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                                                      Calendar No. 259
115th Congress     }                                     {      Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session       }                                     {     115-181
_______________________________________________________________________


 NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION COMMISSIONED OFFICER 
      CORPS AMENDMENTS AND HYDROGRAPHIC SERVICES IMPROVEMENT ACT 
               REAUTHORIZATION AND AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2017

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                 S. 171





[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]








                November 7, 2017.--Ordered to be printed
                                   ______

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

79-010                         WASHINGTON : 2017                 
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
                
       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                     one hundred fifteenth congress
                             first session

                   JOHN THUNE, South Dakota, Chairman
 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi         BILL NELSON, Florida
 ROY BLUNT, Missouri                  MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
 TED CRUZ, Texas                      AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
 DEB FISCHER, Nebraska                RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
 JERRY MORAN, Kansas                  BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
 DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska                 EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
 DEAN HELLER, Nevada                  CORY A. BOOKER, New Jersey
 JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma            TOM UDALL, New Mexico
 MIKE LEE, Utah                       GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
 RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
 SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO, West           TAMMY DUCKWORTH, Illinois
    Virginia
 CORY GARDNER, Colorado               MARGARETWOODHASSAN,NewHampshire
 TODD C. YOUNG, Indiana               CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO, Nevada
                       Nick Rossi, Staff Director
                 Adrian Arnakis, Deputy Staff Director
                    Jason Van Beek, General Counsel
                 Kim Lipsky, Democratic Staff Director
           Christopher Day, Democratic Deputy Staff Director

















                                                      Calendar No. 259
115th Congress     }                                     {      Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session       }                                     {     115-181

======================================================================
 
 NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION COMMISSIONED OFFICER 
      CORPS AMENDMENTS AND HYDROGRAPHIC SERVICES IMPROVEMENT ACT 
               REAUTHORIZATION AND AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2017

                                _______
                                

                November 7, 2017.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Thune, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 171]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 171) to reauthorize and amend 
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
Commissioned Officer Corps Act of 2002, to reauthorize the 
Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
with an amendment (in the nature of a substitute) and 
recommends that the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of S. 171 is to reauthorize the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Commissioned 
Officer Corps (NOAA Corps) Act of 2002 (Act of 2002)\1\ and to 
reauthorize the Hydrographic Services Improvements Act of 1998 
(Act of 1998).\2\ This Act also would make a number of 
improvements, clarifications, and refinements to the statutory 
authorities of NOAA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\P.L. 107-372, (116 Stat. 3078)
    \2\P.L. 105-384, (112 Stat 3454)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          Background and Needs


NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps

    NOAA Corps is one of the seven uniformed services of the 
United States.\3\ The 321 officers of the NOAA Corps make up 
only about 3 percent of NOAA's personnel, but as the operators 
of NOAA's ship and aircraft fleet, they are critical to NOAA's 
expansive and diverse missions. Their combination of scientific 
and operational expertise, coupled with a high degree of 
flexibility and deployability, allow them to serve throughout 
NOAA's line and staff offices and support nearly all of NOAA's 
programs and missions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\The United States has seven uniformed services, of which five 
are `armed services' (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard) 
and of which two are not armed (Public Health Service and NOAA Corps).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Like officers in other uniformed services, NOAA Corps 
officers often spend much of their careers away from family and 
friends, operating NOAA ships and aircraft that are frequently 
deployed up to 9 months a year. NOAA Corps officers also 
regularly work with other uniformed services, including as 
follows: commanding Navy underwater unmanned vehicle platoons; 
training with Navy scientific aircraft squadrons; and deploying 
on Coast Guard cutters. The NOAA Corps and the Coast Guard now 
have joint Officer Candidate School classes.

Hydrographic services

    The National Ocean Service (NOS) is one of six line offices 
within NOAA.\4\ There are multiple programs within NOS, but the 
main areas of focus are the following: navigation; observations 
and positioning; coastal science and assessment; and ocean and 
coastal management services. The navigation, observations, and 
positioning sector of NOS is tasked with geodetic and 
hydrographic surveys, shoreline mapping, and building and 
maintaining the Nation's nautical charts. The hydrographic 
survey data are used to support a variety of maritime 
functions, including the following: safe navigation; port and 
harbor maintenance; coastal engineering; offshore resource 
development; managing sensitive marine habitats; selecting 
alternative energy sites; identifying geological hazards; and 
supporting inundation studies to understand the risks of 
coastal erosion, hurricanes, and tsunamis.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\NOAA's six line offices include the following: NOAA Marine & 
Aviation Operations (OMAO); NOAA Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS); 
National Ocean Service (NOS); Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Research (OAR); National Weather Service (NWS); and National 
Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Government accountability

    Some of the hydrographic survey data collection is done by 
the hydrographic survey vessels within NOAA's fleet. However, 
NOS also procures and oversees hydrographic surveying and 
related support services from the private sector.
    Congress enacted the Act of 1998\5\ to establish a 
framework for NOAA to implement new state-of-the-art 
technologies to modernize the United States' hydrographic 
services program. The law also encourages NOAA to use outside 
contractors for certain hydrographic services. The law has been 
amended twice. In the most recent amendment,\6\ the 
hydrographic services program was reauthorized and deadlines 
were set for NOAA to establish a quality assurance program for 
privately produced hydrographic products. NOAA now produces NOS 
Hydrographic Surveys Specifications and Deliverables which 
detail the requirements for hydrographic surveys undertaken 
either by NOAA field units or by organizations under contract 
to the Director, Office of Coast Survey.\7\
    In addition, Senators Thune and Sullivan requested the 
Government Accountability Office (GAO) conduct a study 
comparing the unit costs of survey data collected by NOAA and 
the unit costs of procuring such data in the private sector. 
The study examined the establishment of a plan to increase 
private sector involvement and the quality assurance program to 
oversee these acquisitions.
    Based on the continuous pressure of hydrographic survey 
needs, particularly in the Arctic,\8\ there is concern with 
NOAA's ability to meet current, let alone increasing, demands.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\P.L. 105-384, (116 Stat. 3454)
    \6\P.L. 107-372, (116 Stat. 3079)
    \7\NOAA NOS, ``NOS Hydrographic Surveys Specifications and 
Deliverables,'' May 2015, at http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/hsd/
specs/Specs_201pdf.
    \8\NOAA NOS, ``Arctic Navigation,'' 2014, at http://
oceanservice.noaa.gov/economy/arctic.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                         Summary of Provisions

    S. 171 would include many provisions from previously 
Senate-passed NOAA Corps reauthorization legislation, including 
the following:
           Giving the NOAA Corps new tools to improve 
        recruiting and retention to improve diversity in the 
        NOAA Corps and allow for retention of highly-skilled 
        NOAA Corps officers, especially female officers, 
        including the following:
                   A pre-commissioning educational 
                assistance program for students who agree to 
                serve in the NOAA Corps (similar to a Coast 
                Guard pre-commissioning program).
                   Authority for an education loan 
                repayment program for students with critical 
                skills.
                   An education loan interest repayment 
                program for officers in the first 3 years of 
                active duty.
                   Authorization for a ``sabbatical'' 
                program modeled on a successful Coast Guard 
                program to allow officers to leave the service 
                (and receive no pay or benefits) for a few 
                years for personal reasons, such as starting a 
                family.

           More closely aligning the NOAA Corps with 
        other uniformed services, improving the ability to both 
        support NOAA missions and be a useful national asset, 
        including the following:
                   Creating a new ``Officer Candidate'' 
                rank for officers entering duty for a period of 
                initial training.
                   Requiring officers to meet Coast Guard 
                physical fitness standards.
                   Authorizing a period of obligated 
                service after initial training.

                          Legislative History

    S. 171 was introduced by Senator Sullivan on January 17, 
2017, with Senators Cantwell, Murkowski, Nelson, Schatz, Thune, 
and Wicker as cosponsors. On January 24, 2017, the Committee 
met in open Executive Session and, by a voice vote, ordered S. 
171 to be reported favorably with an amendment (in the nature 
of a substitute). The substitute amendment incorporated 
preliminary findings from the GAO report Senators Thune and 
Sullivan requested that compared NOAA's procurement of 
hydrographic data collected from internal and private sector 
sources.
    Bills reauthorizing the NOAA Corps and aligning both the 
officers' obligations and benefits with officers in other 
uniformed services have been passed by the Senate in the 112th, 
113th, and 114th Congresses. Specifically, the NOAA Corps 
Amendments Act of 2012 passed the Senate by unanimous consent 
in the 112th Congress (S. 2388), the NOAA Corps Amendments Act 
of 2013 passed the Senate by unanimous consent in the 113th 
Congress (S. 1068), and the NOAA Sexual Harassment and Assault 
Prevention Act passed the Senate by unanimous consent in the 
114th Congress as part of the Maritime Administration 
Authorization and Enhancement Act for fiscal year (FY) 2017 (S. 
2829). The portions of that Act related to sexual harassment 
and assault prevention within NOAA were signed into law as part 
of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2017 on 
January 4, 2016.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\P.L. 114-328, (130 Stat. 2000)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A bill to reauthorize and amend the Act of 1998 passed the 
Senate by unanimous consent in the 114th Congress as part of 
the Maritime Administration Authorization and Enhancement Act 
for FY 2017 (S. 2829). The Hydrographic Services Improvement 
Amendments Act (H.R. 221) was introduced in the House of 
Representatives on January 3, 2017, and was referred to the 
Committee on Natural Resources.

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

S. 171--National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned 
        Officer Corps Amendments and Hydrographic Services Improvement 
        Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2017

    Summary: The bill would authorize the appropriation of $183 
million annually through 2021 for the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to conduct certain 
hydrographic activities (the measurement and description of 
features that affect maritime navigation). S. 171 also would 
modify recruiting policies for the NOAA commissioned officer 
corps.
    CBO estimates that implementing S. 171 would cost $697 
million over the 2018-2022 period and $28 million after 2022, 
assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts. Enacting the 
legislation would affect direct spending and revenues; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO 
estimates that any such effects would be insignificant.
    CBO estimates that enacting the legislation would not 
increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of 
the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    S. 171 would impose intergovernmental and private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). 
CBO estimates that the costs of those mandates would fall below 
the annual thresholds established in UMRA for intergovernmental 
and private-sector mandates ($78 million and $156 million in 
2017, respectively, adjusted annually for inflation).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary effect of S. 171 is shown in the following table. The 
costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                            ----------------------------------------------------
                                                              2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   2022  2018-2022
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 INCREASES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
 
Authorization Level........................................      0    183    183    183    183      0       732
Estimated Outlays..........................................      0    114    157    178    181     67       697
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
legislation will be enacted late in 2017 and that the 
authorized amounts will be appropriated for each fiscal year 
beginning in 2018.

Spending subject to appropriation

    CBO estimates that implementing S. 171 would cost $697 
million over the 2018-2022 period, mostly for hydrographic 
activities authorized under the bill.
    Hydrographic Activities. Title V would authorize the 
appropriation of $183 million a year through 2021 to carry out 
hydrographic activities, including nautical mapping and 
charting, collecting hydrographic data, maintaining a geodetic 
reference system (a worldwide coordinate system used for 
navigation purposes), and measuring tides and currents. In 
2016, NOAA allocated $207 million to carry out similar 
activities. CBO estimates that implementing title V would cost 
$697 million over the 2018-2022 period.
    Recruiting. Title I would authorize NOAA to spend 
appropriated funds to recruit members for the commissioned 
officer corps. NOAA allocated about $400,000 to recruiting in 
2016. Because NOAA is performing similar tasks under its 
current authority, CBO estimates that implementing this section 
would have no effect on the federal budget.
    Title II would authorize NOAA to pay certain expenses 
related to higher education for people serving in the 
commissioned officer corps or those who commit to serve in the 
corps after completing a college degree. Based on an analysis 
of information provided by the agency about the number of 
officers who would receive such assistance, CBO estimates that 
implementing this provision would cost less than $500,000 a 
year.

