November 18, 2003




(Participation in the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R)and in the CITEL PCC II (Radiocommunication including Broadcasting) organizations is through the U.S. International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) and is subject to this General Guidance Document and other specific guidance or instructions that may be established by, and disseminated from the U.S. Department of State.)






The United States International Telecommunication Advisory Committee:


United States preparations for ITU-R, and CITEL PCC II (Radiocommunication including Broadcasting) meetings:


Rapporteur and Correspondence Groups


Resolution ITU-R 1:


ITAC-R National Committee review:


Participation in CITEL "Electronic Fora"


Formation and Conduct of U.S. Delegations at and after ITU-R and CITEL meetings: 


Policy on Alternative Approval Procedure



1 The United States International Telecommunication Advisory Committee:

1.1 The U.S. International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) is a Committee chartered by the General Services Administration (GSA) to the U.S. Department of State as an Advisory Committee under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). This Act was passed in 1972 by Congress formally recognizing the merits of seeking advice and assistance of the nation's people. Incorporated within the FACA itself are guidelines to ensure relevant, objective and open advice; to limit the life of the Committees; to guarantee reasonableness of costs; and to provide appropriate record keeping. It was the intent of Congress that from Advisory Committee expertise, federal officials and the nation have access to information and advice on literally the gamut of issues affecting federal policies and programs. Through these Advisory Committees, the public is afforded the opportunity to participate actively in government decision-making. It is important to note that the function of these Advisory Committees is advisory only. The Department of State is free to accept the advice in full or in part, or to reject advice.

1.2 The Office of Communications and Information Policy (CIP) at the Department of State will appoint the Chair of the ITAC as well as establish criteria for eligibility to participate as a member of the Committee, normally comprising one member per company in the private sector.Members of the general public (including foreign nationals) may attend meetings of the ITAC and join in the discussions subject to the instructions of its Chair.

1.3 The ITAC is the umbrella committee for the ITAC-T (telecommunication standardization activity), for the ITAC-D (development activity), for the ITAC-R (radiocommunication activity), and for the CITEL (Inter-American Telecommunications Commission activity), including the CITEL permanent committees and working groups. This Guidance Document is specific for ITAC-R, and CITEL PCC II (Radiocommunication including Broadcasting).

1.4 The ITAC for the U.S. Radiocommunication Sector (ITAC-R) is that part of the ITAC that concerns itself with radiocommunication matters relevant to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and CITEL. ITAC-R structure parallels that of the ITU-R, as well as CITEL, and in particular provides the mechanism to assist the U.S. government in preparing for international meetings and negotiations within the ITU-R, and CITEL PCC II.The ITAC-R “National Committee” is the body of ITAC-R that constitutes the formal membership of the ITAC-R.The National Committee reviews draft input documents and makes recommendations to the State Department.

1.5 The GSA takes pains to assure compliance with the FACA guidelines and particularly a Committee's justification and term of life. Annual reviews are conducted and GSA prepares a yearly report of its findings. Operation of the ITAC, and of the ITAC-R, shall be in full accordance with the FACA and relevant administrative guidelines promulgated by GSA. The U.S. preparatory groups, including of the U.S. ITU-R Study Groups and Task Groups working under the ITAC, and ITAC-R, are convened consistent with FACA guidelines.

2 United States preparations for ITU-R, and CITEL PCC II (Radiocommunication including Broadcasting) meetings:2

2.1 The U.S. Department of State, in consultation with the NTIA and the FCC, will determine the Chairman of the relevant U.S. preparatory group (and the Head of the U.S. Delegation, whether accredited or otherwise). List of preparatory group chairs.

2.2 It is the responsibility of the Chair of a U.S. preparatory group to maintain a list of participants and to make it available to all who request a copy.

2.3 Each U.S. preparatory group should meet as required to develop U.S. national objectives, or statements of principle as part of the total, national radiocommunication position development, for guidance of the U.S. Delegation (accredited or otherwise) and appropriate use at the international meeting. The schedule for U.S. preparatory meetings should be established well in advance so that interested parties can plan calendars and be more likely to attend and participate. Preparatory Group meetings require announcement of date, time, place, and proposed agenda in the Federal Register at least fifteen days prior to convening, unless shorter advance notice is necessary and permissible under the FACA.

