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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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Open Recommendations (20 total)

Coral Reef Conservation Program: Opportunities Exist to Better Track Expenditures and Share Information

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3 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration The Administrator of NOAA should ensure that the Director of the CRCP accesses and uses expenditure data in managing the program. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration The Administrator of NOAA should ensure that the Director of the CRCP takes steps to communicate information related to expenditures and performance results to outside entities, as appropriate. (Recommendation 3)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration The Administrator of NOAA should ensure that the Director of the CRCP improves the program's ability to track and report expenditure data for the program as a whole by, for example, regularly assigning specific task codes to CRCP projects. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Emergency Alerts: NOAA Should Take Additional Actions to Help Ensure Tsunami Alerts Reach Those at Risk

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration The NOAA Administrator should assess the extent to which NOAA Weather Radio coverage extends to populated areas at risk of tsunamis, and publicly communicate the results of the assessment. (Recommendation 1)
Open
NOAA agreed with the recommendation. As of March 2024, NOAA officials informed us that the agency had started producing maps of tsunami risks areas for the U.S. Pacific and Alaskan coasts with overlays of NOAA Weather Radio coverage areas. Officials said that the agency expects coverage maps for the U.S. Pacific and Alaskan coasts to be available on publicly accessible webpages in 2024. Officials said that the agency would work with state officials to develop similar maps for Atlantic coastal areas. NOAA expects full implementation of this recommendation by December 2025.

Emergency Alerts: NOAA Should Take Additional Actions to Help Ensure Tsunami Alerts Reach Those at Risk

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration The NOAA Administrator, in collaboration with FCC and FEMA, should clarify and document the agencies' responsibilities and a decision-making process for determining how to use IPAWS to deliver tsunami alerts to EAS. (Recommendation 2)
Open
NOAA agreed with the recommendation. As of March 2024, NOAA officials informed us that the agency was holding monthly meetings with FCC and FEMA to discuss requirements for how to use IPAWS to deliver tsunami alerts to EAS. NOAA expects full implementation of this recommendation by December 2025.

NOAA Acquisitions: Fully Aligning Procedures with Best Practices Could Improve the Reliability of Cost Estimates

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration The Administrator of NOAA should establish agency-wide policy and guidance that is aligned with best practices in GAO's Cost Guide. (Recommendation 1
Open
The Department of Commerce's action plan dated October 10, 2023, states that NOAA agrees with this recommendation and will take the following actions for implementation. The plan aims to have a NOAA-wide Working Group, led by the Office of the Financial Officer and the Acquisitions and Grants Office, oversee the development and implementation of internal cost-estimate guidance in NOAA offices using a risk-based approach that incorporates GAO's 12-step procedures for specific programs. NOAA expects to complete the guidance by September 30, 2024.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration The Administrator of NOAA should require each office within NOAA to have documented cost estimating procedures that are fully aligned with the best practices established in its agency-wide policy and guidance. (Recommendation 2)
Open
The Department of Commerce's action plan dated October 10, 2023, states that NOAA agrees with this recommendation and will take the following actions for implementation. Taking a risk-based approach, NOAA will require that its offices utilize Commerce's newly developed cost- estimate guidance and GAO's Cost Estimating and Assessment guide. This effort will be led by NOAA's Office of the Chief Financial Officer and aims to develop and implement NOAA procedures that strengthen Commerce's released cost-estimate procedures. NOAA expects to complete and implement its plan by September 30, 2024.

Water Quality: Agencies Should Take More Actions to Manage Risks from Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia

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3 Open Recommendations
2 Priority
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration The Administrator of NOAA and the Administrator of EPA, in collaboration with the members of the working group, should develop performance measures to assess the working group's efforts, including the extent to which the recommended goals from the Research Plan and Action Strategy have been achieved. (Recommendation 2)
Open
NOAA and EPA agreed with this recommendation and in late 2022 stated that they will work together, in collaboration with the working group members, to develop formal performance measures. They anticipate the measures will be complete by December 2024. We will continue to follow up on the agencies' efforts.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Priority Rec.
The Administrator of NOAA and the Administrator of EPA, in collaboration with the members of the working group, should develop a national goal for the group focused on efforts to prevent HABs and hypoxia. (Recommendation 5)
Open
In March 2024, NOAA and EPA officials stated that they are taking actions, in consultation with other members of the working group, to develop a national goal focused on efforts to prevent HABs and hypoxia. In April 2024, NOAA and EPA developed national objectives for the working group, including an objective to help decision-makers prevent new or the expansion of existing HABs or hypoxia events through advancing the dissemination of information on their human-caused drivers. By developing and subsequently incorporating this objective into the national HAB and hypoxia strategy in the 2024 national assessment of HABs and hypoxia, the agencies, through the working group, could help increase federal attention on preventative actions to reduce the risks that HABs and hypoxia pose to tribal, state, and local communities. We will continue to follow up on this recommendation.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Priority Rec.
The Administrator of NOAA and the Administrator of EPA, in collaboration with the members of the working group, should document and define what a national HAB and hypoxia program would entail, including identifying the program's resource needs. (Recommendation 1)
Open
NOAA officials told us that the agency was working with EPA and other members of the interagency HAB and hypoxia working group to develop a national program, including drafting associated goals and identifying resource needs. As of April 2024, NOAA and EPA officials developed a draft description of the components of a national program. These officials also stated that they plan to include information about the national program structure and resource needs in the next national assessment of HABs and hypoxia mandated by the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998, as amended, which is expected to be completed in December 2024. We will continue to follow up on the agencies' efforts and progress.