(a) In generalIn carrying out the responsibilities of the Department of Commerce under this chapter, the Secretary may—
enter into agreements, including contracts, grants and cooperative agreements, and other transactions as may be necessary and on such terms as the Secretary considers appropriate;
make advance payments under agreements and other transactions authorized under paragraph (1) without regard to section 3324 of title 31;
require a person or other entity to make payments to the Department of Commerce upon application and as a condition for receiving support through an award of assistance or other transaction;
procure temporary and intermittent services of experts and consultants in accordance with section 3109 of title 5;
notwithstanding section 3104 of title 5 or the provisions of any other law relating to the appointment, number, classification, or compensation of employees, make appointments of scientific, engineering, and professional personnel, and fix the basic pay of such personnel at a rate to be determined by the Secretary at rates not in excess of the highest total annual compensation payable at the rate determined under section 104 of title 3, except that the Secretary shall appoint not more than 25 personnel under this paragraph;
with the consent of another Federal agency, enter into an agreement with that Federal agency to use, with or without reimbursement, any service, equipment, personnel, or facility of that Federal agency; and
establish such rules, regulations, and procedures as the Secretary considers appropriate.