Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05) late yesterday reintroduced a bill to eliminate duplication and improve federal mapping and geospatial activities. Lamborn is chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, which has oversight of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
The Map It Once, Use It Many Times Act, H.R. 1604, would reorganize and consolidate federal mapping and geospatial activities.
"This legislation takes on even greater importance and relevancy in light of last week's report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on numerous federal activities that are prone to duplications. According to the report, "a total of 31 federal departments and agencies invest an estimated billions of dollars to collect, maintain, and use geospatial information-- information linked to specific geographic locations that supports many government functions'.
"This legislation will save money, make government more efficient, and eliminate not only government agency duplication of one another, but government duplication of and competition with private enterprise. Use of the private sector for geospatial data, technology and services is important to national economic growth and job creation, and is of particular interest to Colorado given the significant concentration of firms doing this work in our state." -- Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
Rep. Lamborn introduced the Map It Once, Use It Many Times Act in the 112th Congress and held a hearing on the bill in May 2012. The bill introduced yesterday includes revisions recommended by the Department of the Interior and several private sector stakeholders. GAO also issued a comprehensive report specific to geospatial activities in November 2012 that found federal agencies have "not yet planned or implemented an approach to manage geospatial data as related groups of investments to allow agencies to more effectively plan geospatial data collection efforts and minimize duplicative investments (F)urther, none of the three federal departments in GAO's review have fully implemented important activities for coordinating geospatial data, such as preparing and implementing a strategy for advancing geospatial activities within their respective departments."