Major independent regulatory agencies, which have experienced sharp and steady budget and personnel cuts since President Reagan took office, would continue to lose ground under the proposed budget for fiscal 1984, but not as rapidly as before.
The major exception would be the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, whose $155.3 million budget for 1984 represents a 5.3 percent increase over this year's budget. The work force would remain at 3,125, 265 below the 1980 peak of 3,390.
The Federal Trade Commission, which lost personnel steadily in the past two years, would lose another 10 percent of its staff--141 jobs--under the $59.4 million budget proposed for fiscal 1984. The agency would be taking an 8.3 percent cut before inflation.
The budget assumes that four of the agency's 10 regional offices would be closed--contrary to a congressional mandate. A majority of the commisioners have asked Congress to reconsider.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission would have a work force of 595, fewer than any year since it opened its doors in 1973. The proposed budget for next year is $32 million, taking it below its spending level of 1975, when the buying power of a dollar was almost twice as great.
Since 1980, the peak year for CPSC staffing, the equivalent of 383 full-time positions have been lost in the agency.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's budget would go up a fraction--from $462.5 million to $466.8 million--an increase that will be more than offset by inflation; the NRC work force would decrease slightly. The only major cuts are in research activities, notably the study of reactor cooling system failures. The $15 million allocated in 1983 to support the research is eliminated; the test reactor would be taken over by the Energy Department.
Funding for inspections and enforcement would also increase slightly before inflation is calculated, going from $14.4 million to $14.6 million. Research into risk analysis--that is, the calculation of the potential harm of radiation and the economic impact of regulation--would increase from $14.1 million to $17.7 million.
Two agencies that have lost many of their responsibilities because of deregulation would continue to lose large chunks of staff and money.
The Interstate Commerce Commission staff would drop 19.5 percent; the ICC budget 11.6 percent. The proposed $58 million proposed ICC budget anticipates a decline in the workload of those who help set rates and grant operating rights to motor carriers and a slight increase in the number of consumer complaints handled. About $20 million of the budget would come from fees paid directly to the ICC, leaving $37.9 million to be paid from general revenues.
The Civil Aeronautics Board, on its way to extinction, would see its budget for salaries and expenses drop by 12 percent, to $20.9 million, in the coming fiscal year. The work force would drop 16 percent, from 474 to 400. The agency lost its control over domestic airline rates Jan. 1, a year after it lost authority over domestic routes.