Advisability of NOAA as independent agency discussed at hearing



Several top ocean and meteorological scientists testifying before a Congressional subcommittee on 15 July were in agreement that NOAA should become an independent agency However, a representative of the U.S. Department of Commerce, of which NOAA is a part, appeared less enthusiastic about the idea.

The advantages and disadvantages of NOAA acquiring independent status, and the adequacy of its current organizational structure, were only two of the topics discussed in the most recent hearings on the nature of an organic act for the agency (see Eos, 22 June 2004, p. 242). The function of such legislation, currently under consideration by both houses of Congress, would be to clearly define and codify NOAAs status, functions, and scope of responsibilities.