June FGDC Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

FGDC Steering Meeting Summary
June 19, 2006


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


Welcome and Introductions

Tom Weimer, Chair, welcomed the group.

FGDC Overview – John Mahoney


FGDC Business Update – Leslie Armstrong


Leslie Armstrong updated the Steering Committee on the FGDC Business.  She stated that in preparation for hurricane season, FGDC will focus on data coordination, requirements and acquisition.  The July 11 Coordination Group meeting will focus on hurricane preparedness and response.  The members will be invited to share their data that will assist during hurricane season.

Western Governor’s Association Resolution - Dennis Goreham


The new Western Governor’s Association Policy Resolution 06-14 states, “Geospatial Data is Part of the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure”.  It was determined that all of the WGA’s activities can be supported by geospatial data.  The Resolution urges BLM to complete, enhance, and maintain the Cadastral NSDI.  The Resolution also supports the creation of State Coordination Councils as defined in the Fifty States Initiative and urges Congress to coordinate appropriations of existing federal programs to fully fund Imagery for the Nation.

Tom Weimer:  We appreciate WGA’s support on these Federal initiatives.  We hear the call for continued state, local tribal participation in the Geospatial Line of Business activity. 

Q:  How are you going to leverage this resolution with the governors and state and local governments from the rest of the country?
A: We met today with the Executive Director of the Congressional Western Caucus to get ideas on how to implement Imagery for the Nation.  We will use the caucus’s contacts to implement it in the west and then work through NSGIC to implement in the rest of the country. 

Geospatial Line of Business – Ivan DeLoatch


Please view the latest information on the Geospatial Line of Business at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/egov/c-6-8-glob.html.  There you will find a summary of the vision, goals, objectives, FAQs, information on Practioner’s and key links.

Ivan thanked the task force for doing a tremendous amount of work in a short timeframe.  The task force was called to identify transformation elements to change the way we do business.  This is being achieved through a business-driven approach to develop solutions for the geospatial arena.  Ivan’s presentation contains recommendations from the task force.  An agency-wide review is being conducted and senior leadership will be briefed on the proposed solution sets.  Deliberations on the areas of investments, planning, shared services will continue for several weeks.  The joint business case should be finalized by early August.

Transformation details include:

• Designate nationally significant data as a Federal-wide, common capital asset and manage them as a Federal portfolio as opposed to individual data sets funded at the discretion of agency managers. (in 07 use the coordinating committee to set 08 priorities for A-16 layers)

• Establish the National Geospatial Advisory Council (FACA) to address external coordination roles and responsibilities

• Develop a cross-agency investment strategy for non-geospatial data management -- geo-enabling the business.

• Provide a broker service for data searching among agencies (peer to peer, service to service), which will build on and improve GOS.

• Requirements-driven business planning to optimize, prioritize, and broker business investments in a geospatial context.

• Develop sustainable funding strategy for collaboration with state, local, and tribal government counterparts.

Q:  Do you have any feel for the responses you received from the data call?
A:  Not yet – this is the first time we have done this in the geospatial arena.  We tried to develop a tool for the agencies in terms of what makes sense for them.  We gave them a set of options and asked for feedback on that tool.  We will probably have to do this a couple more times, targeting areas for additional specificity of investments.

Q:  When can non-Feds review nonproprietary information?
A:  We don’t normally publish them. 

ACTION:  Karen Evans will determine if the non-Feds can view the nonproprietary information received during the data call.

Q:  Slide 20 – what does the line between external and internal mean?  Is our only point of contact the FGDC chair?  This FACA would only address external coordination?
A:  The line isn’t meant to differentiate between the groups; the advisory council will contain Feds as well.

Q:  What is the timing with regard to implementing this model?  A lot of work has been done since Practitioner’s Day.  A lot of decisions are being made but non-Feds don’t have a seat at the table.  The cart is being put in front of the horse.  When will this structure be established?
A:  These are recommendations to date.  The RFI process was used to get stakeholder input.  We had to look at the policies and mechanisms we had available to us in the Federal government.  There are other options we could use to implement the advisory council.  Another is to have the advisory council solely to provide input to the chair – Secretary of Interior.  That could happen a lot faster.

Q:  Slide 5 timeline goes through each of the steps and due dates for comments.  Will there be any kind of public review on the common solutions?
A:  No.  That is why we put it in the RFI process.  We had expected more responses to the scenarios.  The responses were focused on the common solutions questions more than the scenarios.  There were a lot of great ideas suggested for the common solutions.

Q:  Slide 8.  As of last week you had analyzed and summarized the responses in a report.  Can that summary be shared?
A:  No, This information is predecisional and is being evaluated.  It will be used to make decisions in the President’s budget and can not be shared. 

Q:  Slide 23.  Sept through Dec 06 – what will happen during transformation?  The states need to be aware of the schedule.  They need to be given lead time to ensure participation. 
A:  We haven’t determined this yet.  We are debating what we do first.  Investment and planning expertise is needed.  We need to build the factory before we start generating the cars. 

Q:  What is planned in terms of the collaborative funding strategy – so that states and locals can participate more effectively?  Also to what degree are the agencies developing their own outreach strategy to states and locals regarding activities that are already underway?
A:  We want to do this as enterprise – the goal is to have a single voice.  That is a challenge.  We need folks responsible for this on a daily basis.  For example during Katrina – there was a lot of scrambling for data.

Q:  Enterprise perspective.  IT infrastructure LoB and Geo LoB – have there been any common points found between these two LoBs?
A:  There has been some overlap and we will look at where those intersections exist.  We will have to do that for this to be a success.

Karen Evans:
I can sense the hesitation in the room but please remember that the Joint Business Case focuses on what the Federal government piece has to be.  The initiative won’t lose sight of the partnerships with states and locals.  The Federal part is what we can control – the policies, administrative procedures with circulars.  That is how the LoB is structured.  We still have a lot of decisions – Ivan is the task force’s advocate for states and local partnerships.  He is always your voice in the meetings.

The meeting was adjourned.

The next Steering Committee meeting will be scheduled for the month of September.