The Surface Transportation Board’s Office of Proceedings (OP) is responsible for developing the public record in proceedings before the agency, making recommendations regarding the resolution of issues presented in those matters, and preparing the initial drafts of nearly every decision to be issued by the Board. OP is the largest of the Board’s staff offices and consists of two sections, the Legal Section and the Section of Administration.
The Legal Section is staffed with attorneys who work closely with their colleagues in the Board’s other offices on teams assigned to the various cases pending at the Board, developing recommendations on how to resolve those matters. OP attorneys then prepare draft decisions to be considered by the Board. The Legal Section also coordinates the review of draft decisions among the other relevant Board offices.
The Section of Administration is comprised of OP’s paralegal specialists and administrative support staff. The Section is responsible for processing incoming filings, including reviewing filings for compliance with the Board’s regulations, updating the case docket, and posting public filings on the Board’s website. The Section is also responsible for tabulating the Board Members’ votes and serving (that is, officially issuing) the agency’s final decisions, including posting the decisions on the Board’s website and transmitting them to the Federal Register for publication, if needed.
The STB also is the official repository for recordations of legal documents (such as mortgages, leases, equipment trust agreements, or conditional sales agreements) evidencing a security interest in railroad cars, locomotives, other rolling stock, or water carrier vessels. The Section of Administration administers the STB recordations database, which is accessible to the public on the STB website.