Notice of Availability of Final Contracting Policy, 2109-2111 [2010-564]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 9 / Thursday, January 14, 2010 / Notices within these time periods, section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act allows the Department to extend the time limit for the preliminary results to a maximum of 365 days after the last day of the anniversary month. We determine that it is not practicable to complete the preliminary results of these reviews within the original time limit because we received requests from several respondents for extension of time to respond to our supplemental questionnaires and because we have scheduled verifications for several respondents in these reviews which have not yet been completed. Therefore, we are extending the time period for issuing the preliminary results of these reviews by 73 days until April 15, 2010. This notice is published in accordance with section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(2). Dated: January 8, 2010. John M. Andersen, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations. [FR Doc. 2010–585 Filed 1–13–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Notice of Availability of Final Contracting Policy AGENCY: National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of Availability of Final NOAA Ocean and Coastal Mapping Contracting Policy. SUMMARY: The NOAA National Ocean Service is publishing the NOAA Ocean and Coastal Mapping Contracting Policy. This replaces the 2006 NOAA Hydrographic Services Contracting Policy. pwalker on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with NOTICES DATES: No comments are solicited through this notice. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Roger L. Parsons, NOAA, Office of Coast Survey, National Ocean Service (NOS), NOAA (N/CS), 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910; Telephone: 301–713–2776 x205, e-mail: Roger.L.Parsons@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The contracting policy for ocean and coastal mapping services within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is final. VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:36 Jan 13, 2010 Jkt 220001 Background NOAA promulgated an Ocean and Coastal Mapping Contracting Policy in response to the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (Pub. L. 111– 11), specifically the Ocean and Coastal Mapping Integration Act (Act), 33 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., which states: ‘‘The Administrator shall continue developing a strategy for expanding contracting with non-governmental entities to minimize duplication and take maximum advantage of nongovernmental capabilities in fulfilling the Administration’s mapping and charting responsibilities.’’ House Report 108–56, which accompanied the FY2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act, had previously directed NOAA to expand contracting with nongovernmental entities, but at that time, Congress limited this to hydrographic services programs funded under the ‘‘Mapping and Charting’’ section of the NOAA Budget. The 2009 contracting policy broadens the scope of NOAA’s contracting efforts beyond ‘‘hydrographic services’’ to include ‘‘ocean and coastal mapping’’ services as defined in the Act. NOAA primarily utilized the Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP), a Federal Advisory Committee, and the public comment process to reevaluate its 2006 Hydrographic Services Contracting Policy. NOAA first sought input from the HSRP on the revised policy during a June 22, 2009, open public meeting/teleconference. During the meeting, the HSRP requested more time to review the revised policy and asked to have the topic discussed at the next regularly-scheduled meeting. NOAA placed the topic on the agenda for the September 23–24, 2009, HSRP meeting in Duluth, Minnesota. In the interim, NOAA published an August 19, 2009, notice in the Federal Register seeking public comment on the draft policy and providing a Web page whereby the public could review additional relevant documents, including the 2006 policy, a summary of proposed changes, and the Act. In addition to this public comment period, the public had an opportunity to provide both written and verbal comment at the June 22, 2009, and September 23—24, 2009, HSRP open public meetings. The Federal Register Notices announcing these two meetings, published on June 3, 2009, June 9, 2009, and September 2, 2009, stated the opportunities to provide both written and verbal comment at the two meetings. Written public comments were distributed to the members of the HSRP. PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2109 At the September 23–24, 2009, public meeting, the HSRP discussed the proposed draft NOAA Ocean and Coastal Mapping Contracting Policy and made the following recommendation: ‘‘The HSRP finds that NOAA’s existing Hydrographic Services Contracting Policy is fairly and adequately constructed. The HSRP recommends that NOAA limit revisions to the policy, making only those precise language changes required to conform to the Ocean and Coastal Mapping Integration Act.’’ NOAA subsequently made limited revisions to the 2006 policy. The intent of the revisions is to broaden the scope of the policy beyond hydrographic services to include other NOAA ocean and coastal mapping activities and to clarify some of the wording in the 2006 policy. Below is a summary of the substance of responsive public comments received and the resulting changes made to the policy based on those comments. Seven sets of comments were received; however, several comments were considered non-responsive to the draft policy. Public comments were received that expressed concern that the revised language would potentially establish a new policy rationale and justification to avoid contracting, decrease contract support, or increase the opportunity for funds to be used by NOAA to compete with private industry. However, the revised policy does not reflect a change in NOAA’s intent, which remains to contract for ocean and coastal mapping services when contracting is determined to be a cost-effective method of obtaining these services and to the extent funding is available. Public comments were received that included concern over draft language that three conditions must be satisfied before NOAA contracted for ocean and coastal mapping services: the existence of qualified commercial sources, when contracting is determined to be the most cost-effective method of conducting these functions, and funding is available. After consideration, NOAA retained these conditions in the policy. Public comments were received that included positive feedback concerning NOAA’s use of Title IX of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act (Brooks Act). It was requested that NOAA provide clarification in the policy of the statement ‘‘where otherwise deemed appropriate’’ when applying Title IX. NOAA believes the policy, as written, is clear. NOAA will procure the acquisition of hydrographic data in accordance with Title IX. When procuring the acquisition of data that E:\FR\FM\14JAN1.SGM 14JAN1 2110 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 9 / Thursday, January 14, 2010 / Notices pwalker on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with NOTICES are not considered hydrographic data, NOAA will, in compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulations, use its discretion in determining the most appropriate contracting vehicle to use, including Title IX. Public comments were received that included concern over the removal of a reference to NOAA’s annual hydrographic training and field procedures workshops. This section was removed from the policy because it was not directly related to the contracting process; however, it is NOAA’s intent to invite NOAA contractors to future workshops. Also, as stated in the policy, future training opportunities for contractors are envisioned at NOAA’s Ocean and Coastal Mapping Training Center, once established. Public comments were received that expressed concern over draft language which provided examples of mapping activities that NOAA considers inherently governmental. After review, NOAA concurred that several of the draft examples were not inherently governmental and therefore eliminated those from the final policy. NOAA Ocean and Coastal Mapping Contracting Policy The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recognizes that qualified commercial sources can provide competent, professional, and cost-effective ocean and coastal mapping services and expertise to NOAA in support of its diverse mapping missions. NOAA also recognizes that providing mapping services is a core mission requirement of NOAA under the 1947 Coast and Geodetic Survey Act, Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998 (as amended), and other laws and authorities. In the interest of public and environmental safety and the furtherance of scientific knowledge, the Federal Government’s responsibility for executing its ocean and coastal mapping missions is manifest and non-delegable. However, it is incumbent upon NOAA, as recommended by the Hydrographic Services Review Panel, a Federal Advisory Committee, to maintain operational ocean and coastal mapping core capabilities and supplement its operational capacity by contracting for ocean and coastal mapping services where appropriate and to the extent of available funding. This policy statement documents the framework and conditions under which contracting will be employed to ensure an open and consistent approach. To support this policy, NOAA will maintain a dialogue with private sector organizations and constituent groups. VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:36 Jan 13, 2010 Jkt 220001 For the purposes of this policy and as defined in the Ocean and Coastal Mapping Integration Act, the term ‘‘ocean and coastal mapping’’ includes the acquisition, processing, and management of physical, biological, geological, chemical, and archeological characteristics and boundaries of ocean and coastal areas. This also includes hydrographic services. As defined in the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act, the term ‘‘hydrographic services’’ means the management, maintenance, interpretation, certification, and dissemination of bathymetric, hydrographic, shoreline, geodetic, geospatial, geomagnetic, tide and water level, and current information, including the production of nautical charts, nautical information, databases, and other products derived from hydrographic data. It is NOAA’s intent to advance contracting and adhere to the principles of