2.4 In addition to scheduling regular, open, public fora (held either in-person or via electronic means) for U.S. input development, the Chair of the U.S. preparatory group should hold public U.S. preparatory and/or delegation meetings, as appropriate, shortly before the international meeting, so that discussion of available foreign documents (transmitted through the postal services and/or available on the ITU document server) can occur with appropriate U.S. participation, establishing the U.S. positions with respect to these documents. Discussion of foreign or U.S. Sector Member documents should begin soon after they are available or appear on the ITU or CITEL web page to facilitate handling of other documents that may appear at the last minute.

2.5 At every meeting it is important, before discussions begin, for the Chair to ask each attendee to state (a) his/her name, (b) the attendee's affiliation, and (c) what company or interest the attendee is currently representing in the event it is different from the affiliation.

2.6 At times, it will be necessary to limit attendance at U.S. preparatory meetings to participants on U.S. Delegations or to U.S. government representatives, particularly if sensitive issues are to be discussed, or if U.S. positions are to be developed. Once U.S. positions are developed, in particular in written form, and if identified as applicable "For U.S. Delegation Use Only," they may not be distributed outside the U.S. Delegation (except as may be released consequently to a Freedom-of-Information-Act formal decision or as otherwise decided by the Department of State), especially if the positions are applicable to a future U.S. Delegation.

2.7 In addressing foreign or U.S. Sector Member documents, the U.S. preparatory group should determine to what extent the U.S. Delegation could support them, and to what extent national objectives would be served by that support.

2.8 The ITU and CITEL have promulgated guidelines for producing documentation for their meetings. These should be followed as much as possible, particularly with respect to input documentation. These guidelines are updated periodically. ITU guidelines Guidelines for the working methods of the Radiocommunication Assembly, the Radiocommunication Study Groups and related groups

3 Rapporteur and Correspondence Groups: 3

3.1 International Rapporteur and Correspondence Groups are being formed more and more often as use of the Internet becomes more prevalent around the world. These groups generally operate on an informal basis, subject to discretion of the Rapporteur (or Chairman). The groups facilitate and expedite the production of text. They are an efficient means of conducting business, either in-between meetings or for special purposes to progress work. Correspondence Groups are to be encouraged as much as possible as a way of minimizing travel expenses and lost time. Rapporteur Groups may operate either by correspondence or by meeting.

3.2 Prior to assuming a role either as International Rapporteur, or Chair of a Correspondence Group, consent of the Chairman of the ITAC-R National Committee, who will consult with the relevant Study Group Chairman, must be obtained. This may be accomplished by telephone.

3.3 U.S. representatives to Rapporteur and Correspondence Groups must follow similar procedures as are used in preparations for meetings of Study Groups, Working Parties, and Task Groups. Depending on the issues, U.S. positions may be developed to guide participants in Rapporteur or Correspondence Groups, and to guide U.S. personnel who are Rapporteurs. All U.S.-generated new text destined for Rapporteur and Correspondence Groups must be approved in the ITAC-R National Committee process. (See paragraph 5.1, infra.)

3.4 Conversely, some Rapporteurs have the duty merely to consolidate texts generated outside the United States and to editorially produce smooth drafts. These drafts are not subject to substantial change by the United States, and do not have to be transmitted to the National Committee unless a substantive U.S. contribution is added. In any event, U.S. Rapporteurs and U.S. participants in Correspondence Groups do have an obligation to bring sensitive or controversial texts to the attention of relevant U.S. Chairs and the Department of State so that appropriate U.S. positions may be established.

3.4.1 Since the purpose of the Correspondence and Rapporteur Groups is to conduct business between formal meetings, contributions or comments can be made electronically by U.S. individuals participating in the work, but these inputs should be clearly marked as comments on behalf of an appropriate Sector Member or Associate, and explicitly indicated as not reflecting either a U.S. government, or a U.S. view, unless the comment or contribution has been approved in the National Committee.

3.5 U.S. participants shall ensure that Rapporteur or Correspondence Groups do not take final decisions, but report their proposals to the parent body. The United States will consider its support or opposition to such Rapporteur or Correspondence Group proposals in its preparatory meetings associated with the appropriate parent body (e.g., Study Group, Working Party, Task Group, etc.).

