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American Shipper

Federal Maritime Commission reorganizes

Federal Maritime Commission reorganizes

   The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission said Thursday it will reorganize several of its divisions and split the high-level office of the executive director into two offices, each run by its own director.

   The office of the executive director has held wide responsibilities, as it oversaw three FMC program bureaus — trade analysis, enforcement, and consumer complaints and licensing — as well as four administrative offices — management services, human resources, budget and financial management, and information technology. The executive director's office will be divided into offices of operations and administration.

   Effective Monday, the new office of administration will manage the four administrative offices previously overseen by the office of the executive director. Bruce Dombrowski, formerly executive director of the FMC, will be responsible for the office of administration.

   The new office of operations will be managed by Austin Schmitt, currently deputy executive director. It will have oversight of the bureaus of trade analysis, enforcement, and certification and licensing (formerly the bureau of consumer complaints and licensing). In addition, the FMC’s area representatives, currently assigned to the bureau of enforcement, will report directly to the director of operations.

   In addition, because of the rapid growth of the commission’s consumer complaints program, the agency said it is realigning this program’s resources. The complaints program and the alternative dispute resolution function, currently located within the bureau of consumer complaints and licensing, will be renamed the “office of consumer affairs and dispute resolution services,” and will be transferred to the office of the secretary. Ronald Murphy will be the director of this realigned unit.

   The renamed bureau of certification and licensing will be headed by Sandra Kusumoto, director of the bureau of consumer complaints and licensing. This bureau will be responsible for passenger vessel certifications, and licensing and financial responsibility requirements of entities regulated by the commission.

   Steven R. Blust, FMC chairman, said the new organizational structure neither creates any new programs or additional staffing requirements, nor eliminates any commission projects, activities or positions.

   “The planned restructuring seeks to reallocate the commission’s existing resources to maximize the effectiveness of the staff and facilitate agency efforts to better serve the ocean transportation industry,” the FMC said.

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