a new independent office affiliated with the Commission to be known as the Office of Rail Public Counsel. The Office of Rail Public Counsel shall function continuously pursuant to this section and other applicable Federal laws. " (2)(a) The Office of Rail Public Counsel shall be administered by a Director. The Director shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. " (b) The term of office of the Director shall be 4 years. H e shall be responsible for the discharge of the functions and duties of the Office of Rail Public Counsel. H e shall be appointed and compensated, without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, classification, and General Schedule pay rates, a t a rate not in excess of the maximum rate for G S - 1 8 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of such title. " (3) The Director is authorized to appoint, fix the compensation, and assign the duties of employees of such Office and to procure temporary and intermittent services to the same extent as is authorized under section 3109 of title 5, United States Code. E a c h bureau, office, or other entity of the Commission and each department, agency, and instrumentality of the executive branch of the Federal Government and each independent regulatory agency of the United States is authorized to provide the Office of Rail Public Counsel with such information and data as it requests. The Director is authorized to enter into, without regard to section 3709 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (41 U.S.C. 5), such contracts, leases, cooperative agreements, or other transactions as may be necessary in the conduct of his functions and duties. The Director shall submit a monthly report on the activities of the Office of Rail Public Counsel to the Chairman of the Commission, and the Commission, in its annual report to the Congress, shall evaluate and make recommendations with respect to such Office and its activities, accomplishments, and shortcomings. " (4) I n addition to any other duties and responsibilities prescribed by law, the Office of Rail Public Counsel— " (a) shall have standing to become a party to any proceeding, formal or informal, which is pending or initiated before the Commission and which involves a common carrier by railroad subject to this part; " (b) may petition the Commission for the initiation of proc e e d i n g on any matter within the jurisdiction of the Commission which involves a common carrier by railroad subject to this part; " (c) may seek judicial review of any Commission action on any matter involving a common carrier by railroad subject to this part, to the extent such review is authorized by law for any person and on the same basis;
Establishment. 49 USC 26b.
5 USC 5332 note.
Report to eommission and Congress.