Resolution ITU-R 1:

4.1 Heads of U.S. Delegations and U.S. spokespersons should be completely familiar with provisions of the latest version of Resolution ITU-R 1. This Resolution is subject to change at each ITU-R Assembly, held about every three years or so, requiring Heads of Delegations and spokespersons to be aware of modifications. The criteria for processing contributions for studies (Section 8 of the Resolution) and for approval of recommendations (Section 10), are especially important.

5 ITAC-R National Committee review:

5.1 Prior to submission of any U.S. document to an international meeting of the ITU Radiocommunication Sector, or to the Radio Regulations Board, or to meetings of CITEL PCC II (Radiocommunication including Broadcasting), it must be reviewed and approved by the U.S. Department of State in consultation with the FCC and NTIA. The purpose of this U.S. ITAC-R review process is to provide the U.S. government with proposed contributions that are as sound as possible, both technically and as a matter of national policy.

5.2 The U.S. Department of State will ensure circulation or availability to the ITAC-R membership, or on an exceptional basis to a subset group in the cases of limited time or of limited interest, appropriate documents (usually U.S. draft proposals for submission to international meetings) for review and comment by a certain date and time. If these texts are available electronically, a shortened review process in the National Committee may be appropriate, subject to direction of the Chairman of the ITAC-R National Committee. Instructions for that review will be contained in a distributed cover memorandum. Prior to this distribution, it is necessary that U.S. Study Groups, their subsidiaries, and U.S. CITEL preparatory groups give full and detailed consideration to all proposed contributions and positions. The purpose of this consideration is to allow for technical verification, conflict resolution, and consensus development by the applicable group. This development of consensus allows for due consideration and vetting of a U.S. position. A Study Group (or other, equivalent national-scope Group recognized under the ITAC Advisory Committee) review does not constitute a final determination regarding whether a particular document represents the consensus view of the ITAC-R National Committee. Furthermore, a failure to reach consensus on a proposed document within the Group does not necessarily prevent the ITAC-R from considering it, or the Department of State from forwarding it internationally. That is to say, documents may be sent to the National Committee even if not approved within a Study Group or working group. All contributions that do not reach consensus must be so marked before being distributed to the ITAC-R National Committee for review. (See paragraph 5.8 and 5.9, infra.)

5.3 Documents may be distributed to the ITAC-R National Committee by e-mail, web sites, or facsimile. E-mail and the use of World Wide Web sites are the preferred methods. It is intended that documents be distributed to the full National Committee only once (i.e., documents edited after the distribution will only be coordinated with interested parties who have expressed that interest as part of the review process). Distribution may come from any of several sources including the Department of State, NTIA, FCC, the Study Group Chairs, or the authors, but in any case other than from the Department of State, only with the express authorization of the Chairman of the ITAC-R National Committee.

5.4 In the case of facsimile or postal distribution of documents to the National Committee, the documents must be delivered to the office responsible for distribution at least five calendar weeks prior to the start of the intended international meeting. This allow for preparation of a covering memorandum of instruction, for scanning of documents if needed, distribution, reasonable review time in the National Committee, and to enable timely delivery to Geneva, as required, by a minimum of one-week before a meeting. (See paragraph 5.13, infra.) If documents are to be distributed electronically to the National Committee, a four-week period before the intended meeting begins is required.

5.5 It is essential for several reasons that accurate records be kept of documents distributed to the National Committee (NC). Therefore, whatever the source of the documents themselves, the ITAC-R Chairman or Secretary will at least arrange formal distribution of a cover memorandum of instruction bearing an "NC" number for reference, individual document numbers with corresponding document titles, an indication of by what means the documents are being made available, and finally, stating the deadline for comments. The Chairs of the preparatory groups will establish the numbering system for documentation under their cognizance. These Chairs also have the responsibility to ensure that an accurate list of documents with their identification numbers is submitted to the ITAC-R Chairman for incorporation with the NC cover memorandum.

