Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House amended (07/26/2002)

Hydrographic Services Improvement Act Amendments of 2002 - Title I: NOAA Hydrographic Services Improvement - Amends the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998 to direct the Secretary of Commerce to design, install, maintain, and operate real-time hydrographic monitoring systems to enhance navigation safety and efficiency. (Current law authorizes the design and installation where appropriate of Physical Oceanographic Real-Time Systems to enhance navigation safety and efficiency.) Authorizes the Secretary to use hydrographic data to support the conservation and management of coastal and ocean resources where such action does not interfere with safe and efficient navigation.

(Sec. 104) Requires the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator within two years of enactment (currently, authorizes and does not specify a time frame), subject to availability of appropriations, to develop and implement a quality assurance program under which hydrographic products may be certified. Directs the Administrator, to the maximum extent praticable, to assure that international organizations and agreements to which the United States is a party which affect hydrographic products and nautical charts accept or recognize hydrographic products certified by the Administrator.

(Sec. 105) Establishes the Hydrographic Services Review Panel to advise the Administrator on appropriate matters such as hydrographic data and navigation services.

(Sec. 106) Requires the Administrator to submit to Congress a plan for increasing contracting with the private sector for various geospatial reference services related to hydrographic data acquisition or hydrographic services activities performed by the National Ocean Service.

(Sec. 107) Authorizes appropriations through FY 2007.

Title II: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officers Corps Act of 2002 - Subtitle A: General Provisions - Establishes within the NOAA a commissioned officer corps (the "corps").

(Sec. 213) Requires the annual strength of the corps' officers on active duty to be prescribed by law and the Secretary to keep a list of active officers.

(Sec. 215) Authorizes appropriations through FY 2008.

Subtitle B: Appointment and Promotion of Officers - Sets forth rules for the appointment and promotion of corps officers, including temporary appointments and promotions.

Subtitle C: Separation and Retirement of Officers - Delineates rules for involuntary retirement of officers and retirement for age and length of service.

Subtitle D: Service of Officers With the Military Departments - Permits the President to transfer NOAA vessels, equipment, stations and officers to a military department in times of emergency, and prescribes rules for such cooperation.

Subtitle E: Rights and Benefits - Applies certain specified provisions of Federal law pertaining to the Armed Forces to the corps, including ones dealing with leave, retirement or separation for physical disability, and computation of retired pay. Specifies provisions under which active service corps officers shall be considered active military service for the purposes of all rights, privileges, immunities, and benefits. Provides for use of appropriated funds for: (1) transportation of the effects of deceased officers; and (2) reimbursement for supplies furnished by officers to distressed and shipwrecked persons. Prescribes that a U.S. flag be given to active commissioned officers upon retirement, except to individuals who already received a U.S. flag for retirement under this Act or any other provision of law.

Subtitle F: Repeals and Conforming Amendments - Sets forth repeals and conforming amendments.