The Secretary of Commerce is authorized to (a) appoint employees for the conduct of meteorological investigations in the Arctic region without regard to the civil service laws and fix their compensation without regard to chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, and sections 5542, 5543, 5545, and 5546 of title 5, at base rates not to exceed the maximum scheduled rate for GS-12, and (b) grant extra compensation to employees of other Government agencies for taking and transmitting meteorological observations without regard to section 5533 of title 5.