MAPPS Applauds Reintroduction of FLAIR Act in U.S. Senate
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Posted by: Nick Palatiello
A bill to develop a current, accurate Federal cadastre to
inventory all Federal real property has been introduced in the U.S.
Senate, earning praise from MAPPS (www.mapps.org), the national
association of private sector geospatial firms.
The Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform ("FLAIR") Act,
S. 1153, was introduced June 7 by U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Mike Lee (R-UT).
In a statement
describing the bill, Sen. Hatch said, "Everyone knows that the federal
government is the nation's largest landowner. In fact, they own more
than 60 percent of all the land in Utah. Incredibly, though, no one
knows precisely how much the federal government owns because it does not
keep an accurate inventory, which can and has led to waste and poor
management. This bill will require the government to use existing
technology to put an end to this problem through the development of a
single, uniform, database that will identify all federal landholdings."
Hatch continued, "That will help the federal and state governments know
what lands are available for sale and how much energy and other
resources are available on those holdings for development. It also will
save taxpayer money by eliminating the more than two-score inaccurate,
wasteful and duplicative databases the government currently relies on to
track its real estate holdings."
An accurate inventory of land owned by the Federal government has
been recommended by the Government Accountability Office and the
National Academy of Sciences. The FLAIR Act implements these
recommendations, as well as calls for an inventory of existing
inventories to eliminate duplication and save tax dollars. In testimony
before Congress in 2005, then Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton said
the Interior Department alone operates more than 100 different property
MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello expressed deep
appreciation for the leadership of Senators Hatch and Lee. "Mr. Hatch
and Mr. Lee have been working with many stakeholders to introduce this
important Federal legislation. MAPPS commends Senators Hatch and Lee and
looks forward to working with them to enact the FLAIR Act," Palatiello
said. Previous introductions of the FLAIR Act have earned the support of
organizations including the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping
(ACSM) and the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC).
"The bill would establish a multi-purpose cadastre or an interoperable
parcel based geographic information system. This is a prime example of
an opportunity to 'map it once, use it many times'," Palatiello said.
MAPPS members promoted the FLAIR Act in Congress during the
association's annual Federal Programs Conference, held March 15-16 in
Washington, DC through meetings with members of Congress and staff. In
April, Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced
the House companion bill, H.R. 1620
and have gained bipartisan co-sponsorship from Representatives Jason
Altmire (D-PA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Bruce Braley (D-IA), Jason
Chaffetz (R-UT), Mike Coffman (R-CO), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Cynthia
Lummis (R-WY), and Todd Platts (R-PA).
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, mobile mapping, LIDAR,
building information models (BIM), 3D mapping, 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 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