Sunday, August 5, 2018

Bye-Bye, OO… Hello, VM

The ARRL is replacing its decades-old Official Observer (OO) program with a new, headquarters-administered, Volunteer Monitor (VM) program to help with rules enforcement on the amateur bands. According to the ARRL Letter, the League board approved the new program at its July meeting. It would make evidence-gathering and coordination of cases the responsibility of ARRL staff, while decisions regarding final actions in individual cases would remain with the FCC. 
ARRL Section Managers, who until now had administered the OO programs in their sections and appointed members to serve as OOs, would "continue to be part of the vetting process" for volunteer monitors, but appointment and dismissal authority would rest with a new Volunteer Monitoring Program administrator at League headquarters. Current OOs would not be automatically accredited as VMs, but would have to apply for appointment. In addition, any VM notices mailed to amateurs would be sent by ARRL Headquarters, not by the individual monitors.

Details of the program's organization, training requirements and materials were still being worked out as of press time in early August.