e-CFR Navigation Aids


Simple Search

Advanced Search

 — Boolean

 — Proximity


Search History

Search Tips


Latest Updates

User Info


Agency List

Incorporation By Reference

eCFR logo

Related Resources

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

We invite you to try out our new beta eCFR site at https://ecfr.federalregister.gov. We have made big changes to make the eCFR easier to use. Be sure to leave feedback using the Feedback button on the bottom right of each page!

e-CFR data is current as of March 1, 2021

Title 15Subtitle BChapter IXSubchapter GPart 997Subpart C → §997.21

Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade
Subpart C—Certification and Application Requirements for a RICE

§997.21   Organizational structure.

(a) To become certified, a RICE must demonstrate an organizational structure capable of gathering required System observation data, supporting and integrating all aspects of coastal and ocean observing and information programs within a region and that reflects the needs of State and local governments, commercial interests, and other users and beneficiaries of the System and other requirements specified in this subchapter and the System Plan.

(b) The application shall:

(1) Describe the RICE's organizational structure (e.g., 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, establishment via MOU or MOA).

(2) Document the RICE's ability to satisfy applicable legal criteria for accepting and disbursing funds, and entering into agreements. Sufficient documentation may be provided in the form of: Evidence of a current grant, cooperative agreement, or contract in good standing with the Federal government; or evidence of fiscal agreements, standard operating procedures for financial activities, and proof of an audit process.

(3) Document the RICE's measures for addressing issues of accountability and liability. For this criterion, accountability and liability refer to the RICE's governance and management activities. Sufficient documentation may be provided in the form of a conflict of interest policy for the Governing Board or governing body, which clearly states that a member of the governing board will declare any conflict of interest he or she may have and will recuse him or herself from associated funding decisions that may result in the Board member or a direct family member benefiting financially, and a policy statement in the RICE's by-laws that addresses liability issues.

(4) Describe the process the RICE uses to set priorities for distributing funds (e.g., requirement for Governing Board or governing body approval when responding to funding opportunities or adjusting to funding level changes in existing agreements); and

(5) Document the by-laws, signed articles of agreement, or any binding agreements that demonstrate how the RICE establishes and maintains a Governing Board or governing body. The documentation shall demonstrate:

(i) How the composition of the Governing Board or governing body is selected and how it is representative of regional ocean observing interests. NOAA defines “representative” in this specific context to include geographic, sector, expertise, and stakeholder considerations.

(ii) How and with what frequency the RICE solicits and receives advice on RICE participant diversity, stakeholder coordination, and engagement strategies, to ensure the provision of data and information that satisfy the needs of user groups.

(iii) How the RICE collects and assesses user feedback to gauge the effectiveness of the regional system and subsystems in satisfying user needs, and how the RICE responds to this user feedback in setting its priorities. Sufficient documentation may be provided in the form of a description of the method the RICE uses in its annual planning process to assess priorities among the identified user needs in the region and to respond to those user needs, and

(iv) Steps the RICE takes to ensure decisions on priorities and overall regional system design are transparent and available. At a minimum, RICE priorities and regional system design decisions shall be made accessible for public viewing on the RICE's Web site.

Need assistance?