A-16 NGDA Portfolio Management

What is A-16 NGDA Portfolio Management?

A-16 NGDA Portfolio Management, according to OMB Circular A-16 Supplemental Guidance, is the coordination of Federal geospatial data assets and investments to most efficiently support national priorities and government missions. The data assets are the first component of the NSDI and the standard core set of digital spatial information for the Nation that serve as a foundation for users of geographic information.

Why use Portfolio Management?

  • Reduces duplication and cost
  • Provides greater accessibility
  • Supports shared services across the Federal Government
  • Offers an accurate and accountable inventory of Federal Geospatial Portfolio assets
  • Improves government accountability and transparency
  • Improves data quality through lifecycle evaluations for content quality and fitness for use
  • Ensures national data are high quality, dependable, consistent, and available to agencies
  • Increases return on existing geospatial investments by promoting the reuse of data, applications, and tools

NGDA Themes & Datasets

The A–16 National Geospatial Data Asset (NGDA) Portfolio is organized by NGDA Themes made up of one or more associated NGDA Datasets. Currently, 16 NGDA Themes and more than 176 NGDA Datasets make up the A–16 NGDA Portfolio. NGDA Themes and NGDA Datasets are managed by Theme Leads and Dataset Managers respectively. They use industry-accepted practices to improve management of Themes leading to better outcomes. Data within Themes are made available through the Geospatial Platform.

NGDA Portfolio

Roles and Responsibilities Related to NGDAs

Role Who Responsibilities
Senior Agency Official for Geospatial Information (SAOGI)

Senior agency official from agencies responsible for spatial data themes and are required members of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) pursuant to OMB Circular A-16


  • Has agency-wide responsibility, accountability, and authority for geospatial information issues
  • Oversee, coordinate, and facilitate the agency’s implementation of the geospatial-related requirements, policies, and activities
  • Appoints FGDC Coordination Group members
NGDA Theme Lead Agency

Federal agencies identified in OMB Circular A–16 Appendix E, to lead the coordination of a NGDA Theme

  • Leads coordination of a NGDA Theme
  • Works with partners to develop, manage, and maintain datasets associated with the Theme
  • Advocate funding recommendations
  • Provide Executive NGDA Theme Champion
  • Appoint NGDA Theme Lead
  • Designate and/or work with Dataset Manager
  • NOT responsible for managing all datasets within the NGDA Theme
Executive NGDA Theme Champion

A member of the Senior Executive Service or a senior level individual designated by a Theme Lead Agency’s SAOGI

View NGDA Executive Champions

  • Advocates for, raises awareness of, and promotes the implementation of a NGDA Theme and its NGDA Datasets
  • Provides high-level sponsorship, visibility, and support for the NGDA Theme
  • Advises the SAOGI
  • Intervenes as necessary to facilitate communication among high-level stakeholders
NGDA Theme Lead

Individuals who provide interdepartmental leadership and coordination at the NGDA Theme level

View NGDA Theme Leads 

  • Is the "Master Coordinator"
  • Coordinates and oversees the strategic planning and implementation of the NGDA Theme
  • Manages the Annual Report process
  • Develops funding recommendations
  • Working with FGDC Coordination Group (CG), identifies dataset development priorities
  • Chairs the corresponding Thematic Subcommittee
  • Engages Federal and non-Federal stakeholders
  • Oversees nomination/removal of NGDA Datasets
  • Oversees Dataset Managers
  • Manages Theme Community on GeoPlatform.gov
NGDA Dataset Manager

Individuals who provide coordination and standards for NGDA Datasets at a national level

  • Evaluates NGDA Dataset against the Geospatial Data Lifecycle
  • Submits Annual NGDA Dataset Report to the NGDA Theme Lead
  • Works with Data Stewards, Stakeholders, and (or) Community of Interest
  • Manages Dataset Information on Data.gov/GeoPlatform.gov
  • Assist with incorporation of funding information into a comprehensive annual NGDA Theme Report
FGDC Coordination Group Members

Representatives from Federal agencies and FGDC recognized stakeholder groups, chairpersons of the thematic Subcommittees and 'cross-cut' Working Groups

  • Advances the development and maintenance of the NSDI, and associated coordination of Federal programs through collaboration and consensus of its member representatives
  • Ensures that FGDC actions and activities are communicated to the SAOGIs and other appropriate entities within their respective agencies
  • Works with the SAOGI and agency management to align the appropriate support to develop and sustain the NSDI and datasets for which they have responsibility under OMB Circular A‐16


The concept portfolio management of Federal geospatial data assets was introduced in 2010 when the OMB’s Circular A-16 Supplemental Guidance was issued. To implement the guidance an interagency team developed the NGDA Management Plan that was approved by the FGDC Steering Committee in 2014.

Since that time the FGDC agencies have collaborated build the framework and processes for managing National Geospatial Data Assets (NGDAs) as a single Federal Geospatial Portfolio in accordance with OMB policy and Administration direction.

NGDA Portfolio Flow
NGDA Portfolio Flow

Learn more about NGDA Management Plan and implementation activities.