of efficiency, effectiveness, and inclusiveness with respect to the NoN enterprise and its operations. We asked these questions:

  • What degree of centralization is needed to achieve a balance?

  • Is a standing committee and consensus building enough?

  • Can a federal agency afford or be permitted to interact responsively and effectively with such a large dynamic range of public and private providers and users (most of whom have applications unrelated to the mission of the federal agency)?

  • Can or should a for-profit corporation provide the essential facilities and services for critical national-scale “public good” needs?

  • Given the mixed history of federal agency collaboration, is it likely a comprehensive confederation could be assembled and function in the absence of centralized budget authority?

  • How many agencies and other organizations is it practical to confederate for the purpose of leading and providing essential core services of the NoN?

On the basis of information previously presented in this report concerning (1) the current breadth of investment in the mesoscale observations enterprise, (2) the changes required to markedly increase the utility of existing observations, and (3) the establishment of pathways toward improved observing capabilities through diversity of investment, the Committee has reached the following judgments about which organizational options should be dismissed and which are worthy of due consideration.

Organization Options Dismissed

Lead Federal Agency

A single federal agency has a congressionally authorized mission that is quite narrow with respect to the mesoscale observations enterprise. To obtain authorization to perform the work of a centralized authority for the NoN would be controversial at best, peripheral to core programs of the agency, and possibly prohibited by statute, and it presents difficulties with respect to the transfer of funds and other resources among many types of public and private organizations.

Multi-level Government Confederation, Government-Industry Confederation

Confederation at multiple levels of government is judged to be impractical to implement, involving hundreds if not thousands of provider-users

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