this policy to meet its diverse ocean and coastal mapping requirements. It is the intent of NOAA to contract for ocean and coastal mapping services when such contracts are determined to be a cost-effective method of obtaining these services and to the extent funding is available. NOAA will procure ocean and coastal mapping services from qualified sources in accordance with its legal authorities, the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), and the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (40 U.S.C. 101 et seq.). Where required by law or where otherwise deemed appropriate, NOAA will procure the acquisition of hydrographic data 1 in accordance with Title IX of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act (40 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.).2 NOAA may determine that a particular ocean and coastal mapping activity is inherently governmental or otherwise not subject to contracting. NOAA ocean and coastal mapping activities not subject to contracting may include, but are not limited to, services necessary to: (1) Monitor the quality of NOAA products; (2) promulgate and promote national and international technical standards and specifications; 1 Hydrographic data means information that is acquired through hydrographic, bathymetric, photogrammetric, lidar, radar, remote sensing, or shoreline and other ocean- and coastal-related surveying; geodetic, geospatial, or geomagnetic measurements; tide, water level, and current observations; and is used in providing hydrographic services. 2 Commonly known as the ‘‘Brooks Act’’ or A&E (Architectural or Engineering) contracting services, Title IX contracts are negotiated and awarded on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualifications (qualification-based selections or QBS) as opposed to price. PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (3) conduct basic research and development and ensure the rapid transfer of derived technologies to the private sector; and (4) maintain the integrity and accuracy of Federal geodetic, navigational, and other databases. To facilitate the leveraging of government mapping resources, NOAA will continue to make its coastal geospatial and hydrographic services contracts with private-sector companies available to State and local government entities that have a need for the services provided by these contracts and can provide adequate funding. NOAA may task qualified commercial sources with ocean and coastal mapping services in any part of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, territorial sea, Great Lakes, inland waters, and coastal watersheds for any missionrelated purpose. The government’s interests in and responsibilities for mapping vary broadly and experience has shown that maintaining flexibility is key to responding to the nation’s changing needs for geospatial data. Ancillary Statements and Actions As recommended by the Hydrographic Services Review Panel, NOAA will continue to utilize a mix of in-house and private-sector resources to accomplish its ocean and coastal mapping missions. Costs and productivity will be monitored within each category (i.e., public and private) to ensure best use of mapping resources. NOAA will continue to seek the optimal resource allocation between in-house and private-sector resources based on the strength of the governmental interest, the total requirement for ocean and coastal mapping services, and the particular operational capabilities of either government or private-sector resources that may make one resource more suitable for a given situation. NOAA will continue to examine ways to improve its contracting processes, including minimizing the turnover frequency of contracting personnel and reducing the length of time required to award contracts and task orders. NOAA will continue to offer debriefings to successful and unsuccessful contractors after final contractor selection has been made in order to assist contractors with identifying significant weaknesses or deficiencies in their submissions. NOAA will continue with its efforts to establish an Ocean and Coastal Mapping Training Center, which, as conceived, will support NOAA’s in-house hydrographic and acoustic surveying training requirements. In addition, the Center would provide training to NOAA and private sector contractors in E:\FR\FM\14JAN1.SGM 14JAN1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 9 / Thursday, January 14, 2010 / Notices techniques, standards, and technologies that support NOAA’s many ocean and coastal mapping activities. Such training would be beneficial to current or prospective NOAA contractors seeking to improve their capabilities and proposal submissions. Dated: January 7, 2010. David M. Kennedy, Acting Assistant Administrator, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [FR Doc. 2010–564 Filed 1–13–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–JE–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XT73 North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of public meetings. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its advisory committees will hold public meetings in Portland, OR. DATES: The meetings will be held February 8–16, 2010. The Council will begin its plenary session at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, February 10 continuing through Tuesday, February 16. The Council’s Advisory Panel (AP) will begin at 8 a.m., Monday, February 8 and continue through Friday, February 12. The Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) will begin at 8 a.m. on Monday, February 8 and continue through Wednesday, February 10, 2010. The Enforcement Committee will meet Tuesday, February 9 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. All meetings are open to the public, except executive sessions. ADDRESSES: The meetings will be held at the Benson Hotel, 309 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205. Council address: North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 W. 4th Avenue, Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501–2252. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Witherell, Council staff, telephone: (907) 271–2809. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Council Plenary Session: The agenda for the Council’s plenary session will include the following issues. The Council may take appropriate action on any of the issues identified. 1. Reports: pwalker on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:36 Jan 13, 2010 Jkt 220001 a. Executive Director’s Report (including report on catch shares and marine spatial planning) b. NMFS Management Report c. Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) Report d. International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) Report e. U.S. Coast Guard Report f. NMFS Enforcement Report/Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) Report g. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Report h. Protected Species Report (including update on Biological Opinion and Center for Independent Experts review and seabird update) 2. Halibut/Sablefish Individual Fishing Quotas (IFQs) Program: Review proposals, receive committee report, and take action as necessary; review discussion paper on Community Quota Entity Program. 3. Observer Program: Progress on Implementation Plan; Progress on Implementation Plan; Observer Advisory Committee report. 4. Bering Sea Aleutian Island (BSAI) Crab Issues: Initial review BSAI Crab Right of First Refusal; Initial review Western Aleutian Golden King Crab Regional Delivery; NOAA/Bering Sea Fisheries Foundation cooperative survey report; review methodology for Annual Catch Limits (ACLs) analysis and performance measures for rebuilding (SSC only). 5. Groundfish ACLs: Initial review of Groundfish ACL requirements. 6. Amendment 80 Cooperatives: Initial review of Amendment 80 Lost Vessel Replacement; Final action Amendment 80 Cooperative Formation. 7. Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Rockfish Program: Receive 2009 Cooperative Report; Refine alternatives for analysis. 8. American Fisheries Act (AFA): Receive 2009 Cooperative reports and 2010 Cooperative agreements. 9. Data Collection Discussion paper: Review discussion paper and take action as necessary. 10. Miscellaneous Issues: Review of analytical methods for BSAI Chum salmon bycatch (SSC only); review new area closure options for chum salmon bycatch alternatives; review preliminary Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) report (SSC only); review and adopt Habitats Areas of Particular Concern (HAPC) criteria and schedule; report and action as necessary on Aleutian Island Fishery Ecosystem Plan Addendum; review discussion paper on stranding of BSAI Pacific cod total allowable catch (T); review discussion paper on halibut PSC limits (T). 11. Staff Tasking: Review Committees and tasking. 12. Other Business PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2111 The SSC agenda will include the following issues: 1. C–5 (a) Amendment 80 Lost Vessel replacement 2. C–3 (a, b, c, d) BSAI Crab Issues 3. C–4 Groundfish ACLs 4. D–2 Data Collection 5. D–3(a, b, c) Groundfish Issues 6. National Standard 2 Guidelines The Advisory Panel will address most of the same agenda issues as the Council, except for # 1 reports. The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version will be posted at http:// www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/npfmc/ Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before the Council for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council’s intent to take final action to address the emergency. Special Accommodations These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Gail Bendixen at (907) 271–2809 at least 7 working days prior to the meeting date. Dated: January 8, 2010. William D. Chappell, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2010–492 Filed 1–13–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XT75 New England Fishery Management Council; Public Hearings AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Monkfish Fishery Management Plan Amendment 5; Public Hearings; Request for Comments. SUMMARY: The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold six public hearings to solicit comments on proposals to be included in the Draft Amendment 5 to the E:\FR\FM\14JAN1.SGM 14JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 9 (Thursday, January 14, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 2109-2111]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-564]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Notice of Availability of Final Contracting Policy

