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National Science and Technology Council
Presidential Decision Directives & Review Directives

Summary of National Science and Technology Council (NSTC)Presidential Review Directive (PRDs) and Presidential Decision Directives (PDDs)

(as of May 1, 1998)


  1. Federal Laboratories, dated 5/5/94--Interagency review of the Department of Defense (DoD) the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)--the three largest laboratory systems--to evaluate and develop recommendations for ways to improve their efficiency and effectiveness. The NSTC's review provides guidance, building upon and integrating the individual agency reviews. Completion of review led to PDD-5.
  2. Space Policy dated, 5/15/95--Comprehensive review of national space policy identifying and recommending changes and ensuring written policies reflect the Administration's civilian, national security, and commercial space programs and policies. Identifies and recommends changes to related national security directives containing guidance on space policies and programs. Completion of review led to PDD-8.
  3. Global Positioning System (GPS) Policy Review, dated 5/18/95--Review of GPS policy issues and recommendations on national policy on the future management and use of GPS. Considers national security, economic policy and foreign policy issues. Completion of review led to PDD-6.
  4. Review of the University-Government Partnership, dated 9/26/96--A Government-wide policy and administration review of the U.S. university research system. The NSTC will form a task force to conduct the review to determine what might be the major stresses in the areas of research, education, and administrative regulations, and determine what the Federal Government's role should be in addressing any issues raised by this examination. Due 6/30/97.  For the latest progress on this initiative, please click here
  5. Review of the Development of Interagency Plans to Address Health Preparedness for and Readjustment of Veterans and Their Families After Future Deployments, dated 4/21/97--Responds to recommendation from the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses for the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) to develop an interagency plan to address health preparedness for and readjustment of veterans and their families after future conflicts and peacekeeping missions. Preliminary report due 4/21/98. Final report expected no sooner than 10/31/98.


  1. Establishment of Presidential Review and Decision Series/NSTC, dated 1/25/94.
  2. Convergence of U.S. Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite Systems, dated 5/5/94--Integrates the Department of Commerce (DOC) and DoD polar-orbiting environmental satellite systems to reduce the cost of acquisition and operation. Directs DoD, NASA and DOC to: create an Integrated Program Office no later than 10/1/94 and form a convergence Executive Committee to ensure that both civil and national security requirements are satisfied; coordinate program plans, budgets and policies; and ensure that agency funding commitments are equitable and sustained.
  3. Landsat Remote Sensing Strategy, dated 5/5/94--Provides for continuation of the Landsat 7 program, assuring continuity and quality of Landsat-type data and reducing the risk of a data gap.
  4. National Space Transportation Policy, dated 8/5/94--Establishes national policy, guidelines, and implementing actions for the conduct of national space transportation programs that will sustain and revitalize U.S. space transportation capabilities. Recognizes criticality of space program for achieving national security, scientific, technical, commercial and foreign policy goals. Assures that reliable and affordable access to space through U.S. space transportation capabilities is a fundamental goal of the U.S. space program. Makes DoD the lead agency responsible for improvement and evolution of current Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV) fleet. Makes NASA responsible for improving the space shuttle system, focusing on reliability, safety, and cost-effectiveness. Assigns the Department of Transportation (DOT) and DOC responsibility for private sector and State/local government arrangements. Directs NASA and DoD to develop a Memorandum of Agreement to consolidate future expendable launch service requirements.
  5. Guidelines for Federal Laboratory Reform, dated 9/24/95--Response to NSTC PRD 1. Review of DoD, DOE, and NASA, concluding that these laboratories provide essential services to the Nation in fundamental science, national security, environmental protection and cleanup, and industrial competitiveness. States that all three DOE nuclear weapons labs are essential. Directs DOE to maintain nuclear weapons responsibilities and capabilities adequate to support the science-based stockpile stewardship program required to ensure continued confidence in the safety and reliability of the nuclear-weapons stockpile in the absence of nuclear testing. Directs Federal agencies to: 1) review and, as appropriate, rescind internal management instructions and oversight that impede laboratory performance; 2) clarify and focus the mission assignments of their laboratories; and 3) achieve all possible budget savings through streamlining and management improvements before productive R&D programs are sacrificed.
  6. U.S. Global Positioning System Policy, dated 3/28/95--Response to NSTC PRD 3. Establishes national policy for the management and use of the U.S. GPS and related U.S. Government augmentations. The policy presents a strategic vision for the future management and use of GPS, addressing a broad range of military, civil, commercial and scientific interests, both national and international.
  7. Emerging Infectious Diseases, dated 6/12/96--Establishes national policy and implementing actions to address the threat of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases by improving surveillance, prevention, and response measures. A Task Force under the auspices of the NSTC will provide strategic planning and further coordination on issues of emerging infectious diseases. The task force will provide the President with annual reports on the progress realized, including recommendations for further action.
  8. National Space Policy, dated 9/19/96--Response to NSTC PRD 2. Updates the national space policy to be consistent with the Administration's civilian, national security, and commercial space programs and policies.

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