MAPPS Federal Programs ConferenceWashington, DC - A double-header luncheon session on implementation of the recently-enacted MAP-21 Act, featuring senior officials of the Federal Highway Administration (FHwA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will highlight the annual MAPPS Federal Programs Conference opening on March 12 in Washington, DC. The conference will include presentations by federal agencies, members of Congress, and visits to the U.S. House and Senate by MAPPS members.

MAPPS member firm principals will hear presentations by federal agency officials on their programs, budgets and requirements for acquisition of geospatial services, data and products from the private sector that are on the horizon. The association also hosts a series of liaison meetings with key agencies, featuring small group discussions between agencies and the private sector on issues affecting the relationship between government and private geospatial firms.

A luncheon session will feature John Baxter, FHwA associate administrator for Infrastructure and Doug Bellomo, director, Risk Analysis Division, FEMA, who will discuss implementation of the MAP-21 Act. MAP-21, enacted last year, has been called "one of the most important pieces of surveying and mapping legislation enacted in many years.” It includes significant provisions reforming the FEMA flood map program, and numerous provisions creating geospatial data and service requirements in the federal highway program.

MAPPS members will be on Capitol Hill on March 13, visiting more than 200 congressmen and senators and their staffs. The geospatial firm principals will be advocating limits on government agency competition with their private enterprise establishments, enactment of a bill to provide a cadastre-based inventory of federally owned land and buildings, the need for accurate surveying and mapping data for location of pipelines and other underground infrastructure utilities, and a Congressional resolution clarifying that geospatial data can be safely collected, stored and used without infringing on individual citizen privacy.

Among the members of Congress who will speak to MAPPS members during the two-day conference will be Representative William Johnson (R-OH), Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI).

"MAPPS is the only organization in the geospatial community that hosts a conference of this kind," said MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello. "Our members gain valuable insights into business opportunities with federal agencies and advocate for the geospatial profession in Congress. This is an extraordinarily productive and valuable annual conference. Since starting the Federal Programs Conference in 1991, MAPPS members have had a considerable impact with these meetings. We are particularly pleased to be able to get up-to-date information from FEMA and FHwA on MAP-21 implementation."

Federal agencies making presentations at the conference will be the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Air Force, Office of the Secretary of Defense, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Forest Service, Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Homeland Security.