Latest CRS Report: More Work on Geospatial Data Management Needed

The report by Peter Folger, Congressional Research Service Specialist in Energy and Natural Resources Policy, is titled Issues and Challenges for Federal Geospatial Information and dated April 27, 2012. (full report in PDF, via FAS since these reports are not automagically public...see APB coverage)

I found the takeaway, with help from HST (cited below), to be:

In 2004, GAO acknowledged that the federal government, through the FGDC and Geospatial One-Stop project, had taken actions to coordinate the government’s geospatial investments, but that those efforts had not been fully successful in eliminating redundancies among agencies. As a result, federal agencies were acquiring and maintaining potentially duplicative data sets and systems.

Since then it is not clear whether federal agencies are successfully coordinating among themselves and measurably eliminating unnecessary duplication of effort.

Were Congress to take a more active oversight role overseeing the federal geospatial enterprise it could evaluate whether specific recommendations from nonfederal stakeholders have been addressed. For example, the National Geospatial Advisory Committee recommended that OMB and FGDC strengthen their enforcement of Circular A-16 and Executive Order 12906.

However, enforcement alone may not be sufficient to meet the current challenges of management, coordination and data sharing. The issuance of supplemental guidance to Circular A-16 by OMB in November 2010 may instigate new activity among and between agencies, which could spill over into better coordination with the state and local governments and the private sector. It will likely take some time, and several budget cycles, to track whether agencies are adhering to the ‘portfolio-centric model’ of geospatial data management outlined in the supplemental guidance. It may also take time to evaluate whether the ‘portfolio-centric model’ is the best available model for managing the federal geospatial assets.

- Homeland Security Today via @jeffharrison

Published Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Written by Adena Schutzberg

Published in


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