THE HONORABLE MARK A. FORMAN
ADMINISTRATOR, OFFICE OF ELECTRONIC GOVERNMENT AND
AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM
SUBCOMMITTEE ON TECHNOLOGY, INFORMATION POLICY, INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS,
AND THE CENSUS
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 10, 2003
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee,
Thank you for the opportunity to appear before the Subcommittee
to discuss efforts by the Federal government to consolidate and improve
utilization of geospatial information. Because geospatial data is so critical
to the business of government, I welcome the opportunity to inform you
of the Administrations efforts on this very important issue.
Administrations Electronic Government Strategy
Delivering better results for the citizen is at the heart
of the Administrations Electronic Government vision. As I have
previously testified before this committee, Expanding Electronic Government,
or E-Government, is one of the five key elements of the
Presidents Management Agenda. This effort is designed to make better
use of information technology (IT) investments to eliminate billions of
dollars of wasteful federal spending, reduce governments paperwork
burden on citizens and businesses, and improve government responsiveness
The Presidents 24 E-Government initiatives fall
into four citizen centered groups: Government to Government (G2G), Government
to Business (G2B), Government to Citizen (G2C), and Internal Effectiveness
and Efficiency (IEE). The G2G segment is focused on making it easier for
states and localities to meet reporting requirements, while promoting
better performance in integrated service delivery. During early stages
of developing our E-Government strategy we set up focus groups with state
and local officials. Repeatedly, state and local representatives told
us that geospatial information supported their most critical functions.
However, we were told that finding and obtaining Federal
geospatial data was overly burdensome. State and local GIS users could
spend months doing Internet searches at Federal web sites, making phone
calls, and writing letters to Federal agencies in search of essential
geospatial data. Ironically, the data they desperately need is often necessary
to deliver a Federal service or comply with a Federal regulation.
Our discussions led to the selection of the Geospatial
One-Stop as one of the Presidents 24 E-Government initiatives.
Because of its importance to state and local governments the Geospatial
One-Stop is one of the five G2G initiatives, and it is our focal point
for Federal geospatial consolidation efforts.
Consolidation of Geospatial Assets
Indeed, nearly every government program uses geospatial
technology in some capacity. However not every program needs to buy its
own data and build its own systems. In fact, strategic coordination and
Internet technologies enable organizations to share and leverage these
investments across agencies, and even across levels of government.
Redundancies trigger multiple problems and opportunities.
Obviously, efforts to consolidate and rationalize assets
across organizations will require significant coordination, planning,
and leadership. A governance model and set of guiding principles is described
in the recently revised OMB Circular A-16 Coordination of Geographic
Information and Related Spatial Data Activities. This Circular
describes the effective and economical use and management of geospatial
data assets in the digital environment for the benefit of the government
and the nation. In addition, OMB and the CIO Council will use the Federal
Enterprise Architecture to implement and enforce these principles.
Clearly, from a resource perspective we cannot afford to buy the same
data set over and over again. We have significant opportunities to buy
data once, and use it many times instead of buying the same data over
Redundant data sets and geospatial tools also result in confusion and
excess spending by our partners. State and local governments do not
have time or resources needed to integrate disparate data sets, answer
multiple geospatial surveys and follow the various geospatial related
programs. By consolidating around the Geospatial One-Stop we have an
opportunity to fuse data from multiple organizations and streamline
the various geospatial programs.
Finally, overlapping and disparate geospatial assets restrict multi-agency
or multi-jurisdiction collaboration, which is critical for homeland
The strategic management of geospatial assets will be
accomplished through a robust and mature Enterprise Architecture. An EA
describes the organizations business processes, data, technology
and how it performs its work. By aligning organizations, business processes,
information flows, and technology, EA tools are used to build a blueprint
for improving efficiency and effectiveness. OMB operates the Federal Enterprise
Architecture Program Management Office, created last year, to work with
Federal agencies in developing a government-wide EA.
OMB has nearly completed work on the first versions of
the Data and Information Reference Model (DRM). The DRM will provide a
consistent framework to characterize and describe the data that supports
Federal business lines. This will promote interoperability, as well as
the horizontal and vertical sharing of information. Geospatial information
has been targeted as one of the first data sets to be modeled.
Also, consistent with the FEA and new security guidelines,
as we prepare to launch the Geospatial One Stop, we will ensure that appropriate
access controls have been identified and implemented to safeguard the
aggregation of geospatial data.
Conclusion and Next Steps
I know that Mr. Cameron will go into much greater detail
about the Geospatial One-Stop project. I wanted to provide you with the
framework we are using to manage and coordinate geospatial assets across
the Federal enterprise. Finally, I would like to leave you with some of
the performance targets we will hit this year as a result of these coordinated
efforts. In the next year we will:
Launch the geospatial one-stop portal with an initial 1,000 data sets
and increase the amount of information on the portal by twenty percent
each month thereafter.
Have ten Federal partners who will provide resources to help run the
Develop ten geospatial data cost sharing partnerships between Federal,
state or local governments.
Disseminate 5000 data sets via the Geospatial One Stop during the first
quarter of operation, and increase data sharing by 10% each month thereafter.
Develop and deploy standards for twelve critical geospatial data layers.