October 31, 2013
Dear Dr. Sullivan:
The Committee on Natural Resources ("Committee") is conducting oversight of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's ("NOAA") preparation for and activities during the recent lapse in appropriations, including the process used for determining which employees were exempt from furlough, the availability of fishery management cost recovery programs to continue certain operations, and the activities of senior NOAA staff during the shutdown.
One issue of particular concern was the failure to properly plan for and consider funding alternatives that would have allowed the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands ("BSAI") crab fisheries to open on time. The National Marine Fisheries Service ("NMFS") employees responsible for issuing the individual quotas for the fisheries were deemed non-essential and, therefore, were unavailable to process the quotas before the start of the season.
Read the entire letter HERE.