5.6 All ITU documents circulated to the ITAC-R National Committee must be covered with an ITU-R Fact Sheet (sample fact sheet) that includes among other things, contact information to facilitate coordination, title of the paper, a summary statement of the purpose or objective of the paper, and a short abstract. Study Group Chairs bear the responsibility to ensure that this is accomplished. Documents without a Fact Sheet will not be circulated for review. Fact Sheets should be no longer than one page. Because Fact Sheets contain information not appropriate for international distribution, they must never be transmitted outside the United States. In every case, Fact Sheets must be stripped from documents before sending to an international audience. An example of an ITU-R Fact Sheet is attached as Annex 4 for information.

5.7 To avoid any misunderstanding of the status of papers circulated in National Committee for review, the following phrase must be included, prior to its circulation, at the top of the first page of every document (not on its Fact Sheet): "THIS DRAFT DOCUMENT IS NOT NECESSARILY A U.S. POSITION AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE." This phrase will be deleted when the document is finally approved.

5.8 Documents that do not achieve consensus within a group, and which are circulated to the National Committee, must be so marked with the following text on both the Fact Sheet and the first page of the document: "THIS DOCUMENT HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED BY CONSENSUS BY GROUP 'X'."7 This phrase will be deleted when and if the document is finally approved.

5.9 U.S. draft documents within their preparation phase or in ITAC-R circulation prior to final approval, are not, under any circumstances, to be distributed or to be made available outside the United States. The Department of State, in consultation with the FCC and NTIA, will make the final determination on what documents are to be transmitted internationally.

5.10 During the National Committee review process, a document may be iterated within a group of interested parties, but the document will not be reposted or announced a second time in National Committee. Every time an author revises a paper, it is expected that the date and document version number will be updated to avoid confusion as to which paper is relevant.

5.11 During the National Committee review process, all comments from interested parties should go to the author(s) and the Head of the U.S. Delegation or of the U.S. preparatory group, with the objective of accommodating the legitimate concerns of all involved. If comments are of a policy nature, or if consensus is not reached during the discussions, contact should be made with the Department of State, using the contact information contained within the NC cover memorandum announcing the document review. The National Committee Vice Chairs at NTIA and FCC should also be advised in these cases. For all concerned, to facilitate discussions of documents while in the National Committee, specific proposals for change should be made using the ITU procedure of "underlining" new text, and "striking out" deleted text. In the case where a document is referred to the Department of State for resolution, "redline" copies (underlined and strikeout text) should also be provided to the NTIA and the FCC Vice Chairmen of the National Committee, as well as to the original author(s).

5.12 Some documents circulated to the National Committee may fail either technical analysis or national policy determination, in first review. In such cases, all efforts are to be made to achieve consensus, which will constitute National Committee "approval," in the time remaining before meetings. This usually involves appropriate modification of documents and further coordination among interested parties in the United States. Last minute editing of documents must be cleared with the Department of State and the Chair of the appropriate U.S. Group (or Head of U.S. Delegation) with finally-approved copies provided as a minimum to the Department of State, NTIA, FCC, and the Head of the U.S. Delegation prior to, or simultaneously when sending to the ITU. If possible, a copy should be sent at the same time to members of the U.S. Delegation and to National Committee members who had indicated an interest.

5.13 The Department of State, in consultation with the NTIA and the FCC, may in any case determine how to proceed in the best interests of the United States. That is to say, it may be in the national interest to submit certain documentation to an international meeting and consequently, the Department of State may either direct authors to make certain adjustment to documents, or otherwise make decisions as to acceptability of documents for a particular meeting. Controversial documents may require special handling in the United States on an ad hoc basis, under direction from the Department of State, depending on the issues and time constraints. An author of a document that is modified or cancelled as part of the National Committee review process has the obligation to ensure that the U.S. Chair of the relevant Group is informed of any changes to text, or to the disposition of a paper that has been circulated, and particularly to ensure that the Head of the U.S. Delegation (accredited or otherwise) to the relevant international meeting is kept fully informed.

