Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology, Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, National Science and Technology Council; Update of Charting the Course for Ocean Science in the United States for the Next Decade: An Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy (aka “Charting the Course”): Request for Public Input
In January 2007, Charting the Course for Ocean Science in the United States for the Next Decade: An Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy (Charting the Course) was published. Charting the Course was based on input gathered from public and private sources over a period of several months, and it has provided a basis for coordinated ocean science and technology investments. In view of scientific advancements and recognition of new ocean management challenges, the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (JSOST) is embarking upon an effort to update and refresh Charting the Course. This notice solicits public input to inform the drafting of an updated Charting the Course.
Guidance for Drug-Free Workplace Requirements (Financial Assistance)
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is issuing guidance on drug-free workplace requirements for financial assistance. The guidance conforms with the common rule that 31 Federal agencies published on November 26, 2003 and therefore makes no substantive change to Federal policies and procedures in this area. The agencies issued the common rule after resolving public comments received in response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
Notification of a Public Meeting on the Presidential Memorandum on Government Contracting
The Presidential Memorandum on Government Contracting, issued on March 4, 2009, establishes a framework for improving critical components of the federal acquisition system and management of the Federal Government's ``multi-sector'' workforce of federal employees and private sector contractors. The Memorandum directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in consultation with federal agency leadership, to improve and strengthen federal contracting practices and to seek input from the public on the most effective ways to achieve this goal. Section 321 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2009 further directs OMB to clarify the definition of an inherently governmental function and to develop criteria to be used by agency heads to identify other functions that should only be performed by Federal employees. The Presidential Memorandum is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefingroom/ PresidentialActions/pg2/. Section 321 may be found at http:// www.rules.house.gov/110/text/110_hr5658.pdf.
Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations; Circular A-133 Compliance Supplement
This notice announces the availability of the 2009 Circular A- 133 Compliance Supplement. The notice also offers interested parties an opportunity to comment on the 2009 Circular A-133 Compliance Supplement. The 2009 Supplement adds four programs, including one program added to an existing cluster, and a new cross cutting section. It deletes six programs and has also been updated for program changes and technical corrections. In total, the 2009 Compliance Supplement includes 176 individual programs. A list of changes to the 2009 Supplement can be found at Appendix V. It has a new Appendix VII that provides an audit alert regarding the grant programs funded under American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and a summary report of common audit deficiencies disclosed in the Report on the National Single Audit Sampling Project (published in June 2007). Due to its length, the 2009 Supplement is not included in this Notice. See
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Notice Regarding the Initiation of the 2009 Annual GSP Product and Country Eligibility Practices Review and Deadlines for Filing Petitions
This notice announces that the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) will receive petitions in 2009 to modify the list of products that are eligible for duty-free treatment under the GSP program and to modify the GSP status of certain GSP beneficiary developing countries because of country practices. This notice determines that the deadline for submission of country practice petitions for the 2009 Annual GSP Product and Country Eligibility Practices Review is 5 p.m., Wednesday, June 24, 2009. This notice further determines that the deadline for submission of product petitions, other than those requesting competitive need limitation (CNL) waivers or section 503(c)(1)(E) determinations regarding products not produced in the United States on January 1, 1995, is 5 p.m., Wednesday, June 24, 2009. The deadline for submission of petitions requesting CNL waivers and 503(c)(1)(E) determinations regarding products not produced in the United States on January 1, 1995 is 5 p.m., Tuesday, November 17, 2009. The lists of product petitions and country practice petitions accepted for review will be announced in the Federal Register at later dates.
Executive Office of the President; Transparency and Open Government
The President's January 21, 2009, memorandum entitled, Transparency and Open Government, directed the Chief Technology Officer, in coordination with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the General Services Administration (GSA), to develop a set of recommendations that will inform an Open Government Directive. This directive will be issued by OMB and will instruct executive departments and agencies on specific actions to implement the principles set forth in the President's memorandum. Members of the public are invited to participate in the process of developing recommendations via email or the White House Web site at http://www.whitehouse.gov/open offering comments, ideas, and proposals about possible initiatives and about how to increase openness and transparency in government.
Determination of Executive Compensation Benchmark Amount
The Office of Management and Budget is publishing the attached memorandum to the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies concerning the determination of the maximum benchmark compensation amount that will be allowable under government contracts during contractors' fiscal year 2009$684,181. This determination is required under Section 39 of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) Act (41 U.S.C. 435) as amended. The benchmark compensation amount applies equally to both defense and civilian procurement agencies.
Additional Delay in Modification of Action Taken in Connection with WTO Dispute Settlement Proceedings on the European Communities' Ban on Imports of U.S. Beef and Beef Products
On January 15, 2009, the United States Trade Representative (``Trade Representative'') announced modifications (``January 15 modifications'') to the action taken in July 1999 in connection with the World Trade Organization (``WTO'') authorization of the United States in the EC-Beef Hormones dispute to suspend concessions and related obligations with respect to the European Communities (``EC''). See 74 FR 4265 (Jan. 23, 2009). The January 15 modifications initially had an effective date of March 23, 2009. The Trade Representative subsequently delayed the effective date of the additional duties imposed under the January 15 modifications until April 23, 2009, and then to May 9, 2009. The effective date of the removal of duties under the January 15 modifications remained March 23, 2009. See 74 FR 11613 (March 18, 2009); 74 FR 12402 (March 24, 2009); 74 FR 19263 (April 28, 2009). On May 6, 2009, the United States and the European Commission announced an ``agreement in principle'' regarding the dispute. The first phase of the agreement provides that the United States will not apply retaliatory duties greater than those currently in effect. In order to allow time to complete the procedures under the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (Trade Act), that are needed to prevent the application of the additional duties under the January 15 modifications, the Trade Representative has decided to delay the effective date of the additional duties from May 9, 2009 to August 15, 2009.