Reston, Virginia, May 27, 2011 – MAPPS, the national association of private sector geospatial firms, praised the adoption of an amendment in the U.S. House of Representatives this week that placed a moratorium on insourcing of commercial activities in the Department of Defense.
The amendment to H.R. 1540, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), was sponsored by Representative Nan Hayworth (R-NY) and cosponsored by Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX). It was included in a managers amendment by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA).
In describing her amendment, Rep. Hayworth explicitly named mapping services as commercially available and should not be "insourced" by Federal agencies. Hayworth said, "This is meant to address a problem that I have first-hand knowledge of from my district: insourcing. This is when the Department of Defense has added positions "in house" that are commercial in nature, such as food services, mapping, and audio-visual services. The result is often higher costs, lower quality, and less support for local businesses."
The amendment establishes a "sense of the Congress" moratorium on the "insourcing" of commercial activities – the conversion of work currently performed by private sector contractor firms to performance by Federal government employees.
"Private geospatial mapping firms have been affected by the insourcing initiative by this Administration. We’ve seen mapping, GIS and remote sensing contracts insourced by the Navy, Air Force and Agriculture Department. This legislation would eliminate the competition with the private sector that invests millions of dollars in equipment and creates hundreds of thousands jobs," said John Palatiello, MAPPS Executive Director. "We commend the leadership of Reps. Hayworth and Sessions, and Chairman McKeon. We look forward to working with the Senate to enact this legislation, and to lessen the impact adverse government policies, such as insourcing, are having on private sector job creation, including in small business."
MAPPS sent a letter to Rep. Hayworth in support of her moratorium amendment. More than 10 percent of the MAPPS member firms have experienced the loss of contracts with various defense and civil agencies through insourcing, according to the semi-annual MAPPS economic survey. The membership has also experienced employee poaching, whereby Federal agencies cancel contracts, bring the work in-house, and go behind the back of a small business owner to lure workers away from private practice to Federal government positions.
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. The MAPPS membership spans 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. Independent Consultant Members are sole proprietors engaged in consulting in or to the geospatial profession, or provides a consulting service of interest to the geospatial profession. MAPPS provides its 160+ 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.