5.14 Sector Members and Associates, as defined by the ITU Convention, and Associate Members as defined by CITEL, have the option of providing documents directly to an international meeting on behalf of their companies or organizations, or submitting contributions as inputs from the United States. The former option would result in a contribution attributed only to the Sector Member or Associate, rather than to the U.S.If the Sector Member or Associate contribution is deemed to be in contradiction to U.S. policy, or otherwise found to be deficient, the U.S. Delegation to the subject meeting may speak in opposition to the document. To avoid such situations, separate contributions are discouraged in the interest of unanimity within the total U.S. participation at the international meeting. If, however, Sector Members or Associates nonetheless wish to submit separate contributions, they are encouraged to submit them for review by appropriate U.S. government agencies to determine if they are at variance with the U.S. position. In the event there is no determination of support for a Sector Member's or Associate’s contribution, it is expected that such contribution will not be submitted to an international meeting. Approved U.S. input documents will be furnished to the ITU and CITEL Secretariats by either the Chairman of the ITAC-R, or a designee.

5.15 Documents passing the National Committee review and which are received by the ITU less than three months before the opening of a meeting, are considered "delayed" by the ITU. If distributed at all to participants at meetings, delayed documents will be in the originally-submitted (working) language which may put them at somewhat of a disadvantage. Delayed documents that are not received by the ITU at least seven days before a meeting run the risk of not being considered at all. The meeting has the authority to decide if delayed papers should be discussed or not, even in the event the ITU is able to get them duplicated and made available. These are obviously not translated. The ITU does not normally accept new or revised Member State input papers once an international meeting begins so it is able to apply resources to documentation developed during the meeting.

5.16 The current ITU standard for word processing is Microsoft Office Word 2000 (WW9). Every effort should be made to develop (or convert) U.S. documents in these formats before transmittal to Geneva, to simplify electronic transfer of text and graphics, and to facilitate subsequently developing follow-on texts at international meetings. Having documents in this language expedites documentation input to the ITU-R process and minimizes the chances for non-acceptance at the ITU for lateness or cause. If this WW9 file format, Word 6, Word 7, or Word 8 (alternatives that WW9 will handle) are not available, Rich Text Format (RTF) 6.0 may be used. ITU accepts both Excel and PowerPoint, either as separate files or inserted into a Word Document, but they must run in an Office 2000 environment.

6 Participation in CITEL "Electronic Fora":

6.1 CITEL is seeking to use electronic document processing technologies to increase efficiency and lower costs. In addition to the increased use of e-mail to circulate CITEL documents, CITEL has also launched several new electronic fora to facilitate the exchange of both documents and comments among members of specific working groups, and to help them make progress in their work through correspondence. In practice, these fora are intended to serve as interactive bulletin boards. Comments and documents introduced in the fora will feed into the regular consideration and approval process of the working groups at CITEL meetings.

6.2 Given the range of technical interests that the U.S. government and U.S. Associate Members pursue in CITEL, it is appropriate to encourage consideration of these issues prior to the actual meetings. However, it is essential that the fora not preempt or undermine the U.S. ITAC review process for developing and approving U.S. documentation for CITEL.

6.3 The following procedures will govern U.S. participation in the CITEL Electronic Fora:

6.3.1 The State Department (Office of Communication and Information Policy), in consultation with other agencies, will designate one government official to serve as the official U.S. point-of-contact (gatekeeper) for each electronic forum.

6.3.2 CITEL requires anyone participating in its electronic fora to be authorized by their administration. The gatekeeper will determine which government and Associate Member representatives may have access to a given electronic forum and will so notify the CITEL Secretariat.

6.3.3 Everyone authorized to participate in a forum will be able, as a technical matter, to read and input comments or documents. However, as a procedural matter for the United States, only the gatekeeper will input information, comments, or documents. Other U.S. participants may not input into the fora. The gatekeeper will ensure that this requirement is observed.

6.4.4 Any U.S. government or Associate Member representative wishing to have a comment or document entered into an electronic forum will provide that information to the gatekeeper. The gatekeeper will undertake the necessary consultations to ensure that the proposal is appropriately coordinated - - including as necessary, through the ITAC. Once fully vetted, the gatekeeper will post the input to the electronic forum.

7 Formation and Conduct of U.S. Delegations at and after ITU-R and CITEL meetings:

7.1 The U.S. Department of State will determine if U.S. Delegations to international meetings will be accredited, and under what circumstances and limits. The term "accredited" conveys a certain status in representing the United States and entails formal notification of an official U.S. Delegation from the U.S. Department of State. Only U.S. citizens may be included on accredited delegations.

7.2 Every delegate, including those holding international office4, must complete a registration form. The Department of State will register accredited delegation members. ITU meeting registration forms, usually included with ITU meeting announcements, must be furnished to the State Department for accredited meetings, for proper U.S. delegation management, and to ensure that assignments to cover all the expected issues can be made. The State Department will ensure these registration forms are collectively delivered, or make alternative arrangements. Otherwise, delegates must furnish the registration form to the Head of the U.S. Delegation (accredited or otherwise) for processing and planning conduct of the delegation at the international meeting. Sector Members and Associates not on a U.S. Delegation must submit their own registration forms.

7.3 If a Sector Member or Associate is unable to support fully the national position at an international meeting, or if a separate (non-U.S.) contribution is submitted which has not been approved in National Committee, representatives from that member organization should expect exclusion from the U.S. Delegation (accredited or otherwise). When necessary, this unapproved documentation or related expressed views may be repudiated by the U.S. Delegation.

7.4 Members of the U.S. Delegation to an international meeting cannot also serve dually on the delegations of other Member States, delegations of Sector Members, or delegations of Associates.

7.5 Members of the U.S. Delegation will not introduce or defend any Sector Member or Associate contribution. The relevant Sector Members or Associates have the obligation to introduce and defend their own documentation. U.S. Delegation position papers may be developed for these contributions in a like manner as for foreign contributions.

7.6 For members of the U.S. Delegation to function effectively in support of U.S. views, they must participate in U.S. preparatory meetings. Therefore, individuals should not expect to be included in the U.S. Delegation (accredited or otherwise) if they have not participated on a regular basis, either in-person or electronically, in the preparatory process. They may, however, be allowed to attend the meeting as an observer, subject to the approval of the ITU or CITEL representative(s), and the Head of the U.S. Delegation. Observers will have to follow any established rules for the participation of observers in the meetings.

7.7 Latecoming delegates to international meetings must report, in any event, to the Head of Delegation for instructions before assuming a position at the U.S. seating arrangements.

7.8 Regular (usually daily) U.S. Delegation meetings are necessary during international meetings to ensure consistent U.S. positions, sharing of information on developing actions at the various subgroups of the meetings, and appropriate delegation management as spokesperson assignments may need adjustment. Therefore, all U.S. Delegates are expected to attend these meetings. Of course, any information conveyed, and positions developed at these meetings must be kept within the U.S. Delegation and not shared without explicit concurrence from the Head of Delegation. It is recommended that an appropriately-sized room be reserved on a daily basis for these meetings, and that U.S. meetings are pre-scheduled, to avoid last minute churn in arranging them. The ITU has a scheduling office to book rooms in its Tower, the Varembé Building, the Montbrilliant Building, the CICG, or the former EFTA building. To book one of these rooms, contact the ITU Room Management Service at (41) (22) 730-5641.

7.9 Communications among the U.S. Delegation members at an international meeting and when necessary, by the Head of Delegation to the Chair of the hometeam (nominally the Chair of ITAC-R National Committee), are an important part of the conduct of the delegation. In the case of unforeseen events not covered by either position papers or understandings of the delegation, guidance should be sought by the Head of the U.S. Delegation from the Office of Communications and Information Policy, Department of State.

7.10 Consideration of foreign documents by the U.S. Delegation, as they are made available at a meeting, is necessary to develop a U.S. position on them, to ensure that U.S. Delegates agree with the positions, and that all understand those positions.

7.11 It is the general nature of ITU-R and CITEL international meetings that compromises are negotiated (within the operative position of the United States). This requires knowledgeable spokespersons and working group chairs that are appointed from the U.S. Delegation. Often, meeting output documentation is drafted from discussions among delegations. If an issue is known to be controversial, and output drafts go beyond known or acceptable U.S. positions and fallbacks, instructions should be sought by the Head of the Delegation from the Department of State.

