Feds Aim to Buy Smart and Save Money in Geospatial World
The Geospatial Line of Business , is a government-wide initiative, sponsored by the Office of Management and Budget, that focuses on improving government effectiveness by promoting the use of geospatial information in order to improve both the policy decisions and the internal business processes of Federal agencies. The initiative is coordinated by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) chaired by the Department of the Interior.
“This consolidated purchase of geospatial technology will help reduce costs and greatly improve the government’s access to high quality commercial geospatial software, data, and other products,” says James Cason, Associate Deputy Secretary of the Interior and chair of the FGDC steering committee.
Federal agencies currently use many of the same commercial products to perform geospatial operations, such as producing maps and conducting geographic analysis. However, they use very different contractual vehicles in procuring geospatial software and services. This practice hinders agency savings and forces commercial vendors to invest disproportionately in coordinating dozens, if not hundreds, of separate accounts within an agency or department. As a consequence, many agencies do not have access to other services the commercial sector might provide, such as training and technical support.
The Geospatial Common Services Work Group, composed of representatives from across the Federal community, is working with the General Services Administration SmartBUY Team to implement the multi-vendor Blanket Purchase Agreement to provide a common set of avail able software and services in geospatial technology. Types of software within the current scope of the BPA include computer aided design, web-based visualization, imagery analysis, geocoding, national and international road networks, and geospatial analytics and modeling.
The SmartBUY BPA is expected to deliver a range of benefits to both government customers and participating vendors, including:
- Cost savings and improved efficiency across government;
- Enhanced alignment with the Federal Enterprise Architecture by enabling access by all agencies to a common set of services and software;
- Increased access to value-added services such as training, integration services and batch services;
- More effective partnerships across the vendor community through a single agreement promoting product and service interoperability;
- Greater opportunities for innovation such as beta testing of new products with established
- Easier access to geospatial technology.
For more information on this program, please send inquiries to: smartbuyresponse@fgdc. For further information on Geospatial Line of Business activities: www.fgdc.gov/geospatial-lob.