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Federal Civil Agency Responsibilities

With regard to civil remote sensing space capabilities, the Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in consultation with other United States Government agencies, and with industry, as appropriate, shall:

  • Determine which civil needs can be met by commercial remote sensing space capabilities; and
  • Communicate current and projected needs to the commercial remote sensing space industry.

United States Government civil agencies acting individually, or when beneficial, together, shall:

  • Competitively outsource functions to enable the United States Government to rely to the maximum practical extent on commercial remote sensing space capabilities for filling civil imagery and geospatial needs; 
    Acquire and operate United States Government systems that collect data only when such data (1) are not offered and will not be made available by US commercial remote sensing space systems; or (2) require collection, production, and/or dissemination by the United States Government due to unique scientific or technological considerations or other mission requirements; and
  • Coordinate with NIMA procurement of all US commercial remote sensing data and products that are restricted to United States Government or United States Government-approved users pursuant to NOAA license conditions due to US national security or foreign policy concerns.

Agencies shall allocate the resources required to implement these objectives within the overall policy and resource guidance of the President and available appropriations. Civil agencies may acquire commercial remote sensing space products and services directly, through cooperative arrangements with other civil agencies, or through NIMA. When procuring through another agency, civil agencies will reimburse the procuring agency, consistent with the Economy Act.