7.12 The U.S. Head of Delegation will make specific assignments to U.S. Delegates for the purpose of coordinating spokespersons and using the microphone. Appropriate instructions must be issued by the Head of U.S. Delegation so that no unauthorized persons ask for the floor during meetings. There must be clear understanding of who is to be spokesperson on a foreseen issue, and that the official U.S. position is expressed, rather than a "company" position or a "personal" opinion, especially if there is any difference from the established U.S. view. In the case of technical or other explanations that are required during the debate, the spokesperson may give a "nod" to individuals on an as-needed-basis.

7.13 At international meetings attended by accredited U.S. Delegations, including meetings of formally organized working groups or subgroups, a U.S. government employee must be the officially recognized "U.S. representative" and the designated spokesperson. The U.S. government representative may allow a private industry representative to speak, as appropriate, to explain a technical point or to give a specific intervention, but only with the understanding that the U.S. government representative is responsible for all U.S. interventions and comments.

7.14 The Head of the U.S. Delegation, or the spokesperson responsible for a particular meeting, should establish seating arrangements at the venue for U.S. Delegation members, to maximize use of human resources in addressing the issues, and to minimize U.S. Delegates moving around, disturbing other delegates and delegations. It is recommended that spokespersons insist on written notes being passed, conveying views of delegates, rather than speaking or whispering to the individual on the microphone. It is very difficult to follow a floor debate when others are orally conveying points.

7.15 It is understood that if an author of an approved U.S. paper submitted to an international meeting does not attend the meeting, or otherwise does not make affirmative arrangements through the Head of the U.S. Delegation to present and defend the paper, and to prosecute it through the meeting process, it may not be possible for others on the U.S. Delegation to take responsibility for ensuring the document is promulgated, especially in light of usually, heavy workloads and parallel working group meetings. In such cases, an attempt will be made to "table" the paper so that the meeting itself may have an opportunity to undertake to incorporate the essence of the paper, or the meeting Chairman could assign others to move the issue along without requiring further efforts of the U.S. Delegation. Lacking the support of the meeting, a tabled document may at least be available for consideration at a subsequent international meeting, if its Chair agrees.

7.16 U.S. documents that are approved as "information" papers in the ITAC-R National Committee review process need certain consideration. Such papers should show "INFORMATION DOCUMENT" associated with their title and the associated number in the top right corner of the first page should include ".../INFO/..." Information papers are received, translated if not "delayed," processed by the meeting Secretariat, and distributed to delegates (usually on blue paper at the ITU to distinguish them from other papers). There is no specific guidance for "information" papers within Resolution ITU-R 1. However, the U.S. Delegation may make reference to these papers, bringing them to the attention of a meeting, but indicating that there is no intention to carry them forward - - they are for information to the meeting.

7.17 Some U.S. documents called "Hip Pocket" papers may be prepared for contingent use at a meeting, depending on other foreign papers that might be introduced, or upon a particular direction a meeting might take. Such papers serve a definite tactical purpose in support of U.S. views. Along with each "Hip Pocket" paper, a U.S. position should also be developed to indicate under what circumstances the "Hip Pocket" paper might be introduced. The Head of the U.S. Delegation, in consultation with the delegation, will make the decision whether or not such a paper will be introduced, and on its timing.

7.18 U.S. Delegates represent the United States, not any particular company, private interest, or special concern. Meetings are almost never, just of a narrow technical interest or of a particular radiocommunication service - - they usually overlap other interests or services and must, therefore, take into account other related interests and reflect the total view of the United States. Therefore, it is important that all documents which are approved for transmittal to an international meeting are presented and defended appropriately. U.S. Delegation members are all charged with supporting the documentation that is submitted by the United States. Once documents have cleared the National Committee approval process and have been submitted, no objections to U.S. documentation should be offered or entertained by the U.S. Delegation, absent specific instructions. If there are any questions about the U.S. position on a submitted document, advice of the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. should be sought.

7.19 U.S. Delegations are expected to give at least a short report to the Department of State or to the National Committee Chair and Vice Chairs on the outcome of international meetings, and to keep relevant officials abreast of both controversial issues and expected future actions that might affect the Department of State, the NTIA, or the FCC. Furthermore, all anticipated proposals that might stem from U.S. officials who are in a position to do so at an international meeting, should be coordinated in advance with the Department of State in the absence of a written U.S. proposal or U.S. document submission.

8 Policy on Alternative Approval Procedure:

8.1 Resolution 82 from the ITU Minneapolis Plenipotentiary Conference, "Approval of questions and recommendations," specifically recognized "that there is concern in applying an alternative approval process to questions and recommendations of the Radiocommunication Sector." Resolution 82 also resolved, inter alia, "that Nos. 246A and 246B of the Convention shall not be used for questions and recommendations having policy or regulatory implications such as:

  • questions and recommendations approved by the Radiocommunication Sector relevant to the work of the radiocommunication conferences, and other categories of questions and recommendations that may be decided by the radiocommunication assembly;
  • questions and recommendations where there is any doubt about their scope,"

8.2 The United States policy with respect to the Alternative Approval Process in the Radiocommunication Sector includes a first presumption that all ITU-R questions and recommendations in all study groups, working parties, task groups (including joint task groups) and rapporteurs groups, have a policy or regulatory implication, until agreed otherwise. A large majority of ITU-R questions and recommendations are considered intrinsically policy or regulatory by their nature.

8.3 In the evaluation of the questions and associated potential recommendations in the Radiocommunication Sector to determine how AAP should apply, the United States has established specific criteria. These criteria determine the likelihood of policy or regulatory implications, or whether certainty or doubt exists. The following types of questions and recommendations (and possibly others) are seen as having a high probability of such implication, and thus cannot be considered under the alternative process:

(a) Questions and recommendations leading to ITU-R Radio Regulations - - This category includes Questions with a categorization of C1 or C2 as defined in Resolution ITU-R 5-3, and any question or recommendation that is linked to a World Radiocommunication Conference agenda item.

(b) Questions and recommendations concerned with sharing, sharing criteria and interference calculation methods - - Because spectrum sharing, whether between systems or services, potentially has international spectrum implications, any issue dealing with spectrum sharing or compatibility, including those of a scientific nature, has policy or regulatory implications. Examples of such issues include propagation, spectrum parameter measurement, and emission modelling.

(c) Questions and recommendations that address performance and/or availability and degradations due to interference - - These provide the basis for interference criteria used in sharing studies.

(d) Questions and recommendations addressing reference radiation patterns, and the characteristics of emitting systems or the emissions themselves - - These provide basic information for calculations of the interference between systems and services in either shared or unshared frequency bands, e.g., considering spurious or out-of-band emissions.

(e) Questions and recommendations addressing allotment or channel arrangements - - These aspects of spectrum use impact spectrum efficiency and therefore, the availability of spectrum on a national and international basis.

(f) Questions and recommendations that address issues between different services - - Issues between or among services in the radiocommunication domain are ones related to shared use of the spectrum.

(g) Questions and recommendations pertaining to governmental management functions - - Issues related to spectrum management, spectrum monitoring, maritime and other stations’ numbering, and call signs are related to governmental functions.

(h) Questions and recommendations regarding national radiocommunication policies of Administrations - - Any question or recommendation that suggests Administrations take some action necessarily places those issues into the policy or regulatory arena.

(i) Questions and recommendations relating to emitting equipment standards - - Such standards impact spectrum efficiency and therefore, the availability of spectrum on a national and on an international basis.

(j) Questions and recommendations for which there is doubt concerning their scope - - This consideration was anticipated in considering e) of Resolution ITU-R 45, which states that, "…the (AAP) provisions noted above shall not be used for questions and recommendations having policy or regulatory implications such as:

- Questions and recommendations approved by the Radiocommunication Sector relevant to the work of radiocommunication conferences, and other categories of Questions and Recommendations that may be decided by the Radiocommunication Assembly;

- Questions and Recommendations where there is any doubt about their scope,"



  1. Hyperlinks to related important documents are embedded as indicated.
  2. Including Study Groups, Working Parties, Joint Working Parties, Task Groups, Joint Task Groups, Experts Groups, and CITEL Permanent Committee II (Radiocommunication including Broadcasting).
  3. Including Joint Rapporteurs Groups.
  4. “International office" means elected or appointed office for international meetings.


Last Modified
Monday, December 1, 2014