October 11 FGDC Coordination Group Meeting



Action 1 – Alison will post the results of her inquires regarding locating an authoritative set of international boundaries.   [International Boundary Query results]

Action 2 – By Friday, October 13, 2006, please send Ivan the benefits that the LoB will provide your agency.  This information will be included in the OMB annual report on e-gov that is submitted to Congress. 

Action 3 - Ivan will have his Steering Committee presentation to the Coordination Group by Friday so they can prepare to brief their SAOGI.

Action Items from last meeting - Alison Dishman, FGDC 


Discussion:  It is interesting that there is not one place where Feds can find an authoritative set of International Boundaries for use in mapping.  FGDC will look to the Department of State to provide guidance on International Boundaries. 

Comment:  LOC is working to have as many coordinate boundaries in one place as possible, and may consolidate them, although they won’t be considered ‘official’. 

Action 1 – Alison will post the results of her inquires regarding locating an authoritative set of international boundaries.  


2007 CAP Update – Gita Urban Mathieux, FGDC CAP Coordinator 

Information on the upcoming CAP categories, funding amounts and timeline is located at: http://www.fgdc.gov/grants/2007CAP/2007CAPschedule 

DHS is considering funding a 50 States Initiative CAP award.  There has been a lot of progress with the 50 States Initiative and the boiler plate language is very helpful.  Other agencies are welcome to contribute to the CAP as well – if you’d like to do so, please contact Gita (burbanma@usgs.gov). 

Suggestion:  The 50 States grant application should include language about the layers listed in Circular A-16, and nesting the datasets.  We need to link the A-16 to the grants.   

Suggestion:  We could require the States with seaward boundaries to define county boundaries -- high level mark, etc. 

Comment:  EPA is trying to acquire the watershed boundaries and tie them in to national standards.  It requires a lot of work to go backwards to do edge matching and reconcile the data. 

A new category has been added this year entitled Geoenabled Federal Business Statistical Information to help agencies to view their data in a geospatial way.   

Suggestion:  You might not want to limit this new category to Federal – might want to open it up to local governments as well. 

The CAP grants will be open at the beginning of November and will close January 19 in order for the award announcements to be made prior to the March NSGIC conference. 


2006 Annual Report – Roxanne Lamb, USGS 

[Annual Report RFI]

The annual report is required by OMB and is going to be used more extensively than in the past.  The E-gov office has interest in the annual report.  This report serves a variety of audiences and allows us to showcase our work and demonstrate how to use geospatial technology.  It will be a useful tool for us if we develop it appropriately. 

The annual report RFIs were sent out to the designated agency reps on Oct 2 to be returned to Roxanne Lamb (rhlamb@usgs.gov) by Oct 31.  This year we will produce both a hard copy and soft copy version of the report.  The hard copy may have your information transposed to fit the formatting requirements.  The full extent of the information submitted will be available online.  Please be mindful of the graphic specifications – resolution, etc. 


Upcoming Steering Committee Meeting – Ivan DeLoatch, FGDC 
[Geo LoB Presentation]

The Steering Committee meeting will be held on Oct 23 at the AIA Boardroom.

Location information and agenda are available here:

Framework Standards update – INCITS Technical Committee L1 voted to recommend that the standard be forwarded for ANSI public review, subject to resolution of comments submitted with the ballot and a second round of balloting. 

Lynn Scarlett requested a Steering Committee agenda item on geospatial preparedness in the Federal government – 2 or 3 agencies will present.  Poster presentations on hurricane preparedness will be available prior to the meeting; Alison has requested that you mail her your poster by Oct 16.   

The presentations will be available on our website early next week, so that you can brief your Senior Agency Official for Geospatial Information (SAOGI).  Alison will send a broadcast email when they are available. 

The SAOGI have been determined.  DOD has identified the director of NGA as their SAOGI but it is still in the approval process at DOD. 

SAOGI are senior level or assistant secretary level, so they can influence the priorities and budgets of the agencies.  It has taken us since March to get the list – involving phone calls from OMB.  It took time because agencies were trying to find the right person with broad understanding of the business activities of their agencies and knowledge of geospatial as well. 

The Geospatial Line of Business (LoB) presentation will focus on transition, next steps and recommendations.   

The Governance recommendation is an evolution of the FGDC based on the LoB common solutions document and the FGDC Future Directions report. 

OMB asked Ivan to prepare LoB language that lists key objectives, goals and benefits. 

Action 2 – By Friday, October 13, 2006, please send Ivan the benefits that the LoB will provide your agency.  This information will be included in the OMB annual report on e-gov that is submitted to Congress. 

Current activities for the LoB Joint Business Case (JBC) are being finalized.  On September 30 the task force concluded its work providing recommendations. Proposed funding approaches are being discussed with the agencies.  OMB is having high level discussions with the outliers – about 80% resolved. 

Ivan strongly encourages those from the Federal sector to participate on groups identified in the LoB to prepare ourselves for the rollout. 

Q: USFS employees at the Salt Lake Data Center want to participate on the common services section but they might qualify as providers.  Is it ethical for them to participate? 
A: Haven’t got a clear ruling on it.  But it seems to be a conflict of interest.  OMB is very conservative about this, we need to talk to them but they are in the middle of budget season right now.  The issue is common services – we need to worry about involving those that could benefit from it later. But we also don’t want anyone shut out.   

Comment: We need the Salt Lake Data Center expertise if we are going to develop some common solutions.  Their duties cross a lot of boundaries.  Do we need nondisclosure for inventory?  Maybe could firewall them off.

Comment: A lot of these LoB activities are focusing on gathering background information.  We are opening this up to other Federal employees, correct?  Budget coding will give us a lot of information.  You might want to start out with business requirements – look at where they overlap.   

LoB doesn’t become real until February when the President’s budget is announced. 

Q:  When we get our passbacks, will there be language in there even though there are three non concurrences?
A:  Probably – although not everything may be in there.  FY07 might be more preparatory for common services.   

Common solutions deal with enhanced governance and planning investment strategies before we optimize and standardize the services. 

We need to understand the agencies’ different budget structures.  The budget coding is something we are going to have to develop and agree upon more long term. 


Governance – Ivan DeLoatch, FGDC  

We will make the FACA recommendation to the Steering Committee on October 23. 

The proposed governance structure would establish a national advisory council under FACA, to be more inclusive.  DOI would sponsor the FACA.  The Steering Committee and Coordination Group would be reconfigured to be federal members only.  There are transition issues: we want to minimize lag between establishing these 2 structures – need to keep working with stakeholders.  We are going to restructure our charters, develop charters for proposed groups.   

OMB recognizes the need for stakeholder participation.  The RFI suggestions were very strong -- if we want to realize the vision of the NSDI we need to work with our stakeholder groups.   Karen Evans was concerned we were having policy driven conversations with stakeholders present – there are legal issues when it comes to decision-making.   

Q:  How do you envision DOI chairing the FACA?  Who will chair it?  Do you expect a full complement mirroring the Coordination Group sitting at the FACA meetings?  Does this mean the agencies are going to have twice as many meetings for the external activities?
A:  The FACA will be chaired by the Deputy Secretary of Interior or her designee.  The Chair would also chair the Steering Committee meetings.   The FACA meetings might be once or twice a year, but the subteams will meet more often, with a subset of feds and stakeholders participating.  The Steering Committee will continue to meet quarterly – more frequently than the FACA.  The Coordination Group will continue to meet on a monthly basis – although for the first 6 months we might need to meet bimonthly.   

Comment:  The Homeland Security Working Group is chaired by a non fed.  We don’t want to have both a non fed group and a fed group. 

Suggestion:  FACA could be extremely valuable if the private sector, States and locals could contribute to the issues of concern for LoB task areas.  It would be nice to have freely given, independent information that can be used for decisions not impacting the federal budget.  Is there a way we can leverage the FACA to get input from the non fed community without gaining the extra level of bureaucracy? 

Comment:  You need to clarify the role of the stakeholders. 

We want to dovetail FACA with the launching of the LoB in February, so we can have our meeting at the FACA level.   

Our next Steering Committee meeting will be sometime in January.  The first FACA meeting will be in the spring. 

Q:  How does it work when a FACA makes recommendations? 
A:  Chair brings the recommendations to Steering Committee which will go to the Coordination Group for our advice.  Work its way down and back up. 

Q:  How many members are you envisioning on the FACA?
A:  Need to have a manageable number of people.  Maybe 15 – 25 reps if we can capture all the groups with that number.

Q:  Will there be a difference between private sector and local government participation, for example ESRI?
A:  The private sector will choose who represents them. 

Suggestion:  Ask legal council for criteria when choosing representatives.  One criterion could be a communication mechanism to broadcast news to community, responsibility for outreach. The members of a committee should have the ability to reach out to their constituency and bring that perspective to the table.   

Q:  Federal participation in the FACA -- who makes the decision of the Fed agencies at the table?
A:  There can be full committee members and then nonvoting members.  The vote would have to represent the Steering Committee’s position.   

Comment:  Need to be careful not to appear like Feds are double dipping, like our participation with OGC and other groups. 

Comment:  We need specific guidance on what level of public participation is going to be involved in the subcommittees and working groups.  There are lots of non government entities that either listen in or participate actively.  The public should at least be allowed to listen in.

We want to keep the current structure of the working groups as best we can, since they aren’t solely created for federal budget and policy discussions.   

Action 3 - Ivan will have his Steering Committee presentation to the Coordination Group by Friday so they can prepare to brief their SAOGI.


GOS / ESRI Portal Update – Rob Dollison, GOS 


GOS has 2 IPAs from State and local government - Westchester County, NY and NJ.  They will help with outreach to State and local governments on the value of NSDI.   

GOS has an agreement with naval research lab supporting the National Guard drug enforcement efforts.  They have translators that take native format webservice and convert to a WMS and then publish the record to GOS. 

Q:  Do you have a sense of how many matches GOS makes linking folks who are looking for similar data? Any sense on the money saved?
A:  GOS has been able to track how many people have contacted others but is not able to track dollars.  There are about 12 contacts a week.

Users are now able to take a community announcement (word doc) and post it on the GOS portal page.   

PIXIA was put on the portal last night.  It provides high resolution data for coastal zone that can be used as a backdrop.  

Other News:   

Census:  TIGER extract database – metadata collected from state tribal databases.  Application and database on CD – please contact Randy Fusaro (Randy.J.Fusaro@census.gov) to request a copy of the TIGER extract CD. 

Q:  Where are we on the grant guidance?
A:  We haven’t been able to set up the meeting with OMB due to budget season.  We will try to get a meeting with OMB scheduled as soon as we can. 

Comment:  EPA has e-gov report due back in Nov – will lose our “green” rating if the issue of grant guidance isn’t resolved.  Need to come to closure on this.   

There is a concern that grant requirements will put too great a burden of those applying for grants.  That’s a policy issue that needs to be resolved before we decide this. 

The next Coordination Group meeting will be held on November 14.