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National Marine Fisheries Service Budget Structure and Allocation Review

Sep 21, 2020

Study Overview


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), is responsible for the management, conservation and protection of living marine resources within the United States’ Exclusive Economic Zone (waters three to 200 miles offshore). NMFS assesses and predicts the status of fish stocks, ensures compliance with fisheries regulations, works to reduce wasteful fishing practices, and recovers protected marine species without unnecessarily impeding economic and recreational opportunities. Research/science operations and regulatory/policy activities, conducted principally within the six science centers and their laboratories and field stations along with five regional offices, allow Fisheries to work with communities on fishery management issues.

Fisheries manages its mission portfolio through a decentralized network of Funds Management Centers (FMCs) including 11 Regional Offices and Science Centers; 5 Headquarters offices, and operations support offices. Fisheries Headquarters provides general guidance and support and is the principal liaison with NOAA. FMC’s are responsible for day-to-day funds execution in support of their missions.

Project Description

NOAA’s NMFS has contracted with the National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) to:

  • review NOAA Fisheries’ Strategic Resource Management process;
  • outline cost drivers and the budget environment with a specific focus on fish surveys;
  • review the appropriated Program, Project, and Activity architecture;
  • review the budget planning and allocation processes and how they meet Regional priorities;
  • benchmark NOAA Fisheries’ budget structure and allocation process against other similar federal entities; and
  • evaluate the budget process and structure for use by Congress, NOAA Fisheries, and constituents.