Compliance lacking for GIS

General Accounting Office officials say the government's efforts to coordinate geospatial data have fallen short, resulting in potentially duplicative and costly systems.

"A complete and up-to-date strategic plan is not in place to help guide and effectively manage these activities," said Linda Koontz, director of information management issues at GAO. "Federal agencies have not always fully complied with [Office of Management and Budget] direction to coordinate their investments."

Koontz was speaking at a hearing of the House Government Reform Committee's Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census Subcommittee.

Auditors found that many agency's geospatial data holdings fail to comply with established standards or are not published through the clearinghouse, as required by OMB.

GAO's report recommends that OMB improve agency compliance with Circular A-16 by creating criteria for assessing the extent of interagency coordination. It also urges OMB officials to develop a better strategy for coordinating federal geospatial assets.

Representatives from OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and Resource Management and from the Interior Department generally agreed with the report's recommendations. The panel's chairman, Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.), floated the idea of a central geospatial information officer at OMB. But Karen Evans, the agency's administrator of e-government and information technology, said the position was not needed.

Featured

  • Elections
    voting security

    'Unprecedented' challenges to safe, secure 2020 vote

    Our election infrastructure is bending under the stress of multiple crises. Administrators say they are doing all they can to ensure it doesn't break.

  • FCW Perspectives
    zero trust network

    Can government get to zero trust?

    Today's hybrid infrastructures and highly mobile workforces need the protection zero trust security can provide. Too bad there are obstacles at almost every turn.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.