Direct spending and revenues

    Title II would make it illegal for anyone to wear the 
uniform of NOAA's commissioned officer corps without proper 
authorization. Violators would be subject to criminal 
penalties, which are treated as revenues; however, CBO 
estimates that any amounts collected would be insignificant. 
Furthermore, any such revenues would be deposited into the 
Crime Victims Fund and would be available to be spent without 
further appropriation. Therefore, the net effect on the deficit 
from enacting this provision would be negligible.
    Title III would establish service requirements for people 
enlisting in NOAA's commissioned officer corps. Under the bill, 
any officer who fails to meet those requirements would be 
obligated to repay NOAA an amount equal to the costs incurred 
to train that officer. Based on an analysis of information 
provided by NOAA regarding the cost of such training, CBO 
estimates that the total amount of payments to NOAA from 
officers who fail to meet their service obligations would be 
insignificant (such payments would be offsetting receipts, 
which are recorded as reductions in direct spending).
    Title V would allow NOAA to collect and spend, without 
further appropriation, monetary gifts to finance costs 
associated with planning the construction of a new port 
facility. Such gifts would be recorded as offsetting receipts. 
Because CBO expects that any gifts would be spent soon after 
they are received, we estimate the net change in direct 
spending would be negligible.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go 
Act of 2010 establishes budget-reporting and enforcement 
procedures for legislation affecting direct spending or 
revenues. CBO estimates that enacting S. 171 would increase 
revenues by an insignificant amount and would have an 
insignificant effect on direct spending.
    Increase in long-term direct spending and deficits: CBO 
estimates that enacting S. 171 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 171 would 
impose intergovernmental and private-sector mandates as defined 
in UMRA, but CBO estimates that the costs of those mandates 
would fall below the annual thresholds established in UMRA ($78 
million and $156 million in 2017, respectively, adjusted 
annually for inflation).

Mandates that apply to public and private entities

    The bill could increase the costs of complying with 
existing mandates by making personnel in the NOAA commissioned 
officer corps eligible for protections under the Uniformed 
Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). 
Protections under that act require public and private employers 
to grant various allowances to members of the uniformed 
services. Because the increase in the number of service members 
covered by USERRA would be so small (fewer than 400), CBO 
expects that the incremental cost of compliance also would be 
small.

Mandates that apply to public entities only

    The bill would exempt NOAA officers from an obligation to 
serve on juries if the service unreasonably conflicts with 
official duties or would adversely affect the readiness of a 
unit, command, or activity. By expanding this exemption to NOAA 
officers, the bill would preempt some state and local laws 
governing jury duty; however, that preemption would impose no 
duty on state or local governments that would result in 
additional spending or loss of revenues.

Mandates that apply to private entities only

    The bill would prohibit individuals from wearing the 
uniform of the NOAA commissioned officer corps without 
authorization. CBO expects that the prohibition would affect 
few individuals. Consequently, the cost of the mandate would be 
negligible.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Robert Reese; Impact 
on state, local, and tribal governments: Jon Sperl; Impact on 
the private sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                           Regulatory Impact

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       number of persons covered

    S. 171, as reported, would not create any new programs or 
impose any new regulatory requirements, and therefore would not 
subject any individuals or businesses to new regulations.

                            economic impact

    S. 171 would reauthorize the Act of 1998 and would 
authorize appropriations of $183 million for the program for 
each of FYs 2017 through FY 2021. These appropriations would be 
used for the functions of nautical mapping and charting, 
contracting for hydrographic surveys, operating hydrographic 
survey vessels, and conducting geodetic, tide, and current 
measurements, all of which may aid commerce and support 
economic activity. The components of this legislation are not 
expected to have any significant adverse impacts on the 
Nation's economy.

                                privacy

    S. 171 would not impact the personal privacy of 
individuals.

                               paperwork

    The reported bill would not increase paperwork requirements 
for the private sector. The bill would require a number of 
reports and policies from the Federal Government. Not later 
than 1 year after the date of enactment, the Secretary of 
Commerce (Secretary), acting through the Under Secretary for 
Oceans and Atmosphere, would be required to develop and 
implement a system to track and report the full cost to the 
Department of Commerce of hydrographic data collection, 
including costs relating to vessel acquisition, vessel repair, 
and administration of contracts to procure data. Not later than 
180 days after the date on which the Secretary completes the 
above activities, the Secretary would be required to develop a 
strategy for how NOAA will increase contracting with non-
governmental entities for hydrographic data collection.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.


                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title.

    This section would provide that the Act may be cited as the 
``National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned 
Officer Corps Amendments and Hydrographic Services Improvements 
Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2017.''

Section 2. References to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration Commissioned Officer Corps Act of 2002.

    References for amendments or repeal would be considered to 
be made to a section or provision of the Act of 2002.

                      Title I. General provisions


Section 101. Strength and distribution in grade.

    This section would establish the commissioned grades for 
officers in the NOAA Corps, and would authorize the Secretary 
to determine the proportion of officers assigned to ranks below 
Lieutenant Commander. This section would require the Secretary 
to annually determine the number of officers authorized for 
service in each grade, but would protect officers from 
demotion, pay cuts, or separation from the service as a result 
of the Secretary's determination.

Section 102. Recalled officers.

    Occasionally, the NOAA Corps needs to recall officers from 
retired status for temporary duty such as for disaster response 
(e.g., Hurricane Katrina, Deepwater Horizon) or to serve on 
personnel boards. It cannot do so if it is at authorized 
strength, reducing its ability to have a ``surge'' capacity.
    This section would require that, in determining the number 
of officers in each grade, officers serving in positions of 
importance and responsibility (33 U.S.C. 3028) and officers 
recalled from retirement for temporary duty (e.g., during a 
disaster response), or officers detailed outside of the NOAA 
would not be counted in, or against, the total number of 
authorized officers in the NOAA Corps.

Section 103. Obligated service requirement.

    The NOAA Corps currently does not have any legislative 
authority to bind officers to service by contract or 
obligation. Theoretically, an officer could receive training 
(costs up to $100,000, depending on type of training) and 
resign from the NOAA Corps shortly thereafter. The other 
uniformed services require an obligated service for 
appointment, training, promotion, etc. of officers to ensure 
they receive an adequate return on investment in these 
categories.
    This section would authorize the Secretary to bind NOAA 
Corps officers to an obligation of service. It also would 
authorize the Secretary to seek reimbursement from officers who 
do not meet their obligated service requirements, and would 
characterize that as a debt owed to the United States. This 
section would allow the Secretary to waive an obligation of 
service requirement for an officer that is not qualified for 
service.

Section 104. Training and physical fitness.

    This section would authorize the Secretary to carry out 
training programs and to require officers to maintain a state 
of physical fitness substantially equivalent to that required 
for officers in the Coast Guard.

Section 105. Recruiting materials.

    This section would authorize the Secretary to use products 
created as recruiting and advertising materials (such as videos 
or pamphlets).

Section 106. Technical correction.

    This section would correct a definition of active-duty NOAA 
Corps officers.

                    Title II. Parity and recruitment


Section 201. Education loans.

    The NOAA Corps does not have the same education loan 
repayment recruiting incentives as the other uniformed 
services. This is particularly an issue when trying to increase 
NOAA Corps diversity; many other organizations use these types 
of incentives to recruit minority students with science and 
engineering backgrounds.
    This section would authorize the Secretary to create an 
education loan repayment program for certain qualified NOAA 
Corps officers.

Section 202. Interest payments.

    This section would authorize the Secretary to create an 
interest payment program for student loans of certain active-
duty NOAA Corps officers.

Section 203. Student pre-commissioning program.

    This section would authorize the Secretary to provide 
financial assistance to support tuition and other education-
related costs of a currently-enrolled student if the student 
agrees to serve for a certain number of years as a NOAA Corps 
officer upon completion of his or her educational program.

Section 204. Limitation on educational assistance.

    This section would limit the total amount expended by the 
Secretary for educational assistance programs (sections 201, 
202, 203) for NOAA Corps officers to the amount saved by the 
creation of the Officer Candidate rank (section 306).

Section 205. Applicability of certain provisions of title 10, United 
        States Code, and extension of certain authorities applicable to 
        members of the Armed Forces to commissioned officer corps.

    This section would extend the following additional title 10 
authorities to the NOAA Corps: prohibition on unauthorized 
wearing of a uniform; rules regarding wearing religious apparel 
in uniform; exemption for serving on certain juries; 
administration of the oath; benefits and services for separated 
members; family programs; notary service; mental health 
resources; and educational assistance.
    It also would authorize the Secretary to accept certain 
voluntary services, such as the implementation of an Ombudsman 
program. Ombudsman programs would improve communication between 
the command and family members of service members within the 
command.

Section 206. Applicability of certain provisions of title 37, United 
        States Code.

    This section would extend the following additional title 37 
authorities to the NOAA Corps: accession bonuses for officers 
with critical skills; housing allowances while on field or sea 
duty and housing allowances for dependents of deceased members; 
personal spending allowances; recruiting expenses; and funeral 
honors duty allowances.

Section 207. Legion of Merit award.

    This section would amend section 1121 of title 10, United 
States Code, to allow the officers of the NOAA Corps to receive 
the Legion of Merit award.

Section 208. Prohibition on retaliatory personnel actions.

    This section would amend section 1034 of title 10, United 
States Code, to include members of the NOAA Corps in 
whistleblower protections provided to members of the military.

Section 209. Penalties for wearing uniform without authority.

    This section would amend section 702 of title 18, United 
States Code, to include NOAA Corps officers in a provision that 
criminalizes wearing a uniform without authority.

Section 210. Application of certain provisions of competitive service 
        law.

    This section would amend section 3304 of title 5, United 
States Code, to allow former NOAA Corps officers to be eligible 
for consideration to competitive service positions.

Section 211. Employment and reemployment rights.

    This section would amend section 4303 of title 38, United 
States Code, to extend the definition of uniformed services to 
include NOAA Corps officers for the purposes of employment and 
reemployment rights granted by chapter 43 of that title.

Section 212. Treatment of commission in commissioned officer corps for 
        purposes of certain hiring decisions.

    This section would require the Secretary to deem that an 
officer who has served in the commissioned officer corps for at 
least 3 years to be serving in a career or career-conditional 
position. An officer would therefore be qualified to apply for 
positions limited to individuals currently employed within 
NOAA.

Section 213. Direct hire authority.

    This section would allow for the direct hire of a NOAA 
Corps officer, up to 5 years after leaving the service, into 
the Federal workforce. To be considered, the officer would have 
to meet the service obligation defined in section 103 and have 
been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

           Title III. Appointments and promotion of officers


Section 301. Appointments.

