NAO 217-100: Exhibits

Issued 02/14/92; Effective 02/05/92 Reviewed Last: 09/2012 Pending Revisions




This Order establishes a coordinated approach to the approval, design, production, and management of exhibits originating within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It also defines responsibilities of the Printing and Visual Arts Branch of the Office of Administration (OA), the Office of Public Affairs (PA), and the requester.


01. Exhibits. Any designed, three-dimensional structure which contains display material for the purpose of disseminating specific information on NOAA Programs to the general public. In order to differentiate between exhibits and other related graphic products, the aforementioned definition for the term "Exhibit" applies.

02. Exclusion. This definition excludes the design or production of any other graphic material unless it is directly related to, and necessary for, the total effect and success of a primary exhibit project. The planning, design, or the modification of any interior office, hallway, or conference area shall also be excluded from this definition, unless there is a relationship to the primary exhibit project.


.01 The Office of Administration shall:

  • through its Printing and Visual Arts Branch, serve as the primary focal point for the management of all exhibit matters;
  • maintain the quality of design and the accurate representation of material submitted by the requester;
  • provide ongoing technical expertise for design and production of each exhibit and shall coordinate with the requester to ensure successful completion of the project;
  • coordinate contracting to non-government firms, when applicable, and advise requester of any estimate or cost which might be charged to them;
  • only under extraordinary circumstances, be instrumental in handling exhibits outside the Washington Metropolitan Area of the District of Columbia; (See Section 4. of this Order.)
  • arrange for shipping and receiving of exhibit material on a local basis;
  • store existing structures and related materials, where practical, and maintain a working inventory; and
  • arrange necessary meetings to include the requester and when appropriate, a representative from PA for final review of the exhibit project in terms of accuracy of content and general suitability for display.

.02 The requester shall:

  • communicate with show managers to arrange for and reserve exhibit space and advise OA of such scheduling to ensure proper coordination of each exhibit project;
  • review all preliminary material with PA for approval and clearances; (This applies to visual and written information disseminated to the general public or special audiences.)
  • submit a completed NOAA Form 50-5, Visual Services Request, before any design, excluding preliminary sketches, or production commences; (The NOAA Form 50-5 must be accompanied with all necessary preliminary text, photographs, and other source material needed to successfully complete the project.)
  • assign a knowledgeable technical representative who shall be available to provide accurate and clearly understood information concerning the project during the period of design and construction; and
  • contact OA when any change or alteration in an exhibit is required, whether in the design stage or in actual construction.

.03 The Office of Public Affairs shall be responsible for the editorial policy and approval of visual and written information for exhibits.


Exhibits Produced Outside the Metropolitan Area of the District of Columbia.

  • Due to priorities, logistics, limitations of staff, and travel restrictions, it shall not always be practical for OA to honor all requests from field offices for the design or production of exhibits. It may be necessary for such requests to be contracted locally.
  • When a field office contracts its requirements to an exhibits firm within their local area, the submission of NOAA Form 50-5, Visual Services Request, to OA shall be necessary. This is primarily for the purpose of keeping OA informed of exhibit activities in the field and thereby allowing OA to maintain an inventory of exhibits and related material.
  • As a project is completed, it is requested that a field office inform OA and provide them with a photograph of the finished project.
  • A NOAA field office originating an exhibit to be displayed for viewing by the general public must also secure editorial policy and review approval of the written and visual information by the NOAA Office of Public Affairs. This action may be directed to the Public Affairs Office in the local region.


This Order amends NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 217-100, Exhibits, dated October 9, 1990, in order to include the attachment.


Director, Office of Administration


Office of Primary Interest:
Office of Administration
Procurement, Grants and Administrative Services Office
Facilities Management Division
Building Management Branch (OA342)