Washington, DC, January 15, 2010 – "There is a dangerous trend toward in-sourcing – building in-house government capabilities at the expense of private sector jobs creation – in the geospatial market," MAPPS Government Affairs Manager John "JB" Byrd said today at a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
"MAPPS has documented examples of Federal agencies purchasing equipment to build their own agency capacity to conduct what are considered commercial activities: mapping, surveying, and charting. We’re also seeing agencies bring contracted geospatial and remote sensing services into the government for performance by Federal employees. And we are witnessing state transportation departments buying equipment, such as airplanes, digital cameras and LIDAR systems and ground based mobile mapping systems that duplicate and compete with the private sector," Byrd said.
The news conference was organized by the Business Coalition for Fair Competition (BCFC) to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the publication of Bureau of the Budget Bulletin 55-4 (now OMB Circular A-76) by the Eisenhower Administration on January 15, 1955. That policy stated:
"The Federal government will not start or carry on any commercial activity to provide a service or product for its own use if such product or service can be procured from private enterprise through ordinary business channels."
"On this anniversary of the Federal policy, it is critical that attention be paid to how poorly this policy has been implemented and how devastating the consequences are in today’s economy," said Byrd.
Joining Byrd at the news conference was: Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR); Tom Schatz, President of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW); Pete Sepp, Vice President of Policy and Communications of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU); Michael Hough, Director of Commerce, Insurance & Economic Development Task Force, and Public Safety & Elections Task Force of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC); Phil Kerpen, Director of Policy for Americans for Prosperity (AFP); Mark Casso, President of the Construction Industry Round Table (CIRT); and John Palatiello, President of the Business Coalition for Fair Competition (BCFC). Palatiello is also Executive Director of MAPPS.
Byrd concluded, "MAPPS respectfully urges the federal government to rededicate itself to Eisenhower’s common sense policy. A robust, qualified and competent private sector exists within the mapping profession and government at all levels should utilize it, not duplicate or compete with it."
Formed in 1982, MAPPS is the only national association exclusively comprised of private firms in the remote sensing, spatial data and geographic information systems field in the United States. Current MAPPS memberships span the entire spectrum of the geospatial community, including Member Firms engaged in satellite and airborne remote sensing, surveying, photogrammetry, aerial photography, LIDAR, hydrography, bathymetry, charting, aerial and satellite image processing, GPS, and GIS data collection and conversion services. MAPPS also includes Associate Member Firms, which are companies that provide hardware, software, products and services to the geospatial profession in the United States and other firms from around the world. MAPPS provides its 180+ member firms opportunities for networking and developing business-to-business relationships, information sharing, education, public policy advocacy, market growth, and professional development and image enhancement. For more information on MAPPS, please visit www.MAPPS.org.
BCFC (www.governmentcompetition.org), is comprised of trade associations, businesses, and organizations dedicated to free enterprise, relief from unfair government sponsored competition, and smaller, more efficient government. BCFC is working to elevate the issue of unfair government competition, promoting legislation and policies to grow the economy through increased utilization of the private sector and the elimination of government monopoly and subsidized performance of commercially available goods and services.