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e-CFR data is current as of January 15, 2021

Title 15Subtitle BChapter IXSubchapter GPart 997Subpart C → §997.26


Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade
PART 997—REGIONAL INFORMATION COORDINATION ENTITIES
Subpart C—Certification and Application Requirements for a RICE


§997.26   Civil liability.

(a) For purposes of determining liability arising from the dissemination and use of observation data gathered pursuant to the ICOOS Act and these regulations, any non-Federal asset or regional information coordination entity incorporated into the System by contract, lease, grant, or cooperative agreement that is participating in the System shall be considered to be part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Any employee of such a non-Federal asset or regional information coordination entity, while operating within the scope of his or her employment in carrying out the purposes of this subtitle, with respect to tort liability, is deemed to be an employee of the Federal Government.

(b) The ICOOS Act's grant of civil liability protection (and thus the RICE's limited status as part of NOAA) applies only to a RICE that:

(1) Is participating in the System, meaning the RICE has been certified by NOAA in accordance with the ICOOS Act and these regulations; and

(2) Has been integrated into the System by memorandum of agreement with NOAA.

(c) An “employee” of a regional information coordination entity is an individual who satisfies all of the following requirements:

(1) The individual is employed or contracted by a certified RICE that has been integrated into the System by memorandum of agreement with NOAA, and that is participating in the System, as defined in §997.26(b);

(2) The individual is identified by the RICE, as required in §997.23(d)(3) and (f)(1)(i), as one of the individuals responsible for the collection, management, or dissemination of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes observation data; and

(3) The individual is responsive to federal government control.

(d) The protection afforded to employees of a RICE with regard to liability applies only to specific individuals employed or contracted by a RICE who meet the requirements of §997.26(c) and who are responsible for the collection, management, or dissemination of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes observation data. The RICE must identify to NOAA's satisfaction: The individual(s) responsible for overall system management, as applicable, the individual(s) responsible for observations system management across the region, and the individual(s) responsible for management of data operations across the region. In accepting certification, the RICE will concede to NOAA the power to ensure these individuals comply with the requirements of this rule in their daily operations and that they are responsive to NOAA through the agreement the RICE has with NOAA.

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