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Summer 2006
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Geospatial Line of Business Initiated

OMB Requests New GIOs

Organizations are increasingly realizing the importance of having top-level managers who are dedicated to the enterprise-wide management of spatial data and the applications it supports. The federal government has played an important role in this trend with agencies like the United States Geological Survey (USGS) appointing Karen Siderelis as the first officially designated geographic information officer (GIO) in November 2000. (Siderelis is currently the USGS associate director for Geospatial Information.)

Since then, the government has continued to increase its focus on geospatial activities. On March 3, 2006, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum (www.whitehouse.gov/omb/memoranda/fy2006/m06-07.pdf) requesting member agencies of the President's Management Council designate a senior-level official who has agency-wide responsibility, accountability, and authority for geospatial information issues. The official's duties will include overseeing, coordinating, and facilitating the implementation of geospatial-related requirements, policies, and activities and these individuals will also serve as the agency Steering Committee representatives on the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC). OMB also recently initiated a government-wide analysis of three new Lines of Business (LoB) of which Geospatial is one.

The Geospatial LoB will result in a more coordinated approach to producing, maintaining, and using geospatial data and will ensure sustainable participation from federal partners to establish a collaborative model for geospatial-related activities and investments. Ivan DeLoatch, staff director of FGDC, is serving as the managing partner on behalf of the Department of the Interior, and Stacie Boyd is serving as the OMB lead and portfolio manager. Collectively, they are working with representatives from 26 agencies on the Geospatial LoB Task Force to develop the common solutions, target architecture, and joint business case to support this LoB.

"I truly believe we have an opportunity to transform the necessary processes of government and implement new ideas that will have positive impacts on the entire geospatial community for years to come as we continue to pursue the vision of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure," says DeLoatch.

Federal agencies and their data-sharing partners believe that opportunities for increasing internal effectiveness and efficiency can be achieved while optimizing and creating new uses of geospatial resources for the nation and its citizens. This can be achieved by architecting and investing in geospatial information and services in a well governed, coordinated, and purposeful way.

OMB announced that during the 2007 fiscal year, the interagency task forces for each new LoB will analyze the current state, identify common solutions and target architectures, and develop the business cases that will be included in the fiscal year 2008 budget review. The Geospatial LoB, IT Infrastructure Optimization, and Budget Formulation and Execution will be joining the six existing LoBs.

More Information

For more information, contact John Steffenson, Esri (e-mail: jsteffenson@esri.com).

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