    This section would allow for officers to be reappointed at 
the same grade they held when they separated from the NOAA 
Corps. It would allow officers to temporarily separate and 
pursue personal goals, like starting a family or other 
opportunities outside the service, while providing a mechanism 
for their return to active duty.
    This section would authorize officers to be commissioned 
from the following sources: officer training school; military 
service academies; and licensed officers of the merchant marine 
with at least 2 years of service on a U.S. vessel.
    Finally, this section would require the Secretary to 
coordinate with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of 
the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to promote 
inter-service transfers of officers and would give preference 
to inter-service transfers in recruiting new NOAA Corps 
officers, as appropriate.

Section 302. Personnel boards.

    This section would specify that the membership of personnel 
boards may include officers serving in or above the grade of 
the officers under consideration by the board and may include 
recalled, retired officers.
    The current law does not allow retired or active officers 
below the pay grade of commander to serve on personnel boards 
and makes it very difficult to form personnel boards due to the 
NOAA Corps' small size. This would help increase the diversity 
of the boards.

Section 303. Delegation of authority.

    This section would require the President to delegate 
authority for appointments and promotions to the Deputy 
Secretary of Commerce or NOAA Administrator for periods when 
the position of Secretary is vacant.

Section 304. Assistant Administrator of the Office of the Marine and 
        Aviation Operations.

    This section would require that the position of the 
Director for the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations 
(OMAO) carry the title of Assistant Administrator to be 
consistent with the other NOAA line offices. The OMAO is 
responsible for the oversight of the vessel and aircraft fleets 
and for the administration of the commissioned officer corps.

Section 305. Temporary appointments.

    This section would establish a mechanism for junior 
officers to be temporarily appointed by the President alone.

Section 306. Officer candidates.

    This section would authorize the Secretary to create an 
officer candidate rank for individuals who are in training 
before receiving their commission.
    Currently, officers entering the NOAA Corps for initial 
training are directly commissioned as officers (Ensigns) on 
their first day. All other uniformed services have a period 
when an individual is an ``officer candidate'' before receiving 
a commission. This section would give NOAA the authority to 
create an ``officer candidate'' rank, with reduced pay. This 
would result in savings of approximately $115,000 annually, 
which could be used to pay for officer precommissioning and 
education programs established elsewhere in this bill.

Section 307. Procurement of personnel.

    This section would authorize the Secretary to make 
expenditures in order to recruit NOAA Corps officers.

            Title IV. Separation and retirement of officers


Section 401. Involuntary retirement or separation.

    This section would enable the NOAA Corps to defer 
involuntary retirement or separation due to medical conditions 
for officers of any rank. Currently, the NOAA Corps can defer 
involuntary separation of Lieutenant Commanders and below, but 
it cannot for Commanders and Captains.

Section 402. Separation pay.

    This section would clarify that separation pay may not be 
paid to an officer discharged after two missed promotion 
opportunities if the officer is not genuinely seeking a 
promotion.

            Title V. Hydrographic services and other matters


Section 501. Reauthorization of Hydrographic Services Improvement Act 
        of 1998.

    This section would reauthorize the Act of 1998 through FY 
2021. The bill would use $5 million and $2 million of the 
authorized appropriations for Arctic hydrographic surveys and 
continental shelf delineation, respectively. It would limit 
administrative expenses associated with contract management to 
not more than 5 percent.

Section 502. System for tracking and reporting all-inclusive cost of 
        hydrographic surveys.

    This section would require the Secretary not later than 1 
year after the date of enactment to develop and implement a 
system to track and report the full cost of hydrographic data 
collection, including costs relating to vessel acquisition, 
vessel repair, and administration of contacts to procure data.

Section 503. Plans for construction of new port facility for 
        homeporting of R/V FAIRWEATHER.

    This section would allow the Secretary to accept non-
Federal funds for the purpose of cost estimates, designs, and 
permits necessary for the construction of a new port facility 
for the R/V FAIRWEATHER, in accordance with existing law.\10\ 
This section also would require a strategic plan for the 
construction of such facility not later than 180 days after the 
date of enactment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and 
Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2002 (Public Law 107-77; 115 Stat. 
775).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Section 504. Waivers of bond requirements for certain contracts.

    This section would authorize the Secretary to waive the 
bond requirement in section 3134 of title 40, United States 
Code, for the construction, alteration, or repair of a vessel. 
This waiver has been provided to the Department of 
Transportation and the Department of Defense.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
material is printed in italic, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

             TITLE 5. GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION AND EMPLOYEES


                          PART III. EMPLOYEES

                  SUBPART B. EMPLOYMENT AND RETENTION

           CHAPTER 33. EXAMINATION, SELECTION, AND PLACEMENT

       SUBCHAPTER I. EXAMINATION, CERTIFICATION, AND APPOINTMENT

Sec. 3304. Competitive service; examinations

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  (f)(1) Preference eligibles or veterans who have been 
separated from the armed forces and members of the commissioned 
officer corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (or its predecessor organization the Coast and 
Geodetic Survey) separated from such uniformed service under 
honorable conditions after 3 years or more of active service 
may not be denied the opportunity to compete for vacant 
positions for which the agency making the announcement will 
accept applications from individuals outside its own workforce 
under merit promotion procedures.
          (2) If selected, a preference eligible [or veteran], 
        veteran, or member described in paragraph (1) shall 
        receive a career or career-conditional appointment, as 
        appropriate.
          (3) This subsection shall not be construed to confer 
        an entitlement to veterans' preference that is not 
        otherwise required by law.
          (4) The area of consideration for all merit promotion 
        announcements which include consideration of 
        individuals of the Federal workforce shall indicate 
        that preference eligibles and veterans who have been 
        separated from the armed forces and members of the 
        commissioned officer corps of the National Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Administration (or its predecessor 
        organization the Coast and Geodetic Survey) separated 
        from such uniformed service under honorable conditions 
        after 3 years or more of active service are eligible to 
        apply. The announcements shall be publicized in 
        accordance with section 3327.
          (5) The Office of Personnel Management shall 
        prescribe regulations necessary for the administration 
        of this subsection. The regulations shall ensure that 
        an individual who has completed an initial tour of 
        active duty is not excluded from the application of 
        this subsection because of having been released from 
        such tour of duty shortly before completing 3 years of 
        active service, having been honorably released from 
        such duty.

                         TITLE 10. ARMED FORCES


                    SUBTITLE A. GENERAL MILITARY LAW

                           PART II. PERSONNEL

             CHAPTER 53. MISCELLANEOUS RIGHTS AND BENEFITS

Sec. 1044a. Authority to act as notary

  (a) The persons named in subsection (b) have the general 
powers of a notary public and of a consul of the United States 
in the performance of all notarial acts to be executed by any 
of the following:
          (1) Members of any of the [armed forces]  uniformed 
        services.
          (2) Other persons eligible for legal assistance under 
        the provisions of section 1044 of this title or 
        regulations of the Department of Defense.
          (3) Persons serving with, employed by, or 
        accompanying the armed forces outside the United States 
        and outside the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and 
        the Virgin Islands.
          (4) Other persons subject to the Uniform Code of 
        Military Justice (chapter 47 of this title) outside the 
        United States.
  (b) Persons with the powers described in subsection (a) are 
the following:
          (1) All judge advocates, including reserve judge 
        advocates when not in a duty status.
          (2) All civilian attorneys serving as legal 
        assistance attorneys.
          (3) All adjutants, assistant adjutants, and personnel 
        adjutants, including reserve members when not in a duty 
        status.
          (4) All other members of the [armed forces]  
        uniformed services, including reserve members when not 
        in a duty status, who are designated by regulations of 
        the [armed forces] uniformed services or by statute to 
        have those powers.
          (5) For the performance of notarial acts at locations 
        outside the United States, all employees of a military 
        department or the Coast Guard who are designated by 
        regulations of the Secretary concerned or by statute to 
        have those powers for exercise outside the United 
        States.
  (c) No fee may be paid to or received by any person for the 
performance of a notarial act authorized in this section.
  (d) The signature of any such person acting as notary, 
together with the title of that person's offices, is prima 
facie evidence that the signature is genuine, that the person 
holds the designated title, and that the person is authorized 
to perform a notarial act.

Sec. 1121. Legion of Merit: award

  The President, under regulations to be prescribed by him, may 
award a decoration called the ``Legion of Merit'', having 
suitable appurtenances and devices and not more than four 
degrees, to any member of the [armed forces] uniformed services 
of the United States or of any friendly foreign nation who, 
after September 8, 1939, has distinguished himself by 
exceptionally meritorious conduct in performing outstanding 
services.

Sec. 1588. Authority to accept certain voluntary services

  (a) Authority to Accept Services.--Subject to subsection (b) 
and notwithstanding section 1342 of title 31, the Secretary 
concerned may accept from any person the following services:
          (1) Voluntary medical services, dental services, 
        nursing services, or other health-care related 
        services.
          (2) Voluntary services to be provided for a museum or 
        a natural resources program.
          (3) Voluntary services to be provided for programs 
        providing services to members of the [armed forces]  
        uniformed services and the families of such members, 
        including the following programs:
                  (A) Family support programs.
                  (B) Child development and youth services 
                programs.
                  (C) Library and education programs.
                  (D) Religious programs.
                  (E) Housing referral programs.
                  (F) Programs providing employment assistance 
                to spouses of such members.
                  (G) Morale, welfare, and recreation programs, 
                to the extent not covered by another 
                subparagraph of this paragraph.
          (4) Voluntary services as a member of a funeral 
        honors detail under section 1491 of this title.
          (5) Legal services voluntarily provided as legal 
        assistance under section 1044 of this title.
          (6) Voluntary services as a proctor for 
        administration to secondary school students of the test 
        known as the ``Armed Services Vocational Aptitude 
        Battery''.
          (7) Voluntary translation or interpretation services 
        offered with respect to a foreign language by a person 
        (A) who is registered for such foreign language on the 
        National Foreign Language Skills Registry under section 
        1596b of this title, or (B) who otherwise is approved 
        to provide voluntary translation or interpretation 
        services for national security purposes, as determined 
        by the Secretary of Defense.
          (8) Voluntary services to support programs of a 
        committee of the Employer Support of the Guard and 
        Reserve as authorized by the Secretary of Defense.
          (9) Voluntary services to facilitate accounting for 
        missing persons.
          (10) Voluntary legal support services provided by law 
        students through internship and externship programs 
        approved by the Secretary concerned.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (g) Secretary Concerned for Acceptance of Services for 
Programs Serving Members of NOAA Corps and Their Families.--For 
purposes of the acceptance of services described in subsection 
(a)(3), the term ``Secretary concerned'' in subsection (a) 
shall include the Secretary of Commerce with respect to members 
of the commissioned officer corps of the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration.

Sec. 2153. Capstone course: newly selected general and flag officers

  (a) Requirement.--Each officer selected for promotion to the 
grade of brigadier general or, in the case of the Navy or the 
commissioned officer corps of the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, rear admiral (lower half) shall be 
required, after such selection, to attend a military education 
course designed specifically to prepare new general and flag 
officers to work with the [other armed forces] other uniformed 
services.
  (b) Waiver Authority.--
          (1) Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary of 
        Defense or the Secretary of Commerce, as applicable, 
        may waive subsection (a)--
                  (A) in the case of an officer whose 
                immediately previous assignment was in a joint 
                duty assignment and who is thoroughly familiar 
                with joint matters;
                  (B) when necessary for the good of the 
                service;
                  (C) in the case of an officer whose proposed 
                selection for promotion is based primarily upon 
                scientific and technical qualifications for 
                which joint requirements do not exist (as 
                determined under regulations prescribed under 
                section 619(e)(4) of this title); and
                  (D) in the case of a medical officer, dental 
                officer, veterinary officer, medical service 
                officer, nurse, biomedical science officer, or 
                chaplain.
          (2) The authority of the Secretary of Defense to 
        grant a waiver under paragraph (1) may only be 
        delegated to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, an Under 
        Secretary of Defense, or an Assistant Secretary of 
        Defense. Such a waiver may be granted only on a case-
        by-case basis in the case of an individual officer.

