Wisconsin Geospatial News

Federal Government seeks geospatial efficiencies

In an attempt to make federal agencies operate more efficiently, the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the past several years has been analyzing business functions common to most agencies.  OMB task forces have developed business cases for the standardization and consolidation of common services and processes. OMB believes these “Line of Business” efforts can improve performance and deliver substantial savings.

On March 16, 2006 OMB officially began three new “Lines of Business” (LOB) investigations. One of the three LOBs relates to geospatial technology and information. The goal of the Geospatial LOB process is to collect information related to federal data collection and capabilities. OMB believes the Geospatial LOB analysis, and changes in current practices, will result in a more coordinated approach to producing, maintaining, and using geospatial data, and ensure lasting participation from federal partners. Currently, OMB says cross agency coordination is lacking, but is needed to help eliminate redundant activities.

The Federal Geographic Data Committee was assigned the Geospatial LOB management responsibilities. OMB’s schedule calls for each LOB analysis to have draft recommendation documents completed by this August. The first Geospatial LOB activity was OMB’s request for information (RFI) to industry, governments, academia and non-profit organizations to suggest and describe solutions and implementation approaches that would help the federal government achieve its geospatial vision, goals, and objectives. The ultimate goal is to better serve agency needs and citizens through existing E-Government frameworks. May 5, 2006 was the closure date for responses to the Geospatial RFI.

RFI responses prepared by the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) and Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) may be viewed on their respective websites, www.nsgic.org and www.urisa.org.

The future impact this will have on Wisconsin, if any, remains to be seen.