Working Groups & Subcommittees

Note on Working Group and Subcommittee Charter Updates: In response to the requirements in the Geospatial Data Act of 2018 (GDA), the FGDC is revisiting the current governance structure with pending guidance from the revised OMB Circular A-16.  Until this is completed, the FGDC Office of the Secretariat suggests the following: Formerly, the FGDC established data themed subcommittees and cross-cutting issue working groups to effectively address specific geospatial topics at a more granular level of detail. These bodies addressed and made, technical, operational and policy recommendations to the full FGDC (committee) for decision.  These bodies were established through and operated in accordance to prepared charters. The passage of the GDA has impacts on the existing FGDC governance structure. The number of data themed subcommittees and working groups has expanded over time. When the revised FGDC structure is established, in accordance with the GDA and OMB Circular A-16, an efficient and streamlined chartering process will need to be developed. Until that time, FGDC subcommittees and working groups should continue to operate under their current charters where they exist.


To effectively address specific geospatial issues at a more granular level of detail, the FGDC is organized in to smaller subcommittees and working groups. This organization is best described as a grid of data themed subcommittees and crosscutting working groups as shown graphically below.


FGDC subcommittees are comprised of representatives from Federal agencies and FGDC recognized stakeholder groups who share a common interest in specific types of geospatial data - typically those geospatial data themes specified by OMB Circular A-16 (Coordination of Geographic Information and Related Spatial Data Activities). Each subcommittee focuses on issues that pertain to coordination and standards associated with a geospatial data theme with regard to data collection, access, exchange, and applications using those data.

Working Groups

FGDC working groups are comprised of representatives from Federal agencies and FGDC recognized stakeholder groups who have common interests that cross-cut or affect several data theme-based subcommittees. Examples of these working groups are data standards, framework, clearinghouse, homeland security, etc.