                TITLE 18. CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE


                             PART I. CRIMES

                CHAPTER 33. EMBLEMS, INSIGNIA, AND NAMES

Sec. 702. Uniform of armed forces and Public Health Service

  Whoever, in any place within the jurisdiction of the United 
States or in the Canal Zone, without authority, wears the 
uniform or a distinctive part thereof or anything similar to a 
distinctive part of the uniform of any of the armed forces of 
the United States, Public Health [Service or any] Service, the 
commissioned officer corps of the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, or any auxiliary of such, shall be 
fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, 
or both.

         TITLE 37. PAY AND ALLOWANCES OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES


                          CHAPTER 3. BASIC PAY

Sec. 203. Rates

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  (f)(1) An officer candidate enrolled in the basic officer 
training program of the commissioned officer corps of the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is entitled, 
while participating in such program, to monthly officer 
candidate pay at monthly rate equal to the basic pay of an 
enlisted member in the pay grade E-5 with less than 2 years 
service.
  (2) An individual who graduates from such program shall 
receive credit for the time spent participating in such program 
as if such time were time served while on active duty as a 
commissioned officer. If the individual does not graduate from 
such program, such time shall not be considered creditable for 
active duty or pay.

 CHAPTER 7. ALLOWANCES OTHER THAN TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES

Sec. 414. Personal money allowance

  (a) Allowance for Officers Serving in Certain Ranks or 
Positions.--In addition to other pay or allowances authorized 
by this title, an officer who is entitled to basic pay is 
entitled to a personal money allowance of--
          (1) $500 a year, while serving in the grade of 
        lieutenant general or vice admiral, or in an equivalent 
        grade or rank;
          (2) $1,200 a year, in place of any other personal 
        money allowance authorized by this section, while 
        serving as Surgeon General of the Public Health Service 
        or the director of the commissioned officer corps of 
        the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration;
          (3) $2,200 a year, in addition to the personal money 
        allowance authorized by clause (1), while serving as a 
        senior member of the Military Staff Committee of the 
        United Nations;
          (4) $2,200 a year, while serving in the grade of 
        general or admiral, or in an equivalent grade or rank; 
        or
          (5) $4,000 a year, in place of any other personal 
        money allowance authorized by this section, while 
        serving as Chief of Staff of the Army, Chief of Naval 
        Operations, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Commandant 
        of the Marine Corps, Commandant of the Coast Guard, or 
        Chief of the National Guard Bureau.
  (b) Allowance for Certain Naval Officers.--In addition to 
other pay or allowances authorized by law, an officer who is 
serving in one of the following positions is entitled to the 
amount set forth for that position, to be paid annually out of 
naval appropriations for pay, and to be spent in his discretion 
for the contingencies of his position--
          (1) President of the Naval Postgraduate School-$400;
          (2) Commandant of Midshipmen at the Naval Academy-
        $800;
          (3) President of the Naval War College-$1,000;
          (4) Superintendent of the Naval Academy-$5,200; and
          (5) Director of Naval Intelligence-$5,200.
  (c) Allowance for Senior Enlisted Members.--In addition to 
other pay or allowances authorized by this title, a 
noncommissioned officer is entitled to a personal money 
allowance of $2,000 a year while serving as the Sergeant Major 
of the Army, the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, the 
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, the Sergeant Major of 
the Marine Corps, the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast 
Guard, the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, or the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief of 
the National Guard Bureau.

                      TITLE 38. VETERANS' BENEFITS


                       PART I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

                           CHAPTER 1. GENERAL

Sec. 101. Definitions

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


          (21) The term ``active duty'' means--
                  (A) full-time duty in the Armed Forces, other 
                than active duty for training;
                  (B) full-time duty (other than for training 
                purposes) as a commissioned officer of the 
                Regular or Reserve Corps of the Public Health 
                Service (i) on or after July 29, 1945, or (ii) 
                before that date under circumstances affording 
                entitlement to ``full military benefits'' or 
                (iii) at any time, for the purposes of chapter 
                13 of this title;
                  (C) full-time duty as a commissioned officer 
                in the commissioned officer corps of the 
                National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
                or its predecessor organization the Coast and 
                Geodetic Survey (i) on or after July 29, 1945, 
                or (ii) before that date (I) while on transfer 
                to one of the Armed Forces, or (II) while, in 
                time of war or national emergency declared by 
                the President, assigned to duty on a project 
                for one of the Armed Forces in an area 
                determined by the Secretary of Defense to be of 
                immediate military hazard, or (III) in the 
                Philippine Islands on December 7, 1941, and 
                continuously in such islands thereafter, or 
                (iii) at any time, for the purposes of chapter 
                13 of this title;
                  (D) service as a cadet at the United States 
                Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard Academy, or 
                as a midshipman at the United States Naval 
                Academy; and
                  (E) authorized travel to or from such duty or 
                service.

Sec. 4303. Definitions

  For the purposes of this chapter--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (16) The term ``uniformed services'' means the Armed 
        Forces, the Army National Guard and the Air National 
        Guard when engaged in active duty for training, 
        inactive duty training, or full-time National Guard 
        duty, the commissioned corps of the Public Health 
        Service, the commissioned officer corps of the National 
        Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, System members 
        of the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System 
        during a period of appointment into Federal service 
        under section 327 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster 
        Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, and any other 
        category of persons designated by the President in time 
        of war or national emergency.

            TITLE 40. PUBLIC BUILDINGS, PROPERTY, AND WORKS


                SUBTITLE II. PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND WORKS

                            PART A. GENERAL

               CHAPTER 31. GENERAL SUBCHAPTER III. BONDS

Sec. 3134. Waivers for certain contracts

  (a) Military.--. The Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of 
the Navy, the Secretary of the Air Force, or the Secretary of 
Transportation may waive this subchapter with respect to cost-
plus-a-fixed fee and other cost-type contracts for the 
construction, alteration, or repair of any public building or 
public work of the Federal Government and with respect to 
contracts for manufacturing, producing, furnishing, 
constructing, altering, repairing, processing, or assembling 
vessels, aircraft, munitions, materiel, or supplies for the 
Army, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard, respectively, regardless 
of the terms of the contracts as to payment or title.
  (b) Transportation.--The Secretary of Transportation may 
waive this subchapter with respect to contracts for the 
construction, alteration, or repair of vessels when the 
contract is made under sections 1535 and 1536 of title 31, 
subtitle V of title 46, or the Merchant Ship Sales Act of 1946 
(50 App. U.S.C. 1735 et seq.), regardless of the terms of the 
contracts as to payment or title.
  (c) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.--The 
Secretary of Commerce may waive this subchapter with respect to 
contracts for the construction, alteration, or repair of 
vessels, regardless of the terms of the contracts as to payment 
or title, when the contract is made under the Act entitled ``An 
Act to define the functions and duties of the Coast and 
Geodetic Survey, and for other purposes'', approved August 6, 
1947 (33 U.S.C. 883a et seq.).

  NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION COMMISSIONED OFFICER 
                                 CORPS


                        [33 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.]

SEC. 212. DEFINITIONS.

                            [33 U.S.C. 3002]

  (a) Applicability of Definitions in Title 10, United States 
Code.--Except as provided in subsection (b), the definitions 
provided in section 101 of title 10, United States Code, apply 
to the provisions of this title.
  (b) Additional Definitions.--In this title:
          (1) Active duty.--The term ``active duty'' means 
        full-time duty in the active service of a uniformed 
        service.
          (2) Grade.--The term ``grade'' means a step or 
        degree, in a graduated scale of office or rank, that is 
        established and designated as a grade by law or 
        regulation.
          (3) Officer.--The term ``officer'' means an officer 
        of the commissioned corps.
          (4) Officer candidate.--The term ``officer 
        candidate'' means an individual who is enrolled in the 
        basic officer training program of the Administration 
        and is under consideration for appointment as an 
        officer under section 221(a)(2)(A).
          [(4)](5) Flag officer.--The term ``flag officer'' 
        means an officer serving in, or having the grade of, 
        vice admiral, rear admiral, or rear admiral (lower 
        half).
          [(5)](6) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the 
        Secretary of Commerce.
          [(6)](7) Administration.--The term ``Administration'' 
        means the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration.

[SEC. 214. STRENGTH AND DISTRIBUTION IN GRADE.

                            [33 U.S.C. 3004]

  [(a) Relative Rank; Proportion.--Of the total authorized 
number of officers on the lineal list of the commissioned 
corps, there are authorized numbers in permanent grade, in 
relative rank with officers of the Navy, in proportions as 
follows:
          [(1) 8 in the grade of captain.
          [(2) 14 in the grade of commander.
          [(3) 19 in the grade of lieutenant commander.
          [(4) 23 in the grade of lieutenant.
          [(5) 18 in the grade of lieutenant (junior grade).
          [(6) 18 in the grade of ensign.
  [(b) Computation of Number in Grade.--
          [(1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), whenever 
        a final fraction occurs in computing the authorized 
        number of officers in a grade, the nearest whole number 
        shall be taken, and if the fraction is one-half the 
        next higher whole number shall be taken.
          [(2) Limitation on increase in total number.--The 
        total number of officers on the lineal list authorized 
        by law may not be increased as the result of the 
        computations prescribed in this section, and if 
        necessary the number of officers in the lowest grade 
        shall be reduced accordingly.
  [(c) Preservation of Grade and Pay, etc.--No officer may be 
reduced in grade or pay or separated from the commissioned 
corps as the result of a computation made to determine the 
authorized number of officers in the various grades.
  [(d) Filling of Vacancies; Additional Numbers.--Nothing in 
this section may be construed as requiring the filling of any 
vacancy or as prohibiting additional numbers in any grade to 
compensate for vacancies existing in higher grades.
  [(e) Temporary Increase in Numbers.--The total number of 
officers authorized by law to be on the lineal list during a 
fiscal year may be temporarily exceeded so long as the average 
number on that list during that fiscal year does not exceed the 
authorized number.]

SEC. 214. STRENGTH AND DISTRIBUTION IN GRADE.

