National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Weather Service
Policy on Partnerships in the Provision of Weather, Water, Climate and Related
This policy applies to the weather, water, climate and related environmental
information services of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's
(NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS). It sets forth basic principles to be
applied in making decisions regarding these information services.
1. The nation's weather, water, and climate enterprise is composed of unique
partnerships among government, private sector entities, and the academic
and research community; their contributions are complementary and at times
- NWS provides information to support protecting life and property and enhancing
the national economy. To carry out this mission, it develops and maintains
an infrastructure of observing, telecommunications, and prediction systems
on which the public (federal, state, and local government agencies),
private, and academic sectors rely.
- Academia advances the science and educates
generations of participants in the enterprise.
- The private sector
(weather companies, meteorologists working for private companies or as
private consultants, and broadcast meteorologists) creates products and
needs of their company or clients and works with the NWS to communicate
forecasts and warnings that may affect public safety.
2. This partnership is fostered by adherence to the policies contained in
the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Government Paperwork Elimination Act and OMB
Circular No. A-130, "Management of Federal Information Resources." These policies
are based on the premise that government information is a valuable national
resource, and the economic benefits to society are maximized when government
information is available in a timely and equitable manner to all.
3. In furtherance of these policies, NWS will carry out activities which contribute
to its mission, including collecting and archiving data; ensuring their quality;
issuing forecasts, warnings, and advisories; and providing unrestricted access
to publicly funded observations, analyses, model results, forecasts, and
related information products in a timely manner and at the lowest possible
4. To advance the weather, water, and climate enterprise, NWS will provide
information in forms accessible to the public as well as underlying data in
to additional processing by others. NWS will make its data and products available
in Internet-accessible form to the extent practicable and within resource
constraints, and will use other dissemination technologies, e.g. satellite
NOAA Weather Radio, as appropriate. Information contained in databases will
be based on recognized standards, formats, and metadata descriptions to ensure
data from different observing platforms, databases, and models can be integrated
and used by all interested parties in the weather, water, and climate enterprise.
5. NOAA recognizes the public interest is served by the ability of private
sector entities and the academic and research community to provide diverse
to meet the varied needs of specific individuals, organizations, and economic
entities. NWS will give due consideration to these abilities, within the
bounds of its mission responsibilities as an agent of the US government.
6. NWS will use appropriate mechanisms to encourage the maximum practicable
and timely input from and collaboration with all interested parties on decisions
affecting the weather, water, and climate enterprise. These will include,
but are not limited to:
- Cooperating with, and as necessary establishment of,
advisory bodies concerned with advancing the weather, water, and climate
- Establishing procedures for seeking input and suggestions to
or discontinue products and services.
7. NWS will promote the open and unrestricted exchange of weather, water,
climate, and related environmental information worldwide, and seek to improve
opportunities for development of the partnership.
8. NWS's participation in the weather, water, and climate enterprise will
be founded on the following principles:
- Mission connection: NWS will describe
the connection of information services to the NOAA mission and, as applicable,
put life and property first in the allocation of resources and the development
and dissemination of products and services.
- No surprises: Unless public
safety or national security concerns dictate otherwise, NWS will provide
including those in the private and academic sectors, adequate notice and
opportunity for input into decisions regarding the development and dissemination
products and services, and their discontinuance.
- Open information dissemination:
NWS recognizes that open and unrestricted dissemination of high quality
publicly funded information, as appropriate and within resource constraints,
policy and is the law.
- Equity: NWS will be equitable in dealings with various
classes of entities and will not show favoritism to particular classes
of partners or individual entities, particularly those in the academic and
NWS will not provide a service to a segment of the user community that
cannot be provided to all similar types of users.
- Maintain and explain the
When faced with requests for specifically tailored services, NWS will make
sure the customer fully understands products NWS "routinely" provides (e.g.
forecasts, watches, warnings and data sets) and the ability of private
sector providers to meet needs outside these routine services.
9. NWS will establish appropriate procedures to implement this policy.
[Signature of appropriate official]
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