RESTON, VA – A new Geospatial Management Office will be created in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) pursuant to legislation MAPPS helped draft and move through Congress. The bill to revamp the Nation’s intelligence apparatus, based upon the recommendations of the 911 Commission, passed the U.S. House of Representatives on December 7 and the U.S. Senate on December 8.
President Bush signed the bill into law on Friday, December 17 at 11:00 AM.
Section 8201 of S. 2845, the National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, established the Office of Geospatial Management with in the Office of the Chief Information Officer in DHS. The office will coordinate geospatial information needs of the Department, implement standards, work with FGDC, and award grants to state and local government.
The provision is based on S. 1230, introduced by Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO) and H.R. 3367, offered by Reps. Pete Sessions (R-TX) and Rob Andrews (D-NJ) with the support of MAPPS. Senator Allard offered the geospatial provision in the Senate during its consideration of the 911 Commission bill and it was adopted during House-Senate conference negotiations.
"Enactment of this provision is a major victory for MAPPS," said Executive Director John Palatiello. "This was one of our top legislative priorities for the just-concluded 108th Congress. The leadership of a number of members of Congress, including Senators Allard, along with Senators Collins of Maine, Lieberman of Connecticut and Akaka of Hawaii were key passage, along with the efforts of Representatives Sessions and Andrews, along with Representative Hoekstra. Credit also goes to a number of MAPPS members who worked hard to make this happen."
Palatiello added, "The establishment of this office will help enhance America’s homeland security efforts by establishing an office in DHS to work with other Federal agencies, state and local government, including first responders, and the private sector, to coordinate and advance the deployment of geospatial capabilities, technologies, services, data and other assets."
A 989Kb PDF file of the text of the bill can be downloaded by clicking HERE.