  (a) Grades.--The commissioned grades in the commissioned 
officer corps of the Administration are the following, in 
relative rank with officers of the Navy:
          (1) Vice admiral.
          (2) Rear admiral.
          (3) Rear admiral (lower half).
          (4) Captain.
          (5) Commander.
          (6) Lieutenant commander.
          (7) Lieutenant.
          (8) Lieutenant (junior grade).
          (9) Ensign.
  (b) Grade Distribution.--The Secretary shall prescribe, with 
respect to the distribution on the lineal list in grade, the 
percentages applicable to the grades set forth in subsection 
(a).
  (c) Annual Computation of Number in Grade.--
          (1) In general.--Not less frequently than once each 
        year, the Secretary shall make a computation to 
        determine the number of officers on the lineal list 
        authorized to be serving in each grade.
          (2) Method of computation.--The number in each grade 
        shall be computed by applying the applicable percentage 
        to the total number of such officers serving on active 
        duty on the date the computation is made.
          (3) Fractions.--If a final fraction occurs in 
        computing the authorized number of officers in a grade, 
        the nearest whole number shall be taken. If the 
        fraction is \1/2\, the next higher whole number shall 
        be taken.
  (d) Temporary Increase in Numbers.--The total number of 
officers authorized by law to be on the lineal list during a 
fiscal year may be temporarily exceeded if the average number 
on that list during that fiscal year does not exceed the 
authorized number.
  (e) Positions of Importance and Responsibility.--Officers 
serving in positions designated under section 228(a) and 
officers recalled from retired status shall not be counted when 
computing authorized strengths under subsection (c) and shall 
not count against those strengths.
  (f) Preservation of Grade and Pay.--No officer may be reduced 
in grade or pay or separated from the commissioned officer 
corps of the Administration as the result of a computation made 
to determine the authorized number of officers in the various 
grades.

SEC. 215. NUMBER OF AUTHORIZED COMMISSIONED OFFICERS.

                            [33 U.S.C. 3005]

  [Effective]
   (a) In General.--Effective October 1, 2009, the total number 
of authorized commissioned officers on the lineal list of the 
commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration shall be increased from 321 to 379 if--
          (1) the Secretary has submitted to the Congress--
                  (A) the Administration's ship 
                recapitalization plan for fiscal years 2010 
                through 2024;
                  (B) the Administration's aircraft 
                remodernization plan; and
                  (C) supporting workforce management plans;
          (2) appropriated funding is available; and
          (3) the Secretary has justified organizational needs 
        for the commissioned corps for each such fiscal year.
  (b) Positions of Importance and Responsibility.--Officers 
serving in positions designated under section 228 and officers 
recalled from retired status or detailed to an agency other 
than the Administration--
          (1) may not be counted in determining the total 
        number of authorized officers on the lineal list under 
        this section; and
          (2) may not count against such number.

SEC. 216. OBLIGATED SERVICE REQUIREMENT.

  (a) In General.--
          (1) Rulemaking.--The Secretary shall prescribe the 
        obligated service requirements for appointments, 
        training, promotions, separations, continuations, and 
        retirement of officers not otherwise covered by law.
          (2) Written agreements.--The Secretary and officers 
        shall enter into written agreements that describe the 
        officers' obligated service requirements prescribed 
        under paragraph (1) in return for such appointments, 
        training, promotions, separations, and retirements as 
        the Secretary considers appropriate.
  (b) Repayment for Failure to Satisfy Requirements.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary may require an officer 
        who fails to meet the service requirements prescribed 
        under subsection (a)(1) to reimburse the Secretary in 
        an amount that bears the same ratio to the total costs 
        of the training provided to that officer by the 
        Secretary as the unserved portion of active duty bears 
        to the total period of active duty the officer agreed 
        to serve.
          (2) Obligation as debt to united states.--An 
        obligation to reimburse the Secretary under paragraph 
        (1) shall be considered for all purposes as a debt owed 
        to the United States.
          (3) Discharge in bankruptcy.--A discharge in 
        bankruptcy under title 11 that is entered less than 5 
        years after the termination of a written agreement 
        entered into under subsection (a)(2) does not discharge 
        the individual signing the agreement from a debt 
        arising under such agreement.
  (c) Waiver or Suspension of Compliance.--The Secretary may 
waive the service obligation of an officer who--
          (1) becomes unqualified to serve on active duty in 
        the commissioned officer corps of the Administration 
        because of a circumstance not within the control of 
        that officer; or
          (2) is--
                  (A) not physically qualified for appointment; 
                and
                  (B) determined to be unqualified for service 
                in the commissioned officer corps of the 
                Administration because of a physical or medical 
                condition that was not the result of the 
                officer's own misconduct or grossly negligent 
                conduct.

SEC. 217. TRAINING AND PHYSICAL FITNESS.

  (a) Training.--The Secretary may take such measures as may be 
necessary to ensure that officers are prepared to carry out 
their duties in the commissioned officer corps of the 
Administration and proficient in the skills necessary to carry 
out such duties. Such measures may include the following:
          (1) Carrying out training programs and correspondence 
        courses, including establishing and operating a basic 
        officer training program to provide initial 
        indoctrination and maritime vocational training for 
        officer candidates as well as refresher training, mid-
        career training, aviation training, and such other 
        training as the Secretary considers necessary for 
        officer development and proficiency.
          (2) Providing officers and officer candidates with 
        books and school supplies.
          (3) Acquiring such equipment as may be necessary for 
        training and instructional purposes.
  (b) Physical Fitness.--The Secretary shall ensure that 
officers maintain a high physical state of readiness by 
establishing standards of physical fitness for officers that 
are substantially equivalent to those prescribed for officers 
in the Coast Guard.

SEC. 218. USE OF RECRUITING MATERIALS FOR PUBLIC RELATIONS.

  The Secretary may use for public relations purposes of the 
Department of Commerce any advertising materials developed for 
use for recruitment and retention of personnel for the 
commissioned officer corps of the Administration. Any such use 
shall be under such conditions and subject to such restrictions 
as the Secretary shall prescribe.

[SEC. 221. ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS.

                            [33 U.S.C. 3021]

  [(a) In General.--
          [(1) Grades.--Original appointments may be made in 
        the grades of ensign, lieutenant (junior grade), and 
        lieutenant.
          [(2) Qualifications.--Under regulations prescribed by 
        the Secretary, such an appointment may be given only to 
        a person who--
                  [(A) meets the qualification requirements 
                specified in paragraphs (1) through (4) of 
                section 532(a) of title 10, United States Code; 
                and
                  [(B) has such other special qualifications as 
                the Secretary may prescribe by regulation.
          [(3) Examination.--A person may be given such an 
        appointment only after passage of a mental and physical 
        examination given in accordance with regulations 
        prescribed by the Secretary.
          [(4) Revocation of commission of officers found not 
        qualified.--The President may revoke the commission of 
        any officer appointed under this section during the 
        officer's first three years of service if the officer 
        is found not qualified for the service. Any such 
        revocation shall be made under regulations prescribed 
        by the President.
  [(b) Lineal List.--Each person appointed under this section 
shall be placed on the lineal list in a position commensurate 
with that person's age, education, and experience, in 
accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary.
  [(c) Service Credit Upon Original Appointment in Grade Above 
Ensign.--
          [(1) In general.--For the purposes of basic pay, a 
        person appointed under this section in the grade of 
        lieutenant shall be credited as having, on the date of 
        that appointment, three years of service, and a person 
        appointed under this section in the grade of lieutenant 
        (junior grade) shall be credited as having, as of the 
        date of that appointment, 1 1/2 years of service.
          [(2) Higher credit under other law.--If a person 
        appointed under this section is entitled to credit for 
        the purpose of basic pay under any other provision of 
        law that would exceed the amount of credit authorized 
        by paragraph (1), that person shall be credited with 
        that amount of service in lieu of the credit authorized 
        by paragraph (1).]

SEC. 221. ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS AND REAPPOINTMENTS.

  (a) Original Appointments.--
          (1) Grades.--
                  (A) In general.--Except as provided in 
                subparagraph (B), an original appointment of an 
                officer may be made in such grades as may be 
                appropriate for--
                          (i) the qualification, experience, 
                        and length of service of the appointee; 
                        and
                          (ii) the commissioned officer corps 
                        of the Administration.
                  (B) Appointment of officer candidates.--
                          (i) Limitation on grade.--An original 
                        appointment of an officer candidate, 
                        upon graduation from the basic officer 
                        training program of the commissioned 
                        officer corps of the Administration, 
                        may not be made in any other grade than 
                        ensign.
                          (ii) Rank.--Officer candidates 
                        receiving appointments as ensigns upon 
                        graduation from basic officer training 
                        program shall take rank according to 
                        their proficiency as shown by the order 
                        of their merit at date of graduation.
          (2) Source of appointments.--An original appointment 
        may be made from among the following:
                  (A) Graduates of the basic officer training 
                program of the commissioned officer corps of 
                the Administration.
                  (B) Graduates of the military service 
                academies of the United States who otherwise 
                meet the academic standards for enrollment in 
                the training program described in subparagraph 
                (A).
                  (C) Graduates of the maritime academies of 
                the States who--
                          (i) otherwise meet the academic 
                        standards for enrollment in the 
                        training program described in 
                        subparagraph (A);
                          (ii) completed at least 3 years of 
                        regimented training while at a maritime 
                        academy of a State; and
                          (iii) obtained an unlimited tonnage 
                        or unlimited horsepower Merchant 
                        Mariner Credential from the United 
                        States Coast Guard.
                  (D) Licensed officers of the United States 
                merchant marine who have served 2 or more years 
                aboard a vessel of the United States in the 
                capacity of a licensed officer, who otherwise 
                meet the academic standards for enrollment in 
                the training program described in subparagraph 
                (A).
          (3) Definitions.--In this subsection:
                  (A) Maritime academies of the states.--The 
                term ``maritime academies of the States'' means 
                the following:
                          (i) California Maritime Academy, 
                        Vallejo, California.
                          (ii) Great Lakes Maritime Academy, 
                        Traverse City, Michigan.
                          (iii) Maine Maritime Academy, 
                        Castine, Maine.
                          (iv) Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 
                        Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts.
                          (v) State University of New York 
                        Maritime College, Fort Schuyler, New 
                        York.
                          (vi) Texas A&M Maritime Academy, 
                        Galveston, Texas.
                  (B) Military service academies of the united 
                states.--The term ``military service academies 
                of the United States'' means the following:
                          (i) The United States Military 
                        Academy, West Point, New York.
                          (ii) The United States Naval Academy, 
                        Annapolis, Maryland.
                          (iii) The United States Air Force 
                        Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
                          (iv) The United States Coast Guard 
                        Academy, New London, Connecticut.
                          (v) The United States Merchant Marine 
                        Academy, Kings Point, New York.
  (b) Reappointment.--
          (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), 
        an individual who previously served in the commissioned 
        officer corps of the Administration may be appointed by 
        the Secretary to the grade the individual held prior to 
        separation.
          (2) Reappointments to higher grades.--An appointment 
        under paragraph (1) to a position of importance and 
        responsibility designated under section 228 may only be 
        made by the President.
  (c) Qualifications.--An appointment under subsection (a) or 
(b) may not be given to an individual until the individual's 
mental, moral, physical, and professional fitness to perform 
the duties of an officer has been established under such 
regulations as the Secretary shall prescribe.
  (d) Precedence of Appointees.--Appointees under this section 
shall take precedence in the grade to which appointed in 
accordance with the dates of their commissions as commissioned 
officers in such grade. Appointees whose dates of commission 
are the same shall take precedence with each other as the 
Secretary shall determine.
  (e) Inter-Service Transfers.--For inter-service transfers (as 
described in the Department of Defense Directive 1300.4 (dated 
December 27, 2006)) the Secretary shall--
          (1) coordinate with the Secretary of Defense and the 
        Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is 
        operating to promote and streamline inter-service 
        transfers;
          (2) give preference to such inter-service transfers 
        for recruitment purposes as determined appropriate by 
        the Secretary; and
          (3) reappoint such inter-service transfers to the 
        equivalent grade in the commissioned officer corps.

[SEC. 222. PERSONNEL BOARDS.

