This policy has been superseded and is no longer in effect.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NATIONAL OCEAN SERVICE Silver Spring, Maryland 20910 June 19, 1996 MEMORANDUM FOR: Distribution FROM: W. Stanley Wilson Assistant Administrator‚ SUBJECT: NOS Contracting Policy for Surveying and Mapping Services
Attached is the NOS Contracting Policy for Surveying and Mapping Services. My thanks to everyone for their work in helping prepare this document. The policy is now in effect and shall be adhered to by NOS program offices when contracting out surveying and mapping services. The policy is also authorized for release in response to private sector inquiries on NOS contracting policy.
David Evans Lewis Lapine Frank Maloney Terry Laydon Richard Barazotto Richard Legatski Glenn Tallia Jerry Walz
ATTACHMENT National Ocean Service Contracting Policy for Surveying and Napping Services. BACKGROUND
A National Ocean Service (NOS) mission, as authorized by the Coast and Geodetic Survey Act of 1947 (33 U.S.C. §§ 883a-i)1 is to provide nautical and aeronautical charts and other information products that support safe navigation for marine and air commerce, and to establish and maintain a high precision national coordinate system to provide basic reference data products for engineering and scientific purposes in support of commerce and industry.
This mission encompasses those activities associated with the field collection of surveying and mapping data, the analysis and compilation of the data, and the dissemination of the data in useful products for the full public benefit. For the purposes of this policy, the term "surveying and mapping" is defined as including, but not limited to, the following activities; geodetic control, hydrography, photogrammetry, topography, remote sensing, geophysical (gravity, seismological, geomagnetic) measurements, tide and current observations, and specialized data compilation processes.
The Coast and Geodetic Survey Act also authorizes NOS to utilize state-of-the-art technology to improve the efficiency, as well as the scientific and engineering knowledge, of surveying and mapping activities.
NOS recognizes that qualified commercial sources can provide competent, professional, cost-effective surveying and mapping services to NOS in support of the above mission. In general, it is the intent of NOS to contract for mapping and surveying services when qualified commercial sources exist, and when such contracts are the most cost effective method of conducting these functions. This policy statement documents the framework and conditions under which contracting for surveying and mapping services will be employed to ensure an open, consistent, approach. To support this policy, NOS will maintain a dialogue with professional and business organizations and constituent groups.
Private sector role:
It is NOS policy to procure surveying and mapping services from qualified commercial sources in accordance with Federal acquisition regulations and other applicable laws when such procurement is the most cost effective source, unless (l) a product or service is inherently governmental in nature; (2) there is no commercial source capable of providing a needed product or service to NOS at the required standard of performance, and at a price equal to or less than existing government services; (3) Government production, manufacture, or provision of a product or service is necessary for national defense; or, (4) the procured services cannot reasonably be quality controlled to ensure safety of navigation in the national airspace or coastal waters.
NOS surveying and mapping activities considered inherently governmental in nature include services necessary to: (l) monitor the quality of NOS products; (2) promulgate and promote national technical standards and specifications; (3) conduct basic research and development and ensure the rapid transfer to the private sector of the technology derived therefrom; and (4) maintain the Federal geodetic and navigational data bases. To carry out the above activities, and to adequately monitor contracted services, NOS will maintain a core capability of field and office expertise.
NOS decisions regarding contracting will include consideration of factors such as (l) sufficiency of resources appropriated to support national programs, (2) Federal laws, regulations, policies, and procedures governing contracting, and utilization of the private sector for commercial activities, (3) Federal laws, regulations, and collective bargaining agreements that ensure fair and equitable treatment for Federal employees, (4) availability of critical in-house technical and managerial capability needed to use commercial sources effectively, (5) Federal policies regarding the liability of independent contractors for their acts or inactions, and (6) Federal requirements to regulate and manage the national airspace and coastal waters.
In general, it is NOS policy to award contracts for surveying and mapping services in accordance with Title IX of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (40 U.S.C. §§ 541 et seq.) commonly known as the "Brooks Act". NOS may, however, elect to employ other contracting methods in accordance with federal acquisition regulations and other applicable laws when conditions determine that alternative contracting methods best serve the Government's interest.
The Brooks Act enables the Government to contract for surveying and mapping services on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualifications for the type of professional services required, and at fair and reasonable prices. NOS has determined that the Brooks Act is the appropriate contract basis for surveying and mapping services because the professional nature of the services to be procured require that potential contractors have specialized technical expertise. Surveying and mapping services are of a highly technical nature, and it is critical that all activities, from collection through compilation be performed to high standards of accuracy and quality control to meet the NOS mission of accurate, reliable products. By employing the Brooks Act, NOS is able to utilize a selection process that places priority on potential contractors' qualifications and expertise.
June 4, 1996