AGENCY: National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of Availability of Final NOAA Ocean and Coastal Mapping 
Contracting Policy.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The NOAA National Ocean Service is publishing the NOAA Ocean 
and Coastal Mapping Contracting Policy. This replaces the 2006 NOAA 
Hydrographic Services Contracting Policy.

DATES: No comments are solicited through this notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Roger L. Parsons, NOAA, Office of 
Coast Survey, National Ocean Service (NOS), NOAA (N/CS), 1315 East West 
Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910; Telephone: 301-713-2776 x205, 
e-mail: Roger.L.Parsons@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The contracting policy for ocean and coastal 
mapping services within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration is final.

Background

    NOAA promulgated an Ocean and Coastal Mapping Contracting Policy in 
response to the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (Pub. L. 
111-11), specifically the Ocean and Coastal Mapping Integration Act 
(Act), 33 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., which states: ``The Administrator shall 
continue developing a strategy for expanding contracting with non-
governmental entities to minimize duplication and take maximum 
advantage of non-governmental capabilities in fulfilling the 
Administration's mapping and charting responsibilities.'' House Report 
108-56, which accompanied the FY2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 
had previously directed NOAA to expand contracting with non-
governmental entities, but at that time, Congress limited this to 
hydrographic services programs funded under the ``Mapping and 
Charting'' section of the NOAA Budget. The 2009 contracting policy 
broadens the scope of NOAA's contracting efforts beyond ``hydrographic 
services'' to include ``ocean and coastal mapping'' services as defined 
in the Act.
    NOAA primarily utilized the Hydrographic Services Review Panel 
(HSRP), a Federal Advisory Committee, and the public comment process to 
reevaluate its 2006 Hydrographic Services Contracting Policy. NOAA 
first sought input from the HSRP on the revised policy during a June 
22, 2009, open public meeting/teleconference. During the meeting, the 
HSRP requested more time to review the revised policy and asked to have 
the topic discussed at the next regularly-scheduled meeting. NOAA 
placed the topic on the agenda for the September 23-24, 2009, HSRP 
meeting in Duluth, Minnesota. In the interim, NOAA published an August 
19, 2009, notice in the Federal Register seeking public comment on the 
draft policy and providing a Web page whereby the public could review 
additional relevant documents, including the 2006 policy, a summary of 
proposed changes, and the Act. In addition to this public comment 
period, the public had an opportunity to provide both written and 
verbal comment at the June 22, 2009, and September 23--24, 2009, HSRP 
open public meetings. The Federal Register Notices announcing these two 
meetings, published on June 3, 2009, June 9, 2009, and September 2, 
2009, stated the opportunities to provide both written and verbal 
comment at the two meetings. Written public comments were distributed 
to the members of the HSRP.
    At the September 23-24, 2009, public meeting, the HSRP discussed 
the proposed draft NOAA Ocean and Coastal Mapping Contracting Policy 
and made the following recommendation: ``The HSRP finds that NOAA's 
existing Hydrographic Services Contracting Policy is fairly and 
adequately constructed. The HSRP recommends that NOAA limit revisions 
to the policy, making only those precise language changes required to 
conform to the Ocean and Coastal Mapping Integration Act.''
    NOAA subsequently made limited revisions to the 2006 policy. The 
intent of the revisions is to broaden the scope of the policy beyond 
hydrographic services to include other NOAA ocean and coastal mapping 
activities and to clarify some of the wording in the 2006 policy.
    Below is a summary of the substance of responsive public comments 
received and the resulting changes made to the policy based on those 
comments. Seven sets of comments were received; however, several 
comments were considered non-responsive to the draft policy.
    Public comments were received that expressed concern that the 
revised language would potentially establish a new policy rationale and 
justification to avoid contracting, decrease contract support, or 
increase the opportunity for funds to be used by NOAA to compete with 
private industry. However, the revised policy does not reflect a change 
in NOAA's intent, which remains to contract for ocean and coastal 
mapping services when contracting is determined to be a cost-effective 
method of obtaining these services and to the extent funding is 
available.
    Public comments were received that included concern over draft 
language that three conditions must be satisfied before NOAA contracted 
for ocean and coastal mapping services: the existence of qualified 
commercial sources, when contracting is determined to be the most cost-
effective method of conducting these functions, and funding is 
available. After consideration, NOAA retained these conditions in the 
policy.
    Public comments were received that included positive feedback 
concerning NOAA's use of Title IX of the Federal Property and 
Administrative Services Act (Brooks Act). It was requested that NOAA 
provide clarification in the policy of the statement ``where otherwise 
deemed appropriate'' when applying Title IX. NOAA believes the policy, 
as written, is clear. NOAA will procure the acquisition of hydrographic 
data in accordance with Title IX. When procuring the acquisition of 
data that

[[Page 2110]]

are not considered hydrographic data, NOAA will, in compliance with the 
Federal Acquisition Regulations, use its discretion in determining the 
most appropriate contracting vehicle to use, including Title IX.
    Public comments were received that included concern over the 
removal of a reference to NOAA's annual hydrographic training and field 
procedures workshops. This section was removed from the policy because 
it was not directly related to the contracting process; however, it is 
NOAA's intent to invite NOAA contractors to future workshops. Also, as 
stated in the policy, future training opportunities for contractors are 
envisioned at NOAA's Ocean and Coastal Mapping Training Center, once 
established.
    Public comments were received that expressed concern over draft 
language which provided examples of mapping activities that NOAA 
considers inherently governmental. After review, NOAA concurred that 
several of the draft examples were not inherently governmental and 
therefore eliminated those from the final policy.