                            [33 U.S.C. 3022]

  [(a) Convening.--At least once a year and at such other times 
as the Secretary determines necessary, the Secretary shall 
convene a personnel board. A personnel board shall consist of 
not less than five officers on the lineal list in the permanent 
grade of commander or above.
  [(b) Duties.--Each personnel board shall--
          [(1) recommend to the Secretary such changes in the 
        lineal list as the board may determine; and
          [(2) make selections and recommendations to the 
        Secretary and President for the appointment, promotion, 
        separation, continuation, and retirement of officers as 
        prescribed in this subtitle and subtitle C.
  [(c) Action on Recommendations Not Acceptable.--In a case in 
which any recommendation by a board convened under subsection 
(a) is not accepted by the Secretary or the President, the 
board shall make such further recommendations as are 
acceptable.]

SEC. 222. PERSONNEL BOARDS.

  (a) Convening.--Not less frequently than once each year and 
at such other times as the Secretary determines necessary, the 
Secretary shall convene a personnel board.
  (b) Membership.--
          (1) In general.--A board convened under subsection 
        (a) shall consist of 5 or more officers who are serving 
        in or above the permanent grade of the officers under 
        consideration by the board.
          (2) Retired officers.--Officers on the retired list 
        may be recalled to serve on such personnel boards as 
        the Secretary considers necessary.
          (3) No membership on 2 successive boards.--No officer 
        may be a member of 2 successive personnel boards 
        convened to consider officers of the same grade for 
        promotion or separation.
  (c) Duties.--Each personnel board shall--
          (1) recommend to the Secretary such changes as may be 
        necessary to correct any erroneous position on the 
        lineal list that was caused by administrative error; 
        and
          (2) make selections and recommendations to the 
        Secretary and the President for the appointment, 
        promotion, involuntary separation, continuation, and 
        involuntary retirement of officers in the commissioned 
        officer corps of the Administration as prescribed in 
        this title.
  (d) Action on Recommendations Not Acceptable.--If any 
recommendation by a board convened under subsection (a) is not 
accepted by the Secretary or the President, the board shall 
make such further recommendations as the Secretary or the 
President considers appropriate.

SEC. 226. APPOINTMENTS AND PROMOTIONS TO PERMANENT GRADES.

                            [33 U.S.C. 3026]

  [Appointments]
   (a) In General.--Appointments in and promotions to all 
permanent grades shall be made by the President.
  (b) Delegation of Appointment Authority.--If the President 
delegates authority to the Secretary to make appointments under 
this section, the President shall, during a period in which the 
position of the Secretary is vacant, delegate such authority to 
the Deputy Secretary of Commerce or the Under Secretary for 
Oceans and Atmosphere during such period.

SEC. 228. POSITIONS OF IMPORTANCE AND RESPONSIBILITY.

[33 U.S.C. 3028]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  (c) Director of NOAA Corps and Assistant Administrator of The 
Office of Marine and Aviation Operations.--The Secretary shall 
designate one position under this section as responsible for 
oversight of the vessel and aircraft fleets and for the 
administration of the commissioned officer corps. That position 
shall be filled by an officer on the lineal list serving in or 
above the grade of rear admiral (lower half). For the specific 
purpose of administering the commissioned officer corps, that 
position shall carry the title of Director of the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer 
Corps. For the specific purpose of administering the vessel and 
aircraft fleets, that position shall carry the title of 
[Director] Assistant Administrator of the Office of Marine and 
Aviation Operations.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


[SEC. 229. TEMPORARY APPOINTMENTS AND PROMOTIONS GENERALLY.

                            [33 U.S.C. 3029]

  [(a) Ensign.--Temporary appointments in the grade of ensign 
may be made by the President. Each such temporary appointment 
terminates at the close of the next regular session of the 
Congress.
  [(b) Lieutenant (Junior Grade).--Officers in the permanent 
grade of ensign may be temporarily promoted to and appointed in 
the grade of lieutenant (junior grade) by the President 
whenever vacancies exist in higher grades.
  [(c) Any One Grade.--When determined by the Secretary to be 
in the best interest of the service, officers in any permanent 
grade may be temporarily promoted one grade by the President. 
Any such temporary promotion terminates upon the transfer of 
the officer to a new assignment.]

SEC. 229. TEMPORARY APPOINTMENTS.

  (a) Appointments by President.--Temporary appointments in the 
grade of ensign, lieutenant junior grade, or lieutenant may be 
made by the President.
  (b) Termination.--A temporary appointment to a position under 
subsection (a) shall terminate upon approval of a permanent 
appointment for such position made by the President.
  (c) Order of Precedence.--Appointees under subsection (a) 
shall take precedence in the grade to which appointed in 
accordance with the dates of their appointments as officers in 
such grade. The order of precedence of appointees who are 
appointed on the same date shall be determined by the 
Secretary.
  (d) Any One Grade.--When determined by the Secretary to be in 
the best interest of the commissioned officer corps, officers 
in any permanent grade may be temporarily promoted one grade by 
the President. Any such temporary promotion terminates upon the 
transfer of the officer to a new assignment.
  (e) Delegation of Appointment Authority.--If the President 
delegates authority to the Secretary to make appointments under 
this section, the President shall, during a period in which the 
position of the Secretary is vacant, delegate such authority to 
the Deputy Secretary of Commerce or the Under Secretary for 
Oceans and Atmosphere during such period.

SEC. 234. OFFICER CANDIDATES.

  (a) Determination of Number.--The Secretary shall determine 
the number of appointments of officer candidates.
  (b) Appointment.--Appointment of officer candidates shall be 
made under regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe, 
including regulations with respect to determining age limits, 
methods of selection of officer candidates, term of service as 
an officer candidate before graduation from the program, and 
all other matters affecting such appointment.
  (c) Dismissal.--The Secretary may dismiss from the basic 
officer training program of the Administration any officer 
candidate who, during the officer candidate's term as an 
officer candidate, the Secretary considers unsatisfactory in 
either academics or conduct, or not adapted for a career in the 
commissioned officer corps of the Administration. Officer 
candidates shall be subject to rules governing discipline 
prescribed by the Director of the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps.
  (d) Agreement.--
          (1) In general.--Each officer candidate shall sign an 
        agreement with the Secretary in accordance with section 
        216(a)(2) regarding the officer candidate's term of 
        service in the commissioned officer corps of the 
        Administration.
          (2) Elements.--An agreement signed by an officer 
        candidate under paragraph (1) shall provide that the 
        officer candidate agrees to the following:
                  (A) That the officer candidate will complete 
                the course of instruction at the basic officer 
                training program of the Administration.
                  (B) That upon graduation from the such 
                program, the officer candidate--
                          (i) will accept an appointment, if 
                        tendered, as an officer; and
                          (ii) will serve on active duty for at 
                        least 4 years immediately after such 
                        appointment.
  (e) Regulations.--The Secretary shall prescribe regulations 
to carry out this section. Such regulations shall include--
          (1) standards for determining what constitutes a 
        breach of an agreement signed under such subsection 
        (d)(1); and
          (2) procedures for determining whether such a breach 
        has occurred.
  (f) Repayment.--An officer candidate or former officer 
candidate who does not fulfill the terms of the obligation to 
serve as specified under section (d) shall be subject to the 
repayment provisions of section 216(b).

SEC. 235. PROCUREMENT OF PERSONNEL.

  The Secretary may make such expenditures as the Secretary 
considers necessary in order to obtain recruits for the 
commissioned officer corps of the Administration, including 
advertising.

SEC. 241. INVOLUNTARY RETIREMENT OR SEPARATION.

                            [33 U.S.C. 3041]

  (a) Transfer of Officers to Retired List; Separation From 
Service.--As recommended by a personnel board convened under 
section 222--
          (1) an officer in the permanent grade of captain or 
        commander may be transferred to the retired list; and
          (2) an officer in the permanent grade of lieutenant 
        commander, lieutenant, or lieutenant (junior grade) who 
        is not qualified for retirement may be separated from 
        the service.
  (b) Computations.--In any fiscal year, the total number of 
officers selected for retirement or separation under subsection 
(a) plus the number of officers retired for age may not exceed 
the whole number nearest 4 percent of the total number of 
officers authorized to be on the active list, except as 
otherwise provided by law.
  (c) Effective Date of Retirements and Separations.--A 
retirement or separation under subsection (a) shall take effect 
on the first day of the sixth month beginning after the date on 
which the Secretary approves the retirement or separation, 
except that if the officer concerned requests an earlier 
retirement or separation date, the date shall be as determined 
by the Secretary.
  (d) Deferment of Retirement or Separation for Medical 
Reasons.--
          (1) In general.--If the Secretary determines that the 
        evaluation of the medical condition of an officer 
        requires hospitalization or medical observation that 
        cannot be completed with confidence in a manner 
        consistent with the officer's well being before the 
        date on which the officer would otherwise be required 
        to retire or be separated under this section, the 
        Secretary may defer the retirement or separation of the 
        officer.
          (2) Consent required.--A deferment may only be made 
        with the written consent of the officer involved. If 
        the officer does not provide written consent to the 
        deferment, the officer shall be retired or separated as 
        scheduled.
          (3) Limitation.--A deferral of retirement or 
        separation under this subsection may not extend for 
        more than 30 days after completion of the evaluation 
        requiring hospitalization or medical observation.

SEC. 242. SEPARATION PAY.

                            [33 U.S.C. 3042]

  (a) Authorization of Payment.--An officer who is separated 
under section 241(a)(2) and who has completed more than three 
years of continuous active service immediately before that 
separation is entitled to separation pay computed under 
subsection (b) unless the Secretary determines that the 
conditions under which the officer is separated do not warrant 
payment of that pay.
  (b) Amount of Separation Pay.--
          (1) Six or more years.--In the case of an officer who 
        has completed six or more years of continuous active 
        service immediately before that separation, the amount 
        of separation pay to be paid to the officer under this 
        section is 10 percent of the product of--
                  (A) the years of active service creditable to 
                the officer; and
                  (B) 12 times the monthly basic pay to which 
                the officer was entitled at the time of 
                separation.
          (2) Three to six years.--In the case of an officer 
        who has completed three or more but fewer than six 
        years of continuous active service immediately before 
        that separation, the amount of separation pay to be 
        paid to the officer under this section is one-half of 
        the amount computed under paragraph (1).
  (c) Other Conditions, Requirements, and Administrative 
Provisions.--The provisions of subsections (f), (g), and (h) of 
section 1174 of title 10, United States Code, shall apply to 
separation pay under this section in the same manner as such 
provisions apply to separation pay under that section.
  (d) Exception.--An officer discharged for twice failing 
selection for promotion to the next higher grade is not 
entitled to separation pay under this section if the officer--
          (1) expresses a desire not to be selected for 
        promotion; or
          (2) requests removal from the list of selectees.

SEC. 261. APPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF TITLE 10, UNITED 
                    STATES CODE.

