April FGDC Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

FGDC Steering Committee Meeting Summary
April 17, 2006


Acting Chair:  Tom Weimer, DOI
Co-Chair:  Karen Evans, OMB


Welcome and Introductions

Tom Weimer, Chair, welcomed the group and explained that he will temporarily chair the committee for Lynn Scarlett while she is serving as the Secretary of the Interior in an acting capacity.

FGDC Business Update – Leslie Armstrong


o Framework Data Standards
2006 CAP grants awarded
o Fifty States Initiative [Strategic Plan Template] [Business Plan Template]
o Roles and Responsibilities of Senior Agency Officials [memo] [1 pager]
o Subcommittees and Working Groups [status]
o Geospatial Profile [factsheet] [presentation] [website]
o Geospatial Guidance for Federal Grants [1 pager]

Geospatial Line of Business – Ivan DeLoatch


Ivan DeLoatch, FGDC Staff Director and the Managing Partner for the Geospatial Line of Business, suggested that the new Steering Committee members review the meeting materials to understand the resources they have committed to the FGDC.  Their staff may be involved in the Geospatial Line of Business (LoB) – which will bring various geospatial initiatives into a comprehensive line of business. 

OMB issued a memorandum on March 3 launching the Geospatial LoB, which aims to institutionalize coordinating mechanisms in the Federal sector to reduce duplication. 
This LoB is on an aggressive schedule.  FGDC member agencies have an opportunity to invest critical time and effort to ensure this is a success.  Senior level officials at OMB, GSA and the FGDC member agencies are providing oversight. 

The Geospatial LoB Request for Information (RFI), open from April 6 through May 5, is an opportunity for stakeholders to provide input.  Significant investments are being made by state and local governments and we need to leverage this data.

To access the RFI, visit http://www.estrategy.gov/lineofbusiness/docs/geospatial_rfi.doc

Vision of the Geospatial LoB -
The Nation’s interests are served, and the core missions of Federal agencies and their partners are met, through the effective and efficient development, provision, and interoperability of geospatial data and services.

Goals of the Geospatial LoB –
o Productive intergovernmental collaboration for geospatial-related activities and investments across all sectors and levels of government
o Optimized and standardized common geospatial functions, services, and processes that are responsive to customers (users)
o Cost efficient acquisition, processing, and access to geospatial data and information

Current LoB focus:
National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) components –
o Data themes – framework and other themes of national significance
o Metadata – information about data and services
o Clearinghouse or portals – electronic networks and services for query, access and distribution
o Standards – common and repeated rules, conditions and guidelines for data, processes, technology and organizations
o Partnerships – collaboration of federal, tribal, state, local, academia, and the private sectors.

The Common Solution & Target Architecture team will employ responses from agency analysis and RFI to achieve LoB vision and objectives.  The draft will be delivered on May 26, and the final proposal will be completed on June 9.

The business case developed for this LoB will be a joint FY08 Exhibit 300 written by the managing partners in collaboration with the participating agencies and will help inform our 08 budget process. The draft business case will be disseminated to agencies for comment between June 12 and June 19.  The final business case will be completed in early August. 

Karen Evans:
This is a methodology we have used on several lines of business – it works.  This is your chance to provide input.

There will be no new money for this effort; instead we will be redirecting investments identified in the capital planning process to spend on geospatial. 

Q: What is the difference between the information you are collecting for RFI and the April – June RFI. 
A: The April – June request for agency information is for Federal agencies only – and is specific to agencies’ internal budgets.  They are required to send the information to OMB as stated in passback language.  The RFI is an additional way agencies can provide input – for instance, to give examples of the services they could provide to other agencies. 

Q:  When will you be engaging states and locals to investigate how you can leverage local resources?
A:  The RFI process is that opportunity.  From April 6 until May 5 the entire stakeholder community has a chance to provide their input.

Q:  The Future Directions Governance Team suggested looking into creating an investment analysis focus within FGDC.  Is this happening through the LoB?
A:  This doesn’t institutionalize oversight within FGDC, but gives us an opportunity to look at this.

Q: Stakeholders are going to have an opportunity for input.  But adjudication will be strictly Federal? 
A: Yes, adjudication must be strictly Federal because budget information is involved.  But stakeholders should see their ideas and suggestions in the end result.

Q:  Has the agency RFI been issued and if so where did it go?
A:  It’s being finalized – Stacie will send this out to the Task Force for review. 

Q: Will crosscutting programs be implemented by this LoB? Will there be multi-agency data purchases?
A:  The LoB takes that into consideration – it might say that certain agencies go together and host activities, it might take a consortia approach to have agencies to step up and partner.

Karen Evans:  Think of this as the Federal government looking across the board as one entity to maximize and standardize our investments.  There is no new money so you are bounded in what you recommend - you are making decisions on the things that you can implement.  OMB will make the final decision.

Imagery for the Nation Update – Ivan DeLoatch

The Imagery for the Nation (IFTN) Executive Steering Group was unable to meet until last week due to scheduling difficulties.  The Geospatial LoB has overtaken a lot of the work we were doing for IFTN.  There has been a proposal to make IFTN a LoB pilot project, which we may do after we examine the results of the RFI.  There has also been a suggestion to put a description of the IFTN program in our various budgets as a placeholder -- USGS has the lead to develop this language for 08.

We will let the LoB dictate the pace.  This will help showcase IFTN and help influence the 08 budget.

Governance Update – John Mahoney


We already have informal means to work together to come up with solutions for common problems.  Now we are looking for formal means to do this.

Q:  It appears that EO 12906 was incorporated into the new Circular A-16, so why hasn’t it been rescinded? 
A:  The only way the executive order goes out of existence is if the president acts to rescind it or modify it.  And it is easier to modify the existing executive order to deal with geospatial information than to create a new one. 

Comment:  EO 12906 was modified in 2003 to include DHS.  So it is still in play. 

Q: What type of response do you believe you will get from the RFI that you didn’t get from the future directions activity governance team?
A: We will have to see.

Q: Is there an opportunity for intergovernmental review on the results of the LoB?
A: The task force is an intergovernmental group with members from your agencies.  They will send out the proposed draft governance through Federal groups like the CIO Council for review.  If you would like to participate Ivan won’t turn you away. 

The draft business case – depending on general counsel’s guidance – may not be open for comment before it is final.  There are limitations because it is predecisional.  We are bound by the procurement process as well.  We are making use of all of our policies and procedures.

Q: How do the MOU’s between Federal agencies and nonfeds fit into this?
A: We don’t know.  We don’t have a final answer on this from our lawyers.

Wrap Up – Karen Evans

The heads of Federal agencies have been requested through Clay Johnson’s memo to respond by today with the name of the senior level representative they are designating to participate on the FGDC Steering Committee.  These names are due in by COB today.  Stacie Boyd has only received names from seven of the 27 agencies so far.  

Action:   Please ensure the name of your agency’s designated Senior Level Representative is submitted to Stacie Boyd (Stacie_M._Boyd@omb.eop.gov)