OMB: Coordinate agency GIS buys

Mark Forman

Henrik G. DeGyor

Agencies spend billions of dollars on geographic information systems, but as much as 50 percent is duplicative spending, a senior administration official told lawmakers last week.

Nearly every government agency uses GIS, but too often agencies are buying the same data and applications over and over, said Mark Forman, the Office of Management and Budget's administrator for e-government and IT.

Because of poor reporting, OMB does not know exactly how much money agencies spend or how much is duplicative, Forman told the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census.

'We need to do more, and we need to be more rigorous, which we intend to do as part of this next budget process,' he said.

OMB will collect information on spending by analyzing agencies' business case submissions, comparing business lines in the Federal Enterprise Architecture and reviewing the Federal Geographic Data Committee's annual report.

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