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MAPPS Statement on the Passing of Jack Brooks, Author of the "Brooks Act"

Posted By John Palatiello, Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, December 5, 2012

MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello today issued the following statement on the passing of former Representative Jack Brooks (D-TX):

"I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of former Congressman Jack Brooks yesterday in Texas at the age of 89. I first met Mr. Brooks in the 1970s when I was a Congressional staff assistant and he was our next door neighbor in the Rayburn House Office Building. When I entered the architecture, engineering, surveying and mapping community in the 1980s, I began working first hand with him to preserve, promote, protect, defend and extend the "Brooks Act”, the 1972 law that codified qualifications based selection for federal procurement of architecture, engineering and related services. That law has affectionately and respectfully become commonly known as the "Brooks Act". We also worked together on the 1988 amendment to the Act that updated the definition of A-E services, including clarification of the law’s application to surveying and mapping services.

While many of today’s professionals did not personally know Jack Brooks, his legacy lives on not only in federal law (Public Law 92-582, Public Law 100-656, and Public Law 100-679, codified in 40 USC 1101 et. seq. and 48 CFR 36.6), but also by the fact that almost every state has enacted its own state law, known as a "mini-Brooks Act”, and the process is included in the American Bar Association’s Model Procurement Code for State and Local Government.

While we are still working to assure uniform utilization of the time-tested competency and qualifications process for surveying, mapping and what we today call geospatial services, the Brooks Act stands as a trailblazing method of procurement. Years before "best value”, "past performance” and other qualifications and competency-based metrics for government acquisition became commonplace, Mr. Brooks recognized that quality above low price was in the taxpayer’s best interest. Our Nation is a better place and the envy of the world because of the service and leadership of Chairman Jack Brooks in Congress.

MAPPS members past and present join me in extending our deepest sympathies and paying our respects to the family of Jack Brooks.”

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