U.S. Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Richard A. Lidinsky Jr. announced a reorganization that he said would make the agency “more nimble and responsive.”
The FMC is restoring the position of managing director to serve as its senior executive responsible for the management and coordination of FMC operating bureaus and exercise administrative direction or guidance over units of the commission. The FMC said this is a return to a structure “that worked effectively for much of the commission’s nearly 50-year existence.
Ronald D. Murphy will become managing director and Florence A. Carr deputy managing director. Murphy had been director of administration at the FMC, a job he was appointed to last October. Prior to that he served as director of the commissions Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services (CADRS) and has worked at the FMC since 1973.
The FMC said the reorganization would give heightened priority to the role of the CADRS office, which assists exporters and other consumers and works with the public and ocean transportation industry to mediate disputes without costly lawsuits. It will operate as an independent office reporting directly to the chairman, and its director, Vern W. Hill, will serve as the FMC’s ombudsman. CADRS provides alternative dispute resolution services, such as mediation and arbitration, and the commission said it “will expeditiously decide reparations claims of $50,000 or less for alleged violations of the Shipping Act of 1984.”
Lidinsky also said the FMC would perform an internal assessment of “strategic priorities and allocation of resources to maximize the positive impact of commission programs in meeting the needs of the shipping industry and consumers.
“This is particularly important in today’s challenging economic environment, which has so severely impacted the global marketplace, and, consequently, the worldwide shipping industry,” he said. “The shipping industry plays a critical role in the president’s recently announced initiative to double exports. Also, we are continually looking for ways to best serve ports, carriers, and shippers as they adapt to new environmental and climate issues.” ' Chris Dupin