Doris Tucker gets more than 10,000 telephone calls a year, but she doesn't answer any of them.
Tucker is one of the three voices of "Dial-A-Regulation," a message the staff of the Federal Register records to give callers a brief rundown on the bureaucracy in action, from the latest executive order to the Customs Service's proposed rules on beef exports.
Part of Tucker's job as an editor at the Register is to choose and tape-record daily highlights from the publication, which is published Monday through Friday. Fellow editors Ruth Reedy and Steve Rafkin also select and tape the messages, which are changed every day and for special news reports.
Dial-A-Regulation (532-5022) gets 38,000 calls a year."I guess it gives you a quite a celebrity-type feeling," Tucker said shyly.
The federal government, one of the nation's largest gatherers and dispensers of facts and figures, has dozens of other numbers to call for free information.
The Federal Information Center publishes a list of the information numbers for about 50 agencies. The list can be obtained free by calling 755-8660.
Another free booklet of 101 numbers for federal information is published by a private firm, Congressional Information Service Inc. (CIS), and can be obtained by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Phone Guide, CIS, P.O. Box 30056, Bethesda, Md. 20814.
A list of some of the numbers you can dial to get information from the government, or, in some cases, give it:
ACTION: Recruiting information on ACTION programs. Locally: 254-7346. In Alaska and Hawaii: 800-424-8580.
Air Force Recruiting: In Pennsylvania: 800-362-5696. Elsewhere: 800-523-5000.
Army Finance Center: Information about benefits for retired soldiers. In Indiana: (collect) 317-542-3911. Elsewhere: 800-428-2290.
Army Recruiting: In New York: 800-942-1990. Elsewhere: 800-421-4422.
Basic Educational Opportunity Grants: General information on BEOG applications. In Maryland: 800-492-6602. Elsewhere: 800-638-6700. Information about processing of BEOG applications for school year 1980-81: 800-553-6350. Information about procesing of BEOG applications for school year 1981-82: 800-423-6932.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms: To report thefts, losses or discoveries of explosive materials. Locally: 566-7777. Elsewhere: 800-424-9555.
Congressional Activity (local numbers): (Recorded news for Democrats): Floor activity, House: 225-7400. Floor activity, Senate: 224-8541. House legislative news: 225-1600. (Recorded news for Republicans): Floor activity, House: 225-7430. Floor activity, Senate: 224-8601. House legislative news: 225-2020.
Conservation and Renewable Energy Inquiry Referral: Non-technical information for consumers on solar heating and cooling for homes and commercial buildings. In Pennsylvania: 800-462-4983. Elsewhere: 800-523-2929.
Consumer Product Safety Commission: For complaints about products consumers have found unsafe. In Maryland: 800-492-8363. In Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto yrico: 800-638-8333. Elsewhere: 800-638-8326.
Defense Nuclear Agency: Information for veterans involved in nuclear bomb tests. Locally: 274-9161. In Alaska and Virginia: (collect) 703-274-9161. Elsewhere: 800-336-3068.
Department of Agriculture: Daily market report on food: 447-8233. Daily national agriculture-related news: 488-8358. Daily internal department and national agricultural news: 447-2545.
Department of Commerce: Daily national economic news reports: 393-4100. Daily national economic news highlights: 393-1847.
Department of Defense: News highlights (runs only with developments of news such as base closings, information for radiation victims and similar matters): 695-6201.
Department of Education: News features, department news, changed daily: 472-2729.
Department of Housing and Urban Development: Daily department news: 755-7395.
For complaints about discrimination in housing. Locally: 426-3500. Elsewhere: 800-424-8590.
Department of the Interior: Daily department news: 343-3020.
Department of Labor: Daily department news: 532-6899.
Department of the Treasury: Auction results and auction dates for government securities: 287-4100.
Economic Regulatory Administration: Monitors complaints about overcharges for gasoline and heating oil. Locally: 653-3437. Elsewhere: 800-424-9246.
Environmental Protection Agency: Daily department news: 755-9309.
Regional report, EPA-related legislative news and department news, changed daily: 755-0882.
Regulatory information about Toxic Substances Control Act, including asbestos, and regulatory information about Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Locally: 554-1404. Elsewhere: 800-424-9065 for toxic substances act, 800-424-9346 for resource recovery act.
Export-Import Bank: Advice and general information about exporting. Locally: 566-8860 or 566-8990. Elsewhere: 800-424-5201.
Federal Communications Commission: Daily department news: 632-0002.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.: For complaints or information about banks under jurisdiction of FDIC. Locally: 389-4767. Elsewhere: 800-424-5201.
Federal yelection Commission: For questions about campaign financing. Locally: 523-4068. Elsewhere: 800-424-9530.
Federal Highway Administration: Information to large employers and government on instituting ride-sharing, but not a rider-matching service. Locally: 426-2943. Elsewhere: 800-424-9184.
Federal Insurance Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency: Information on crime insurance program. In Maryland: (collect) 301-652-2637. Elsewhere: 638-8780.
Federal Information Center: For referral to the right government agency. 755-8660.
