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Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee

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The Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee (IRAC) was established in 1922 and is now located in the U.S. Department of Commerce. The IRAC consists of 20 representatives from the various government agencies involved in or using the radio frequencies. The FCC is not a member of the IRAC; however, the Commission has designated a Liaison Representative to the IRAC, who works with the IRAC and its subcommittees.

The basic function of the Committee is to assist the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information (who is also Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)) in assigning frequencies to U.S. Government radio stations and in developing and executing policies, programs, procedures, and technical criteria pertaining to the allocation, management, and use of the spectrum.

IRAC was originally organized by federal agencies that were seeking a way to resolve issues related to federal spectrum use in a cooperative manner; its initial mission was to assist in the assignment of radio frequencies to federal users and to coordinate federal government spectrum use. In 1952, its mission was expanded to include formulating and recommending policies, plans, and actions for federal government spectrum use. Currently, IRAC is primarily involved in the frequency assignment and system certification processes and is chaired by NTIA, whose role as chair is to call IRAC meetings, establish IRAC agendas, and manage other tasks associated with the administrative operations of IRAC.

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