National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Environmental and Natural Resources (CENR) Interagency Working Group on Earth Observations (IWGEO)
This notice announces an Integrated Earth Observation System Public Engagement Workshop by the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Interagency Working Group on Earth Observations (IWGEO) to discuss the nine societal benefit areas and the six near term opportunities identified in the Stratetic Plan for the U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System. This plan was developed to address the effective use of Earth observation systems to enable a healthy public, economy and planet.
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Import Statistics Relating to Competitive Need Limitations; Invitation for Public Comment on Possible De Minimis Waivers and Redesignations
This notice is to inform the public of full year 2004 import statistics relating to competitive need limitations (CNLs) under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. Public comments are invited by 5 p.m., April 22, 2005, regarding possible de minimis CNL waivers with respect to particular articles, and possible redesignations under the FSP program of articles currently not eligible for GSP benefits because they previously exceeded the CNLs.
Draft 2005 Report to Congress on the Costs and Benefits of Federal Regulations
OMB requests comments on 2005 Draft Report to Congress on the Costs and Benefits of Federal Regulation. The full Draft Report is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/inforeg/regpolreports congress.html, and is divided into three chapters. Chapter I presents estimates of the costs and benefits of Federal regulation and paperwork, with an emphasis on the major regulations issued between October 1, 2003 and September 31, 2004. Chapter II reports the latest results of our ongoing historical examination of the trends in Federal regulatory activity and explores what we know about the validation of ex ante estimates of costs and benefits of Federal regulation by ex post studies. Chapter III includes a discussion of the implementation of the Information Quality Act.
Office of Administration; Notice of Meeting of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction
The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (``Commission'') will meet in closed session on Wednesday, March 30, 2005, and Thursday, March 31, 2005, in its offices in Arlington, Virginia. Executive Order 13328 established the Commission for the purpose of assessing whether the Intelligence Community is sufficiently authorized, organized, equipped, trained, and resourced to identify and warn in a timely manner of, and to support the United States Government's efforts to respond to, the development of Weapons of Mass Destruction, related means of delivery, and other related threats of the 21st Century. The March 30-31 meeting is expected to include Commission discussions about classified documents, and presentations from Commission staff that are based upon classified information. While the Commission does not concede that it is subject to the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 United States Code Appendix 2, it has been determined that the March 30-31, 2005, meeting would fall within the scope of exceptions (c)(1) and (c)(9)(B) of the Sunshine Act, 5 United States Code, Sections 552b(c)(1) & (c)(9)(B), and thus could be closed to the public if FACA did apply to the Commission.
North American Industry Classification System-Update for 2007
Under Title 44 U.S.C. 3504(e), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) seeks public comment on the advisability of adopting the proposed North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) updates for 2007. NAICS is a system for classifying establishments (individual business locations) by type of economic activity. Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Estad[iacute]stica, Geograf[iacute]a e Inform[aacute]tica (INEGI), Statistics Canada, and the United States Office of Management and Budget, through its Economic Classification Policy Committee (ECPC), collaborated on NAICS to make the industry statistics produced by the three countries comparable. OMB's Economic Classification Policy Committee recommends an update of the industry classification system to clarify existing industry definitions and content, recognize new and emerging industries, and correct errors and omissions. This notice: (1) Summarizes the background for the proposed revisions to NAICS 2002 in Part I, (2) contains a summary of public comments in Part II, (3) details multiple requests and major changes in the proposed structure agreed to by the three countries in Part III, and (4) provides a comprehensive listing of proposed changes for national industries and their links to NAICS 2002 industries in Part IV. OMB published a notification of intention to revise portions of NAICS in a December 27, 2002, Federal Register notice (67 FR 79500- 79506). That notice solicited comments on the advisability of revising maximum possible public input, OMB seeks comment on the advisability of revising the NAICS 2002 structure for 2007 to account for new and emerging industries and solicited comments on the advisability of making changes to improve international comparability, and other changes identified as necessary during the initial implementation of NAICS 2002. The deadline for submitting comments was March 28, 2003. After considering all proposals from the public, consulting with U.S. data users and industry groups, and undertaking extensive discussions with Statistics Canada and Mexico's INEGI, the ECPC in collaboration with INEGI and Statistics Canada developed recommendations for revisions to NAICS that would apply to all three North American countries. These revisions focus on improving the description of current industries, identifying new and emerging industries, and recommending changes to industry content based on research and implementation experience. There are no changes specifically recommended to increase international comparability. The ECPC recommends that NAICS United States 2007 incorporate changes as shown in Parts III and IV of this notice. Following an extensive process of development and discussions by the ECPC, with maximum possible public input, OMB seeks comment on the advisability of revising NAICS to incorporate the changes published in this notice. The modified NAICS would be employed in relevant data collections by all U.S. statistical agencies beginning with the reference year 2007. Statistics Canada and INEGI are recommending acceptance of the proposed revisions of the NAICS system for industry classification in the statistical programs of their national systems and are seeking comments in their respective countries. Representatives of the three countries will hold further discussions to consider public comments that they receive.