                            [33 U.S.C. 3071]

  (a) Provisions Made Applicable to the Corps.--The rules of 
law that apply to the Armed Forces under the following 
provisions of title 10, United States Code, as those provisions 
are in effect from time to time, apply also to the commissioned 
officer corps of the Administration:
          (1) Chapter 40, relating to leave.
          (2) Section 533(b), relating to constructive service.
          (3) Section 716, relating to transfers between the 
        armed forces and to and from National Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Administration.
          (4) Section 771, relating to unauthorized wearing of 
        uniforms.
          (5) Section 774, relating to wearing religious 
        apparel while in uniform.
          (6) Section 982, relating to service on State and 
        local juries.
          (7) Section 1031, relating to administration of 
        oaths.
          (8) Section 1034, relating to protected 
        communications and prohibition of retaliatory personnel 
        actions.
          [(4)] (9) Section 1035, relating to deposits of 
        savings.
          [(5)] (10) Section 1036, relating to transportation 
        and travel allowances for escorts for dependents of 
        members.
          [(6)] (11) Section 1052, relating to reimbursement 
        for adoption expenses.
          [(11)](12) Section 1074n, relating to annual mental 
        health assessments.
          [(12)](13) Section 1090a, relating to referrals for 
        mental health evaluations.
          [(13)](14) Chapter 58, relating to the Benefits and 
        Services for members being separated or recently 
        separated.
          [(7)](15) Section 1174a, relating to special 
        separation benefits (except that benefits under 
        subsection (b)(2)(B) of such section are subject to the 
        availability of appropriations for such purpose and are 
        provided at the discretion of the Secretary of 
        Commerce).
          [(8)](16) Chapter 61, relating to retirement or 
        separation for physical disability.
          [(9)](17) Chapter 69, relating to retired grade, 
        except sections 1370, 1375, and 1376.
          [(10)](18) Chapter 71, relating to computation of 
        retired pay.
          [(11)](19) Chapter 73, relating to annuities based on 
        retired or retainer pay.
          [(12)](20) Subchapter II of chapter 75, relating to 
        death benefits.
          (21) Subchapter I of chapter 88, relating to Military 
        Family Programs.
          (22) Section 2005, relating to advanced education 
        assistance, active duty agreements, and reimbursement 
        requirements.
          [(13)](23) Section 2634, relating to transportation 
        of motor vehicles for members on permanent change of 
        station.
          [(14)](24) Sections 2731 and 2735, relating to 
        property loss incident to service.
          [(15)](25) Section 2771, relating to final settlement 
        of accounts of deceased members.
          [(16)](26) Such other provisions of subtitle A of 
        that title as may be adopted for applicability to the 
        commissioned officer corps of the National Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Administration by any other provision of 
        law.
  (b) References.--The authority vested by title 10, United 
States Code, in the ``military departments'', ``the Secretary 
concerned'', or ``the Secretary of Defense'' with respect to 
the provisions of law referred to in subsection (a) shall be 
exercised, with respect to the commissioned officer corps of 
the Administration, by the Secretary of Commerce or the 
Secretary's designee. For purposes of paragraph (8) of 
subsection (a), the term ``Inspector General'' in section 1034 
of such title 10 shall mean the Inspector General of the 
Department of Commerce.
  (c) Regulations Regarding Protected Communications and 
Prohibition of Retaliatory Personnel Actions.--The Secretary 
may promulgate regulations to carry out the application of 
section 1034 of title 10, United States Code, to the 
commissioned officer corps of the Administration, including by 
promulgating such administrative procedures for investigation 
and appeal within the commissioned officer corps as the 
Secretary considers appropriate.

SEC. 261A. APPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF TITLE 37, UNITED 
                    STATES CODE.

  (a) Provisions Made Applicable to Commissioned Officer 
Corps.--The provisions of law applicable to the Armed Forces 
under the following provisions of title 37, United States Code, 
shall apply to the commissioned officer corps of the 
Administration:
          (1) Section 324, relating to accession bonuses for 
        new officers in critical skills.
          (2) Section 403(f)(3), relating to prescribing 
        regulations defining the terms ``field duty'' and ``sea 
        duty''.
          (3) Section 403(l), relating to temporary 
        continuation of housing allowance for dependents of 
        members dying on active duty.
          (4) Section 488, relating to allowances for 
        recruiting expenses.
          (5) Section 495, relating to allowances for funeral 
        honors duty.
  (b) References.--The authority vested by title 37, United 
States Code, in the ``military departments'', ``the Secretary 
concerned'', or ``the Secretary of Defense'' with respect to 
the provisions of law referred to in subsection (a) shall be 
exercised, with respect to the commissioned officer corps of 
the Administration, by the Secretary of Commerce or the 
Secretary's designee.

SEC. 267. EDUCATION LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAM.

  (a) Authority To Repay Education Loans.--For the purpose of 
maintaining adequate numbers of officers of the commissioned 
officer corps of the Administration on active duty who have 
skills required by the commissioned officer corps, the 
Secretary may repay, in the case of a person described in 
subsection (b), a loan that--
          (1) was used by the person to finance education; and
          (2) was obtained from a governmental entity, private 
        financial institution, educational institution, or 
        other authorized entity.
  (b) Eligible Persons.--To be eligible to obtain a loan 
repayment under this section, a person must--
          (1) satisfy 1 of the requirements specified in 
        subsection (c);
          (2) be fully qualified for, or hold, an appointment 
        as a commissioned officer in the commissioned officer 
        corps of the Administration; and
          (3) sign a written agreement to serve on active duty, 
        or, if on active duty, to remain on active duty for a 
        period in addition to any other incurred active duty 
        obligation.
  (c) Academic and Professional Requirements.--One of the 
following academic requirements must be satisfied for purposes 
of determining the eligibility of an individual for a loan 
repayment under this section:
          (1) The person is fully qualified in a profession 
        that the Secretary has determined to be necessary to 
        meet identified skill shortages in the commissioned 
        officer corps.
          (2) The person is enrolled as a full-time student in 
        the final year of a course of study at an accredited 
        educational institution (as determined by the Secretary 
        of Education) leading to a degree in a profession that 
        will meet identified skill shortages in the 
        commissioned officer corps.
  (d) Loan Repayments.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to the limits established 
        under paragraph (2), a loan repayment under this 
        section may consist of the payment of the principal, 
        interest, and related expenses of a loan obtained by a 
        person described in subsection (b).
          (2) Limitation on amount.--For each year of obligated 
        service that a person agrees to serve in an agreement 
        described in subsection (b)(3), the Secretary may pay 
        not more than the amount specified in section 
        2173(e)(2) of title 10, United States Code.
  (e) Active Duty Service Obligation.--
          (1) In general.--A person entering into an agreement 
        described in subsection (b)(3) incurs an active duty 
        service obligation.
          (2) Length of obligation determined under 
        regulations.--
                  (A) In general.--Except as provided in 
                subparagraph (B), the length of the obligation 
                under paragraph (1) shall be determined under 
                regulations prescribed by the Secretary.
                  (B) Minimum obligation.--The regulations 
                prescribed under subparagraph (A) may not 
                provide for a period of obligation of less than 
                1 year for each maximum annual amount, or 
                portion thereof, paid on behalf of the person 
                for qualified loans.
          (3) Persons on active duty before entering into 
        agreement.--The active duty service obligation of 
        persons on active duty before entering into the 
        agreement shall be served after the conclusion of any 
        other obligation incurred under the agreement.
  (f) Effect of Failure To Complete Obligation.--
          (1) Alternative obligations.--An officer who is 
        relieved of the officer's active duty obligation under 
        this section before the completion of that obligation 
        may be given any alternative obligation, at the 
        discretion of the Secretary.
          (2) Repayment.--An officer who does not complete the 
        period of active duty specified in the agreement 
        entered into under subsection (b)(3), or the 
        alternative obligation imposed under paragraph (1), 
        shall be subject to the repayment provisions under 
        section 216.
  (g) Rulemaking.--The Secretary shall prescribe regulations to 
carry out this section, including--
          (1) standards for qualified loans and authorized 
        payees; and
          (2) other terms and conditions for the making of loan 
        repayments.

SEC. 268. INTEREST PAYMENT PROGRAM.

  (a) Authority.--The Secretary may pay the interest and any 
special allowances that accrue on 1 or more student loans of an 
eligible officer, in accordance with this section.
  (b) Eligible Officers.--An officer is eligible for the 
benefit described in subsection (a) while the officer--
          (1) is serving on active duty;
          (2) has not completed more than 3 years of service on 
        active duty;
          (3) is the debtor on 1 or more unpaid loans described 
        in subsection (c); and
          (4) is not in default on any such loan.
  (c) Student Loans.--The authority to make payments under 
subsection (a) may be exercised with respect to the following 
loans:
          (1) A loan made, insured, or guaranteed under part B 
        of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 
        U.S.C. 1071 et seq.).
          (2) A loan made under part D of such title (20 U.S.C. 
        1087a et seq.).
          (3) A loan made under part E of such title (20 U.S.C. 
        1087aa et seq.).
  (d) Maximum Benefit.--Interest and any special allowance may 
be paid on behalf of an officer under this section for any of 
the 36 consecutive months during which the officer is eligible 
under subsection (b).
  (e) Funds for Payments.--The Secretary may use amounts 
appropriated for the pay and allowances of personnel of the 
commissioned officer corps of the Administration for payments 
under this section.
  (f) Coordination With Secretary of Education.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary shall consult with the 
        Secretary of Education regarding the administration of 
        this section.
          (2) Transfer of funds.--The Secretary shall transfer 
        to the Secretary of Education the funds necessary--
                  (A) to pay interest and special allowances on 
                student loans under this section (in accordance 
                with sections 428(o), 455(l), and 464(j) of the 
                Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 
                1078(o), 1087e(l), and 1087dd(j)); and
                  (B) to reimburse the Secretary of Education 
                for any reasonable administrative costs 
                incurred by the Secretary in coordinating the 
                program under this section with the 
                administration of the student loan programs 
                under parts B, D, and E of title IV of the 
                Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1071 et 
                seq., 1087a et seq., 1087aa et seq.).
  (g) Special Allowance Defined.--In this section, the term 
``special allowance'' means a special allowance that is payable 
under section 438 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 
U.S.C. 1087-1).

SEC. 269. STUDENT PRE-COMMISSIONING EDUCATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

