NOAA 2004-083
Contact: Kent Laborde

NOAA News Releases 2004
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) today announced plans to re-compete its $500 million Technical Services Contract, which is ending and will be up for bid. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The proposed contract is projected as a $500 million, ten-year performance based contract. It will provide life cycle support for NOAA’s Marine Observation Network and its Data Assembly Center. Contract functions will include operation, maintenance and repair of buoy and land based environmental data collection networks; operation of the NDBC facilities; testing of existing and new buoy systems; data processing and transmissions; logistics support; quality assurance and safety; configuration and scientific support for new technology, development and test programs.

"This contract will provide the critical infrastructure support and expand the capability NOAA will need to meet the challenges of establishing an Integrated Ocean Observing System and incorporating it into the larger Global Earth Observation System of Systems," said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.

Located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast at John C. Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, NDBC is comprised of a combination of NOAA civil service employees, U.S. Coast Guard personnel and a service contractor. Working as an integrated team, NDBC manages the development, operation and maintenance of the Marine Observation Network (MON). This team serves as NOAA’s focal point for data buoy and associated meteorological and environmental monitoring.

The MON is an integrated, sustained ocean observation and information delivery system that serves U.S. coastal waters, as well as the offshore waters of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes. The MON is part of NOAA’s national backbone for marine observations. The system consists of headland and moored buoy data acquisition platforms, real-time processing and information quality control, and product delivery systems. The delivery system components include; moored buoys, Coastal Marine Automated Network sites, voluntary observing ships, and oceanographic drifting buoys and subsurface oceanographic “floats.”

NDBC requires technical services to provide uninterrupted delivery of high quality, real-time environmental data to the operational elements of NOAA and the National Weather Service (NWS) for weather and ocean forecasts and warnings and climate variability indications and assessments. The technical services contractor is expected to provide engineering, operational, logistical, and information technology support to operate and maintain the MON.

This will be an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with a $500,000,000 ceiling that includes a 5-year base contract and 5-year award term. The minimum guarantee for this IDIQ is $250,000 over the life of the contract. NDBC’s existing requirement is approximately $10 million per year. However, as the nation concentrates on improving the quality and understanding of the global ocean, NOAA is positioning itself to increase and improve their present ocean observation capability. Based on national dialogue, NDBC predicts a three-fold increase in its capability requirements in the next 10 years.

This procurement will be advertised on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site: Prior to release of an official solicitation, NDBC will issue a draft Request for Proposal (RFP) and host an Industry Day. The draft RFP was issued on August 31, 2004. The Industry Day will be held at Stennis Space Center on September 15, 2004. Specific details are provided on the website listed above, as well as procedures to register to receive notifications and information regarding Industry Day. This acquisition will be unrestricted and is open to all firms.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

On the Web: