997.23 Strategic operational plan.§ 997.23 Strategic operational plan.
(a)(1) To become certified, a RICE must:
(i) Develop and operate under a strategic operational plan that will ensure the efficient and effective administration of programs and assets to support daily data observations for integration into the System, pursuant to the standards approved by the Council; and
(ii) Work cooperatively with governmental and non-governmental entities to identify and provide information products of the System for multiple users within the service area of the regional information coordination entities.
(2) The application must contain a Strategic Operational Plan, which is a high-level document that outlines how a RICE manages and operates an integrated regional observing system. This Plan should evolve as a RICE matures, new technologies become available, regional priorities change, and new users and stakeholders are identified. The Plan may be responsive to changing funding levels, and shall contain sections that each address the requirements in paragraphs (b) through (g) of this section, referencing other plans directly when applicable.
(b) Background and Context. The Strategic Operational Plan shall contain a Background and Context section that describes:
(1) The role of the RICE in furthering the development of the regional component of the System;
(2) The process by which the RICE updates the Strategic Operational Plan at least once every five years and how the RICE seeks inputs from the broader user community; and
(3) The RICE's primary partners and any contributing observing systems. For the purposes of § 997.23, NOAA defines a primary partner as any organization or individual that contributes significant staff time, funding or other resources to project activities. This is not an exhaustive list of all RICE partners but the primary partners the RICE is working with on a given project.
(c) Goals and Objectives. The Strategic Operational Plan shall contain a Goals and Objective section that describe:
(1) How the RICE addresses marine operations; coastal hazards; ecosystems, fisheries and water quality; and climate variability and change; and
(2) The major objectives that guide the RICE's priorities for data collection and management, development of products and services, research and development, and education and outreach.
(d) Operational Plan for the Observing System. The Strategic Operational Plan shall include or reference an Operational Plan for the Observing System that:
(1) Describes the desired outcomes of the observing system;
(2) Describes the elements of the operational integrated observing system that will deliver those outcomes;
(3) Documents to NOAA's satisfaction that the individual(s) responsible for RICE operations has the necessary qualifications and possesses relevant professional education and work experience to deliver observations successfully. At a minimum the Strategic Operational Plan shall:
(i) Identify the individual(s) responsible for overall RICE management;
(ii) Identify, as applicable, the individual(s) responsible for observations system management across the region;
(iii) Provide the curriculum vitae for each identified individual; and
(iv) Identify the procedures used to evaluate the capability of the individual(s) identified in § 997.23(d)(3) to conduct the assigned duties responsibly; and
(4) Describes how the RICE manages ongoing regional system operations and maintenance. At a minimum the Strategic Operational Plan shall:
(i) Describe the RICE's standard operating procedures for calibrating, validating, operating, and maintaining equipment owned and/or operated by the RICE regularly and in accordance with manufacturer guidance or industry best practice. Equipment is defined in § 997.1; and
(ii) Describe the RICE's standard operating procedures for maintaining equipment inventories, shipping logs and instrument history logs for equipment owned and/or operated by the RICE.
(e) Development of a Strategy to Sustain and Enhance the System. The Strategic Operational Plan shall describe its strategy for balancing changes in regional priorities with the need to maintain established data sets, the primary value of which may be in their long-term records. At a minimum the description shall:
(1) Identify the guiding principles that inform the strategy;
(2) Reference and show connections to a long-term (five-to-ten-year) regional Build-out Plan for the full implementation of the regional observing system based on the RICE's priorities and identified user needs; and
(3) Relate the annual planning process the RICE uses to review its priorities in light of funding levels and its plans for system enhancement as outlined in the regional Build-out Plan.
(f) Data Management and Communications (DMAC) Plan. The Strategic Operational Plan shall include or reference a DMAC Plan that:
(1) Documents to NOAA's satisfaction that the individual(s) responsible for management of data operations for the RICE has the necessary technical skills, and possesses relevant professional education and work experience to support DMAC capabilities and functionality for the System. At a minimum the DMAC Plan shall:
(i) Identify the individual(s) responsible for the coordination and management of observation data across the region;
(ii) Provide the curriculum vitae for the identified individual(s); and
(iii) Identify the procedures used to evaluate the capability of the individual(s) identified in § 997.23(f)(1) to conduct the assigned duties responsibly.
(2) Describes how data are ingested, managed and distributed, including a description of the flow of data through the RICE data assembly center from the source to the public dissemination/access mechanism. The description shall include any transformations or modifications of data along the data flow pathway including, but not limited to, format translations or aggregations of component data streams into an integrated product.
(3) Describes the data quality control procedures that have been applied to data, not obtained through a federal data source, that are distributed by the RICE. All data shall be quality controlled and QARTOD procedures shall be employed for data with QARTOD manuals. For each data stream, describe the quality control procedure applied to the data, by the RICE or other named entity, between the data's collection and publication by the RICE. The description will also include a reference to the procedure used.
(4) Adheres to the NOAA Data Sharing Procedural Directive. 1 The System is an operational system; therefore the RICE should strive to provide as much data as possible, in real-time or near real-time, to support the operation of the System. When data are collected in part or in whole with funds distributed to a RICE through the U.S. IOOS Program Office, the RICE should strive to make the data available as soon as logistically feasible for each data stream. When data are not collected with funds distributed to a RICE through the U.S. IOOS Program Office, the data may be made available in accordance with any agreement made with the data provider.
1 NOAA Data Sharing Policy for Grants and Cooperative Agreements Procedural Directive, Version 2.0 https://www.nosc.noaa.gov/EDMC/documents/EDMC_PD-DSPNG_final_v2.pdf.
(5) Describes how the RICE will implement data management protocols promulgated by the IOOC and the U.S. IOOS Program Office in a reasonable and timely manner as defined for each protocol; and
(6) Documents the RICE's data archiving process or describes how the RICE intends to archive data at a national archive center (e.g., NODC, NGDC, NCDC) in a manner that follows guidelines outlined by that center. Documentation shall be in the form of a Submission Agreement, Submission Information Form (SIF) or other, similar data producer-archive agreement.
(g) Budget Plan. The Strategic Operational Plan shall include or reference a Budget Plan that:
(1) Identifies who supports the RICE financially;
(2) Identifies how RICE priorities guide funding decisions; and
(3) Assesses funding constraints and the associated risks to the observing System that the RICE must address for the future.