  (a) Authority To Provide Financial Assistance.--For the 
purpose of maintaining adequate numbers of officers of the 
commissioned officer corps of the Administration on active 
duty, the Secretary may provide financial assistance to a 
person described in subsection (b) for expenses of the person 
while the person is pursuing on a full-time basis at an 
accredited educational institution (as determined by the 
Secretary of Education) a program of education approved by the 
Secretary that leads to--
          (1) a baccalaureate degree in not more than 5 
        academic years; or
          (2) a postbaccalaureate degree.
  (b) Eligible Persons.--
          (1) In general.--A person is eligible to obtain 
        financial assistance under subsection (a) if the 
        person--
                  (A) is enrolled on a full-time basis in a 
                program of education referred to in subsection 
                (a) at any educational institution described in 
                such subsection;
                  (B) meets all of the requirements for 
                acceptance into the commissioned officer corps 
                of the Administration except for the completion 
                of a baccalaureate degree; and
                  (C) enters into a written agreement with the 
                Secretary described in paragraph (2).
          (2) Agreement.--A written agreement referred to in 
        paragraph (1)(C) is an agreement between the person and 
        the Secretary in which the person--
                  (A) agrees to accept an appointment as an 
                officer, if tendered; and
                  (B) upon completion of the person's 
                educational program, agrees to serve on active 
                duty, immediately after appointment, for--
                          (i) up to 3 years if the person 
                        received less than 3 years of 
                        assistance; and
                          (ii) up to 5 years if the person 
                        received at least 3 years of 
                        assistance.
  (c) Qualifying Expenses.--Expenses for which financial 
assistance may be provided under subsection (a) are the 
following:
          (1) Tuition and fees charged by the educational 
        institution involved.
          (2) The cost of books.
          (3) In the case of a program of education leading to 
        a baccalaureate degree, laboratory expenses.
          (4) Such other expenses as the Secretary considers 
        appropriate.
  (d) Limitation on Amount.--The Secretary shall prescribe the 
amount of financial assistance provided to a person under 
subsection (a), which may not exceed the amount specified in 
section 2173(e)(2) of title 10, United States Code, for each 
year of obligated service that a person agrees to serve in an 
agreement described in subsection (b)(2).
  (e) Duration of Assistance.--Financial assistance may be 
provided to a person under subsection (a) for not more than 5 
consecutive academic years.
  (f) Subsistence Allowance.--
          (1) In general.--A person who receives financial 
        assistance under subsection (a) shall be entitled to a 
        monthly subsistence allowance at a rate prescribed 
        under paragraph (2) for the duration of the period for 
        which the person receives such financial assistance.
          (2) Determination of amount.--The Secretary shall 
        prescribe monthly rates for subsistence allowance 
        provided under paragraph (1), which shall be equal to 
        the amount specified in section 2144(a) of title 10, 
        United States Code.
  (g) Initial Clothing Allowance.--
          (1) Training.--The Secretary may prescribe a sum 
        which shall be credited to each person who receives 
        financial assistance under subsection (a) to cover the 
        cost of the person's initial clothing and equipment 
        issue.
          (2) Appointment.--Upon completion of the program of 
        education for which a person receives financial 
        assistance under subsection (a) and acceptance of 
        appointment in the commissioned officer corps of the 
        Administration, the person may be issued a subsequent 
        clothing allowance equivalent to that normally provided 
        to a newly appointed officer.
  (h) Termination of Financial Assistance.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary shall terminate the 
        assistance provided to a person under this section if--
                  (A) the Secretary accepts a request by the 
                person to be released from an agreement 
                described in subsection (b)(2);
                  (B) the misconduct of the person results in a 
                failure to complete the period of active duty 
                required under the agreement; or
                  (C) the person fails to fulfill any term or 
                condition of the agreement.
          (2) Reimbursement.--The Secretary may require a 
        person who receives assistance described in subsection 
        (c), (f), or (g) under an agreement entered into under 
        subsection (b)(1)(C) to reimburse the Secretary in an 
        amount that bears the same ratio to the total costs of 
        the assistance provided to that person as the unserved 
        portion of active duty bears to the total period of 
        active duty the officer agreed to serve under the 
        agreement.
          (3) Waiver.--The Secretary may waive the service 
        obligation of a person through an agreement entered 
        into under subsection (b)(1)(C) if the person--
                  (A) becomes unqualified to serve on active 
                duty in the commissioned officer corps of the 
                Administration because of a circumstance not 
                within the control of that person; or
                  (B) is--
                          (i) not physically qualified for 
                        appointment; and
                          (ii) determined to be unqualified for 
                        service in the commissioned officer 
                        corps of the Administration because of 
                        a physical or medical condition that 
                        was not the result of the person's own 
                        misconduct or grossly negligent 
                        conduct.
          (4) Obligation as debt to united states.--An 
        obligation to reimburse the Secretary imposed under 
        paragraph (2) is, for all purposes, a debt owed to the 
        United States.
          (5) Discharge in bankruptcy.--A discharge in 
        bankruptcy under title 11, United States Code, that is 
        entered less than 5 years after the termination of a 
        written agreement entered into under subsection 
        (b)(1)(C) does not discharge the person signing the 
        agreement from a debt arising under such agreement or 
        under paragraph (2).
  (i) Regulations.--The Secretary may promulgate such 
regulations and orders as the Secretary considers appropriate 
to carry out this section.

SEC. 269A. TREATMENT OF COMMISSION IN COMMISSIONED OFFICER CORPS AS 
                    EMPLOYMENT IN ADMINISTRATION FOR PURPOSES OF 
                    CERTAIN HIRING DECISIONS.

  (a) In General.--In any case in which the Secretary accepts 
an application for a position of employment with the 
Administration and limits consideration of applications for 
such position to applications submitted by individuals serving 
in a career or career-conditional position in the competitive 
service within the Administration, the Secretary shall deem an 
officer who has served as an officer in the commissioned 
officer corps for at least 3 years to be serving in a career or 
career-conditional position in the competitive service within 
the Administration for purposes of such limitation.
  (b) Career Appointments.--If the Secretary selects an 
application submitted by an officer described in subsection (a) 
for a position described in such subsection, the Secretary 
shall give such officer a career or career-conditional 
appointment in the competitive service, as appropriate.
  (c) Competitive Service Defined.--In this section, the term 
``competitive service'' has the meaning given the term in 
section 2102 of title 5, United States Code.

                      HIGHER EDUCATION ACT OF 1965


                        [20 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.]

SEC. 428. FEDERAL PAYMENTS TO REDUCE STUDENT INTEREST COSTS.

[20 U.S.C. 1078]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  (o) [Armed Forces Student Loan Interest Payment Program] 
Armed Forces and NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps Student Loan 
Interest Payment Programs.--
          (1) Authority.--Using funds received by transfer to 
        the Secretary under section 2174 of title 10, United 
        States Code, or section 268 of the National Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps 
        Act of 2002 for the payment of interest and any special 
        allowance on a loan to a member of the Armed Forces or 
        an officer in the commissioned officer corps of the 
        National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 
        respectively, that is made, insured, or guaranteed 
        under this part, the Secretary shall pay the interest 
        and special allowance on such loan as due for a period 
        not in excess of 36 consecutive months. The Secretary 
        may not pay interest or any special allowance on such a 
        loan out of any funds other than funds that have been 
        so transferred.
          (2) Forbearance.--During the period in which the 
        Secretary is making payments on a loan under paragraph 
        (1), the lender shall grant the borrower forbearance in 
        accordance with the guaranty agreement under subsection 
        (c)(3)(A)(i)(IV).
          (3) Special allowance defined.--For the purposes of 
        this subsection, the term ``special allowance'', means 
        a special allowance that is payable with respect to a 
        loan under section 438.

SEC. 455. TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF LOANS.

[20 U.S.C. 1087e]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  (l) [Armed Forces Student Loan Interest Payment Program]  
Armed Forces and NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps Student Loan 
Interest Payment Programs.--
          (1) Authority.--Using funds received by transfer to 
        the Secretary under section 2174 of title 10, United 
        States Code,  or section 268 of the National Oceanic 
        and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer 
        Corps Act of 2002 for the payment of interest on a loan 
        made under this part to a member of the Armed Forces or 
        an officer in the commissioned officer corps of the 
        National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 
        respectively, the Secretary shall pay the interest on 
        the loan as due for a period not in excess of 36 
        consecutive months. The Secretary may not pay interest 
        on such a loan out of any funds other than funds that 
        have been so transferred.
          (2) Forbearance.--During the period in which the 
        Secretary is making payments on a loan under paragraph 
        (1), the Secretary shall grant the borrower 
        forbearance, in the form of a temporary cessation of 
        all payments on the loan other than the payments of 
        interest on the loan that are made under that 
        paragraph.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 464. TERMS OF LOANS.

[20 U.S.C. 1087dd]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  (j) [Armed Forces Student Loan Interest Payment Program]  
Armed Forces and NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps Student Loan 
Interest Payment Programs.--
          (1) Authority.--Using funds received by transfer to 
        the Secretary under section 2174 of title 10, United 
        States Code, or section 268 of the National Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps 
        Act of 2002 for the payment of interest on a loan made 
        under this part to a member of the Armed Forces or an 
        officer in the commissioned officer corps of the 
        National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 
        respectively, the Secretary shall pay the interest on 
        the loan as due for a period not in excess of 36 
        consecutive months. The Secretary may not pay interest 
        on such a loan out of any funds other than funds that 
        have been so transferred.
          (2) Forbearance.--During the period in which the 
        Secretary is making payments on a loan under paragraph 
        (1), the institution of higher education shall grant 
        the borrower forbearance in accordance with subsection 
        (e)(1)(C).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


             HYDROGRAPHIC SERVICES IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 1998


                        [33 U.S.C. 892 et seq.]

SEC. 306. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

                            [33 U.S.C. 892d]

  [There are]
   (a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated to 
the Administrator the following:
          (1) To carry out nautical mapping and charting 
        functions under sections 304 and 305, except for 
        conducting hydrographic [surveys--]
                  [(A) $55,000,000 for fiscal year 2009;
                  [(B) $56,000,000 for fiscal year 2010;
                  [(C) $57,000,000 for fiscal year 2011; and]
                  [(D) $58,000,000 for fiscal year 2012.] 
                surveys, $70,814,000 for each of fiscal years 
                2017 through 2021.
          (2) To contract for hydrographic surveys under 
        section 304(b)(1), including the leasing or time 
        chartering of [vessels--]
                  [(A) $32,130,000 for fiscal year 2009;
                  [(B) $32,760,000 for fiscal year 2010;
                  [(C) $33,390,000 for fiscal year 2011; and]
                  [(D) $34,020,000 for fiscal year 2012.] 
                vessels, $25,000,000 for each of fiscal years 
                2017 through 2021.
          (3) To operate hydrographic survey vessels owned by 
        the United States and operated by the [Administration--
        ]
                  [(A) $25,900,000 for fiscal year 2009;
                  [(B) $26,400,000 for fiscal year 2010;
                  [(C) $26,900,000 for fiscal year 2011; and]
                  [(D) $27,400,000 for fiscal year 2012.] 
                Administration, $29,932,000 for each of fiscal 
                years 2017 through 2021.
          (4) To carry out geodetic functions under this 
        [title--]
                  [(A) $32,640,000 for fiscal year 2009;
                  [(B) $33,280,000 for fiscal year 2010;
                  [(C) $33,920,000 for fiscal year 2011; and]
                  [(D) $34,560,000 for fiscal year 2012.] 
                title, $26,800,000 for each of fiscal years 
                2017 through 2021.
          (5) To carry out tide and current measurement 
        functions under this [title--]
                  [(A) $27,000,000 for fiscal year 2009;
                  [(B) $27,500,000 for fiscal year 2010;
                  [(C) $28,000,000 for fiscal year 2011; and]
                  [(D) $28,500,000 for fiscal year 2012.] 
                title, $30,564,000 for each of fiscal years 
                2017 through 2021.
          (6) To acquire a replacement hydrographic survey 
        vessel capable of staying at sea continuously for at 
        least 30 days $75,000,000.
  (b) Arctic Programs.--Of the amount authorized by this 
section for each fiscal year--
          (1) $10,000,000 is authorized for use--
                  (A) to acquire hydrographic data;
                  (B) to provide hydrographic services;
                  (C) to conduct coastal change analyses 
                necessary to ensure safe navigation;
                  (D) to improve the management of coastal 
                change in the Arctic; and
                  (E) to reduce risks of harm to Alaska Native 
                subsistence and coastal communities associated 
                with increased international maritime traffic; 
                and
          (2) $2,000,000 is authorized for use to acquire 
        hydrographic data and provide hydrographic services in 
        the Arctic necessary to delineate the United States 
        extended Continental Shelf.
  (c) Limitation on Administrative Expenses for Surveys.--Of 
amounts authorized by this section for each fiscal year for 
contract hydrographic surveys, not more than 5 percent is 
authorized for administrative costs associated with contract 
management.

                                  [all]