recommended reading

Agencies waste millions acquiring duplicative data on roads, street addresses


The Office of Management and Budget and other federal agencies haven’t done enough to coordinate how geospatial data is collected and shared, a watchdog said Monday.

As a result, agencies have wasted millions of dollars gathering duplicative information about roads, street addresses and other data, the Government Accountability Office said.

The interagency Federal Geographic Data Committee has done a good job of establishing governmentwide standards for geospatial data and for the metadata attached to that data, such as information about when and how it was collected, GAO said.

The committee, which is currently headed by the Interior Department, has also done a good job of establishing a governmentwide clearinghouse for geospatial data, the watchdog said.

But the committee and OMB have not done enough to encourage agencies to use that clearinghouse, GAO said. The committee also hasn’t established clear goals for how it will raise participation in the clearinghouse and reduce duplication, GAO said, and it isn’t sufficiently making progress in achieving those goals.

“As a result, efforts to acquire data are uncoordinated and the federal government is acquiring duplicative geospatial data,” GAO said. “For example, three agencies are independently acquiring road data, which is reported to have resulted in millions of wasted taxpayers' dollars.”

Government agencies use geospatial data to do everything from mapping the path of natural disasters to studying the effectiveness of government-funded social programs.

The U.S. Agency for International Development, for instance, uses geospatial data to measure the outcomes of its international development programs and to pinpoint where programs might be most effective. The Agriculture Department has launched a program to pull all of its geospatial data into a single portal. 

Do you want to know more about the outlook for federal IT in 2013? Attend Nextgov Prime on Monday, Dec. 3, where key lawmakers will outline their plans for reforming the way agencies buy technology. Our expert panelswill discuss the future of cloud computing, cybersecurity, data analytics and more.

(Image via Alexzel/

Threatwatch Alert

Network intrusion / Stolen credentials

85M User Accounts Compromised from Video-sharing Site Dailymotion

See threatwatch report


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.