Federal Register: Federal policies, regulations, notices and so forth, selected from the Federal Register, changed daily: 523-5022.
Federal Trade Commission: Notices of meetings, department news, changed weekly: 523-3806. Press releases, internal department news, updated as developments change: 523-3540.
Flood Insurance: Information on flood insurance program: 800-638-6620.
Health Resources Administration: For Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to call if they are denied treatment at a health care facility built with Hill-Burton funds. In Maryland: 800-492-0359. Elsewhere: 800-638-0742.
Scholarships for health care professions students who agree to serve for a minimum period in an area that has a shortage of medical personnel. Locally: 436-6453. In Maryland, Alaska and Hawaii: (collect) 301-436-6453. Elsewhere: 800-638-0824.
Health Services Administration: Information about scholarships to serve in the National Health Service Corps, the Indian Health Service, and Bureau of Medical Services. Locally: 443-1540, in Maryland, Hawaii and Alaska: (collect) 301-443-1540. Elsewhere: 800-638-6730.
Interstate Commerce Commission: For problems with interstate movement of household goods. Locally: 275-0860. Elsewhere: 800-424-9312.
Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse: Information on juvenile justice matters, research and programs. Locally: 251-5500. Elsewhere: 800-638-8736.
Library of Congress: For information on programs for books for the blind and physically handicapped. Locally: 727-2142. Elsewhere: 800-424-9100.
Marine ycorps Recruiting: 800-423-2600 in Califormia: 800-252-0241.
National Alcohol Fuels information Center: General information on gasohol and other alcohol fuels: 800-525-5000.
National Archives: Archivers activities and other public information, changed as information changes: 523-3000.
National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education: On all aspects of bilingual education. Locally: 522-0710. Virginia, Hawaii and Alaska: (collect) 703-522-0710. Elsewhere: 800-336-4560.
National Consumer Cooperative Bank: Information on procedurs for loans and policies of the NCCB. In District of Columbia area: 673-4320. Elsewhere: 800-424-2481.
National Health Information Clearinghouse: Referral to sources of information about health-related issues. Locally: 522-2590. In Virginia, Alaska and Hawaii: 703-522-2590. Elsewhere: 800-336-4797.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: For information on whether your car has been recalled, and to report suspected defects. Locally: 426-0123.Elsewhere: 800-424-9393.
National Park Service: Highlights of activities in Washington area parks and monuments, changed daily: 426-6975.
National Weather Service Forecast: Chesapeake Bay Area: 899-3210. Beach Weather for five days: 899-3240. Eastern U.S. Cities: 899-3244. Western U.S. Cities: 899-3249. Local: 936-1212.
Navy Recruiting: 800-841-8000. In Georgia: 800-342-5855.
Navy Finance Center: Information about retired Navy pay: 800-321-1080.
Neighborhood Information Sharing Exchange: Information for neighborhood groups on solving shared problems. Locally: 293-2813. Elsewhere: 800-424-2852.
Office of Personnel Management: Information for those seeking federal employment, changed irregularly: 737-9616.
Office of Surface Mining: For information or to complain about abandoned surface coal mines. In Tennessee: 800-332-9150 or 800-251-9302.
Postal Information and Zip Codes: 523-2375.
Refugee Resettlement: Assistance and referral for Indochinese refugees and their problems. Locally: 245-0061. Elsewhere: 800-424-0212.
Information on sponsoring Cuban refugees or the whereabouts of Cuban refugee relatives: 800-643-2575.
General information about legal problems of refugees and their sponsors; referral to local lawyers who specialize in such matters: 800-334-0074.
Information on teaching English and vocations to Indochinese refugees. Locally: 298-9292. Elsewhere: 800-424-3701.
Information on cultural adjustment for Indochinese refugees and their sponsors. Locally: 298-9292. Elsewhere: 800-424-3701.
Runaway Hotline: For runaways to leave messages for their parents without revealing their whereabouts. In Illinois: 800-972-6004. Elsewhere: 800-621-4000.
Second Opinion Hotline (funded by Health Care Financing Administration): For referrals to doctors who can give second opinions before elective surgery is performed. In Maryland: 800-492-6603. Elsewhere: 800-638-6833.
Selective Service: Recorded information: 724-0424.
Senate Joint Economic Committee: For key economic indicators, changed as information changes: 224-3081.
Smithsonian Institution: "Dial-a-museum," daily highlights of events in museums and galleries: 357-2020. Dial-A-Phenomenon: 357-2000.
Social Security Administration: Information on Social Security programs, for the hearing- or speech- impaired only: 800-325-0778.
Small Business Administration: To order free publications from SBA. Locally: 653-6365. In Texas: 800-792-8901. Elsewhere: 800-433-7212.
U.S. Coast Guard: Recruiting. Locally: 426-7914. Elsewhere: 800-424-8883.
To report spills of oil and toxic chemicals. Locally: 426-2675. Elsewhere: 800-424-8802.
VD Hotline: For referring questions about venereal disease. In California: 800-982-5883. Elsewhere: 800-227-8922.