Action will take place in Congress this week on another issue MAPPS and NSPS members brought to Capitol Hill during the organizations’ joint conference on March 16. A subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives “will examine the impact on the private sector from the deceased use of public-private competition in sourcing government products and services. The hearing will also examine best practices for encouraging a more robust utilization of commercially available products and services to increase government efficiency while decreasing costs.” Among the invited witnesses is MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello, who also serves as President of the Business Coalition for Fair Competition (BCFC), of which MAPPS is a member. MAPPS has advocated before Congress that “a positive public-private partnership model is needed so that there are clearly defined roles and responsibilities to provide synergy between the public and private sectors in the Federal level, and particularly with regard to geospatial activities.” The association said, “There is a need and role for government in surveying, mapping and geospatial activities. Agency personnel should be focused on inherently governmental activities such as enforcement of standards and specifications, development of requirements, coordination, and administering contracts. Commercial activities, including data acquisition, processing, applications, and value added services should be left to the qualified, competent and capable private sector in surveying and mapping.” The hearing will include a review of the “Freedom from Government Competition Act”, H.R. 2044/S. 1116, introduced by Representative John J. “Jimmy” Duncan, Jr. (R-TN) and Senator John Thune (R-SD) to codify the “Yellow Pages” test, applied by Mayors and Governors, both Democrat and Republican, that says if you can find private sector firms in the Yellow Pages providing products or services that the government is also providing, then the service should be subject to market competition to break up the government monopoly and prove a better value to the taxpayer. This bill will not only make government more efficient, saving more than $27 billion annually, but improve the quality of services and focus the Federal workforce on high priority governmental functions. The hearing is on Friday, July 8 at 9:00 AM EDT and can be viewed on-line via the website of the full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.