Department of Commerce

Eliminate the Hydrographic Services Review Panel

Since 2004 NOAA has tried very hard to make coordinate the logistics of the Hydrographic Services Review Panel. Yet each year the panel seems only interested in getting paid as GS-15s to travel to different places in the US on the tax payers dime (to have fun and not work). They don't seem interested in advising the government do a better job. Since they do not help us understand the needs of the nation we are going out to our stakeholders individually to see how we can do a better job which is duplicative. The idea of the panel is a good one idealistically but it is a waste of resources for NOAA to coordinate it, hurts morale of the govt employees who care and want this panel to step up and work and most importantly this is an undue burden on the taxpayers who ultimately have to pay for this FACA panel. NOAA does not get extra funds to have this panel so this comes out of our operational funds. With all the cut backs, NOAA would like to be able to exercise an option to eliminate this panel and focus on working with stakeholders that do want to work with NOAA and advise NOAA in a useful capacity. As we are mandated to have this panel - it cannot be eliminated unless congress gets rid of it.

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Idea No. 16473