Public Availability of Fiscal Year 2004 Agency Inventories Under the Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-270) (“FAIR Act”)
In accordance with the FAIR Act, agency inventories of activities that are not inherently governmental are now available to the public from the agencies listed below. The FAIR Act requires that OMB publish an announcement of public availability of agency inventories of activities that are not inherently governmental upon completion of OMB's review and consultation process concerning the content of the agencies' inventory submissions. After review and consultation with OMB, agencies make their inventories available to the public, and these inventories also include activities that are inherently governmental. This is the third release of the FAIR Act inventories for FY 2004. Interested parties who disagree with the agency's initial judgment can challenge the inclusion or the omission of an activity on the list of activities that are not inherently governmental within 30 working days and, if not satisfied with this review, may demand a higher agency review/appeal. The Office of Federal Procurement Policy has made available a FAIR Act User's Guide through its Internet site: http://www.whitehouse.gov/ omb/procurement/fair-index.html. This User's Guide will help interested parties review FY 2004 FAIR Act inventories, and gain access to agency inventories through agency Web site addresses.
Public Availability of Fiscal Year 2004 Agency Inventories Under the Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act of 1998 (Pub. L. 105-270) (“FAIR Act”)
In accordance with the FAIR Act, agency inventories of activities that are not inherently governmental are now available to the public from the agencies listed below. The FAIR Act requires that OMB publish an announcement of public availability of agency inventories of activities that are not inherently governmental upon completion of OMB's review and consultation process concerning the content of the agencies' inventory submissions. After review and consultation with OMB, agencies make their inventories available to the public, and these inventories also include activities that are inherently governmental. This is the third release of the FAIR Act inventories for FY 2004. Interested parties who disagree with the agency's initial judgment can challenge the inclusion or the omission of an activity on the list of activities that are not inherently governmental within 30 working days and, if not satisfied with this review, may demand a higher agency review/appeal. The Office of Federal Procurement Policy has made available a FAIR Act User's Guide through its Internet site: http://www.whitehouse.gov/ omb/procurement/fair-index.html. This User's Guide will help interested parties review FY 2004 FAIR Act inventories, and gain access to agency inventories through agency Web-site addresses.
