Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (04/22/1998)

Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998 - Sets forth the responsibilities of the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) regarding hydrographic data, services, and standards and maintenance of a national hydrographic database. Authorizes related procurement, leasing, and contracts.

Authorizes a quality assurance program, allowing certification of hydrographic products and use of a related emblem for certified products. Allows a fee for the certification and use. Establishes the Hydrographic Services Account, consisting of those fees. Requires that fees deposited in the Account be credited as offsetting collections to the NOAA Operations, Research, and Facilities account. Prohibits any charge or increase for any hydrographic service except as authorized in this paragraph (or, for increases, by specified provisions of Federal law).

Prohibits the design or installation of any new, and requires the cessation of operation of any existing, Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System unless the local sponsor or another Federal agency has agreed to assume operating and maintenance costs.

Requires the Administrator to report to the Congress on: (1) a plan to increase private sector contracting for photogrammetric and remote sensing services regarding hydrographic data acquisition and services; (2) implementation of real-time tide and current data systems in U.S. ports; (3) existing safety and efficiency needs in U.S. ports that could be met by increased use of those systems; (4) a plan for expanding those systems; and (5) a plan to ensure that Federal expertise in hydrographic surveying will be maintained after the decommissioning of the three existing NOAA hydrographic survey vessels.

Authorizes appropriations for: (1) nautical mapping and charting; (2) conducting hydrographic surveys; (3) geodetic functions; and (4) tide and current measurement.

Requires that fund recipients under this Act agree to comply with the Act popularly known as the "Buy American Act." Declares that it is the sense of the Congress that entities receiving assistance under this Act should, in expending the assistance, purchase only American-made equipment and products. Prohibits any person determined to have intentionally affixed on a product a false "Made in America" label from eligibility for any contract or subcontract made with funds under this Act.