House Passes TARP Oversight Database Bill Utilizing Geospatial Analysis Capabilities
Monday, December 07, 2009
Posted by: Nick Palatiello
DC - A bill to provide for transparency in the
expenditure of funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), including
the use of geospatial technologies for visualization of the spending, has
passed the U.S. House of Representatives and earned the praise of MAPPS
(www.mapps.org), the national association of private geospatial firms.
U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1242 on December 2 by a vote of
421-0. The bill amends the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 by
providing for additional monitoring and accountability of TARP. It calls for
the Secretary of the Treasury to ensure the official TARP accountability
database "provides geospatial analysis capabilities."
applauded the leadership of U.S. Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and
Peter King (R-NY), the sponsors of the House legislation. "MAPPS commends
Representatives Maloney and King for their leadership and foresight in
including a provision employing geospatial technologies for oversight and
inspection purposes to enable increased accountability and additional
monitoring." said John Palatiello, MAPPS Executive Director.
has been leading the charge on inclusion of such a provision to the bill.
Appearing before the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House
Committee on Financial Services, Susan Marlow, President of Smart Data
Strategies (Franklin, TN), chair of the MAPPS Cadastre Task Force, said Federal
agencies should increase utilization of geospatial technologies to address
transparency and accountability in the Federal government's financial services
activities, including TARP. In her September 17, 2009 hearing testimony, Ms.
Marlow said, "MAPPS respectfully urges that a geospatial component or
geospatial reference be included to the database to help graphically detail
where TARP expenditures have occurred or will occur. This alteration to the
bill will greatly enhance the Secretary's ability to increase the monitoring
and accountability of TARP funds."
inclusion of a provision to include a geospatial component to track TARP
funding is a testament to the increased role geospatial technology can play in
a variety of applications and is a major victory for our organization,"
said Jeff Lovin, MAPPS President (Woolpert, Inc., Dayton, OH). "I am
thankful for the work of Ms. Marlow and her task forceput into this
effort and grateful to the members of Congress who recognized the important
role professional geospatial technologies, services and products can provide to
the citizens of the United States."
House [took] the Washington buzzword of 'transparency' and put it into
practice," Rep. Maloney said in a press release December 2. "We must
require the use of the technological tools that are available today. In a day
and age when UPS and Federal Express can tell you where a package is anywhere
on the globe-- and post it to a public website-- the Dept. of the Treasury
can't do the same thing with the massive packages of federal dollars backing up
financial institutions. My bill will create a sophisticated and complete data
stream to provide a complete picture of how TARP funds are being used in
The Senate must now act on H.R. 1242 or its
own version, S. 910.
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
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