Transfer of Government-Owned Weather Satellites to Private Sector

B-210820: Published: Jul 8, 1983. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 1985.

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GAO responded to a congressional request concerning whether legislation is needed to authorize various actions incident to transferring the federal government's land remote sensing satellite and its meteorological satellites to the private sector. GAO concluded that: (1) the satellite systems can be sold under existing law if properly determined to be surplus government equipment; (2) unless multiyear or no-year funds or other statutory authority for long-term contracts is already available, legislation would be necessary for the government to fund a long-term data-purchase contract with a private entity that purchases the satellites; (3) U.S. compliance with existing treaties and international data-exchange agreements relevant to the satellites could be ensured through appropriate contract provisions with the buyer of the systems; and (4) legislation in both the copyright and Freedom of Information Act areas may not be legally necessary.

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