NOAA Ocean and Coastal Mapping Contracting Policy

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 
recognizes that qualified commercial sources can provide competent, 
professional, and cost-effective ocean and coastal mapping services and 
expertise to NOAA in support of its diverse mapping missions. NOAA also 
recognizes that providing mapping services is a core mission 
requirement of NOAA under the 1947 Coast and Geodetic Survey Act, 
Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998 (as amended), and other 
laws and authorities. In the interest of public and environmental 
safety and the furtherance of scientific knowledge, the Federal 
Government's responsibility for executing its ocean and coastal mapping 
missions is manifest and non-delegable. However, it is incumbent upon 
NOAA, as recommended by the Hydrographic Services Review Panel, a 
Federal Advisory Committee, to maintain operational ocean and coastal 
mapping core capabilities and supplement its operational capacity by 
contracting for ocean and coastal mapping services where appropriate 
and to the extent of available funding.
    This policy statement documents the framework and conditions under 
which contracting will be employed to ensure an open and consistent 
approach. To support this policy, NOAA will maintain a dialogue with 
private sector organizations and constituent groups.
    For the purposes of this policy and as defined in the Ocean and 
Coastal Mapping Integration Act, the term ``ocean and coastal mapping'' 
includes the acquisition, processing, and management of physical, 
biological, geological, chemical, and archeological characteristics and 
boundaries of ocean and coastal areas. This also includes hydrographic 
services. As defined in the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act, the 
term ``hydrographic services'' means the management, maintenance, 
interpretation, certification, and dissemination of bathymetric, 
hydrographic, shoreline, geodetic, geospatial, geomagnetic, tide and 
water level, and current information, including the production of 
nautical charts, nautical information, databases, and other products 
derived from hydrographic data. It is NOAA's intent to advance 
contracting and adhere to the principles of this policy to meet its 
diverse ocean and coastal mapping requirements.
    It is the intent of NOAA to contract for ocean and coastal mapping 
services when such contracts are determined to be a cost-effective 
method of obtaining these services and to the extent funding is 
available. NOAA will procure ocean and coastal mapping services from 
qualified sources in accordance with its legal authorities, the Federal 
Acquisition Regulations (FAR), and the Federal Property and 
Administrative Services Act of 1949 (40 U.S.C. 101 et seq.). Where 
required by law or where otherwise deemed appropriate, NOAA will 
procure the acquisition of hydrographic data \1\ in accordance with 
Title IX of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act (40 
U.S.C. 1101 et seq.).\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Hydrographic data means information that is acquired through 
hydrographic, bathymetric, photogrammetric, lidar, radar, remote 
sensing, or shoreline and other ocean- and coastal-related 
surveying; geodetic, geospatial, or geomagnetic measurements; tide, 
water level, and current observations; and is used in providing 
hydrographic services.
    \2\ Commonly known as the ``Brooks Act'' or A&E (Architectural 
or Engineering) contracting services, Title IX contracts are 
negotiated and awarded on the basis of demonstrated competence and 
qualifications (qualification-based selections or QBS) as opposed to 
price.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NOAA may determine that a particular ocean and coastal mapping 
activity is inherently governmental or otherwise not subject to 
contracting. NOAA ocean and coastal mapping activities not subject to 
contracting may include, but are not limited to, services necessary to: 
(1) Monitor the quality of NOAA products; (2) promulgate and promote 
national and international technical standards and specifications; (3) 
conduct basic research and development and ensure the rapid transfer of 
derived technologies to the private sector; and (4) maintain the 
integrity and accuracy of Federal geodetic, navigational, and other 
databases.
    To facilitate the leveraging of government mapping resources, NOAA 
will continue to make its coastal geospatial and hydrographic services 
contracts with private-sector companies available to State and local 
government entities that have a need for the services provided by these 
contracts and can provide adequate funding.
    NOAA may task qualified commercial sources with ocean and coastal 
mapping services in any part of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, 
territorial sea, Great Lakes, inland waters, and coastal watersheds for 
any mission-related purpose. The government's interests in and 
responsibilities for mapping vary broadly and experience has shown that 
maintaining flexibility is key to responding to the nation's changing 
needs for geospatial data.

Ancillary Statements and Actions

    As recommended by the Hydrographic Services Review Panel, NOAA will 
continue to utilize a mix of in-house and private-sector resources to 
accomplish its ocean and coastal mapping missions. Costs and 
productivity will be monitored within each category (i.e., public and 
private) to ensure best use of mapping resources. NOAA will continue to 
seek the optimal resource allocation between in-house and private-
sector resources based on the strength of the governmental interest, 
the total requirement for ocean and coastal mapping services, and the 
particular operational capabilities of either government or private-
sector resources that may make one resource more suitable for a given 
situation.
    NOAA will continue to examine ways to improve its contracting 
processes, including minimizing the turnover frequency of contracting 
personnel and reducing the length of time required to award contracts 
and task orders. NOAA will continue to offer debriefings to successful 
and unsuccessful contractors after final contractor selection has been 
made in order to assist contractors with identifying significant 
weaknesses or deficiencies in their submissions. NOAA will continue 
with its efforts to establish an Ocean and Coastal Mapping Training 
Center, which, as conceived, will support NOAA's in-house hydrographic 
and acoustic surveying training requirements. In addition, the Center 
would provide training to NOAA and private sector contractors in

[[Page 2111]]

techniques, standards, and technologies that support NOAA's many ocean 
and coastal mapping activities. Such training would be beneficial to 
current or prospective NOAA contractors seeking to improve their 
capabilities and proposal submissions.

    Dated: January 7, 2010.
David M. Kennedy,
Acting Assistant Administrator, National Ocean Service, National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
[FR Doc. 2010-564 Filed 1-13-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-JE-P