Acquisition Advisory Panel
Pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, as amended), notice is hereby given that the Acquisition Advisory Panel established in accordance with the Services Acquisition Reform Act of 2003 will meet on March 30, 2005 and again on April 19, 2005 at 9 a.m., eastern time. Location for the March 30, 2005 meeting will be the General Services Administration (GSA) Auditorium at 1800 F. Street, NW., Washington, DC 20405. While the meeting is open to the public, building security requires you to provide your name to the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) (contact information listed below) by March 28, 2005. You will need photo identification to enter the building. Location for the April 19, 2005 meeting is expected to be the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) basement auditorium, 801 17th Street NW., Washington DC 20434. While this meeting is open to the public, building security requires that you provide your name to the DFO by April 14, 2005. Confirm the location of the April 19th meeting by visiting the Panel's Web site at http://www.acqnet.gov/ aap. Confirmation is expected to be posted by March 21, 2005. The Panel's statutory charter is to review Federal contracting laws, regulations, and governmentwide policies, including the use of commercial practices, performance-based contracting, performance of acquisition functions across agency lines of responsibility, and governmentwide contracts. The Panel established the following five working groups during its February 28, 2005 meeting: Commercial Practices/Commercial Items; Performance-based Contracting; Governmentwide Contracts and Interagency Contract Vehicles; Cross- cutting IssuesSmall Business, and; Cross-cutting IssuesFederal Workforce. The working groups will report on their initial progress during the March 30th, 2005 meeting, which may also include any follow- up recommendations for additional working groups or other issues to be examined. The April 19th meeting will cover any significant updates as well as discussions related to the topics of each of the working groups. The public may obtain copies of Initial Working Group Issues for the Commercial Practices, Governmentwide Contracts and Interagency Contract Vehicles, Performance-based Contracting, and Cross-cutting IssuesFederal Workforce working groups at the Panel's Web site under Working Groups at http://www.acqnet.gov/aap. In addition to discussions related to these working groups, the Panel has also invited presentations from specific individuals in the private sector on commercial practices during the March 30th meeting and individuals from both the public and private sectors during the April 19th meeting. These presentations will focus on a number of issues including, but not limited to commercial practices/techniques for the use of time and materials or labor hour contracts, share-in- savings contracts, best value procurements, use of firm-fixed price contracts or task orders for services, competition for services contracts and task orders, including information technology and business process services, and the development of requirements for services procurements. A draft agenda will be posted at the Panel's Web site at http://www.acqnet.gov/aap prior to each meeting. While these two meetings will include presentations by invitation only, the general public will be given the opportunity to provide oral statements to the Panel at a subsequent meeting to be announced in the Federal Register. The Panel also seeks written public statements of any length specifically related to the working group topics. Although the Panel accepts written comments until the date of the meeting (unless otherwise stated), written comments should be received by the DFO at least five business days prior to the meeting date so that the written comments may be made available to the Panel for their consideration. Written comments should be supplied, electronically if possible, to the DFO at the e-mail address (or for hardcopies, mailing address) noted below. Acceptable electronic formats include Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word, Rich Text files in IBM-PC/Windows 98/2000/XP format. Those providing written comments and who attend the meeting are also asked to bring 35 copies of their comments for public distribution.
Meeting of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
This notice sets forth the schedule and summary agenda for a meeting of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and describes the functions of the Council. Notice of this meeting is required under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). Dates and Place: March 22, 2005, Washington, DC. The meeting will be held in the East Room (Lobby Level) of the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20036. Type of Meeting: Open. Further details on the meeting agenda will be posted on the PCAST Web site at: http://www.ostp.gov/PCAST/ pcast.html. Proposed Schedule and Agenda: The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology is scheduled to meet in open session on Tuesday March 22, 2005, at approximately 12:30 p.m. The PCAST is tentatively scheduled to: (1) Pursuant to its designation as the National Nanotechnology Advisory Panel under the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act, discuss a draft report assessing Federal nanotechnology programs and, pending the discussion, approve the report; and (2) discuss new topics areas to examine in the coming year. This session will end at approximately 5 p.m. Additional information on the agenda will be posted at the PCAST Web site at: http://www.ostp.gov/PCAST/pcast.html. Public Comments: There will be time allocated for the public to speak on the above agenda items. This public comment time is designed for substantive commentary on PCAST's work topics, not for business marketing purposes. Please submit a request for the opportunity to make a public comment five (5) days in advance of the meeting. The time for public comments will be limited to no more than 5 minutes per person. Written comments are also welcome at any time following the meeting. Please notify Stan Sokul, PCAST Executive Director, at (202) 456-7116, or fax your request/comments to (202) 456-6021.
Trade Policy Staff Committee; Notice of Availability and Request for Public Comment on Interim Environmental Review of United States-Andean Free Trade Agreement
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), on behalf of the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC), seeks comment on the interim environmental review of the proposed U.S.-Andean Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The interim environmental review is available at http://www.ustr.gov/TradeSectors/Environment/EnvironmentalRev iews/ SectionIndex.html. Copies of the review will also be sent to interested members of the public by mail upon request.