performed by private firms under contract with the state or local government. This provides an opportunity for the designated state or local Land-Information Systems office to review the contract as a routine administrative step, with approval of that office required for any portions of a state contract that will generate data within the scope of the local cadastre.
We recommend that state governments require that the Office of Land Information Systems, or its equivalent, approve the relevant portions of any contracts involving production of field measurements, maps, or other land data that are within the scope of the local cadastre.
The private firms that provide telephone, electric, gas, and, in some areas, water or other communications services, as regulated public utilities have requirements for keeping track of their facilities that parallel those of the local public works department. Like the public offices, the managements of these regulated monopolies do not have sufficient incentive from just their own operations to join with others in building a shared land data base. On the other hand, they usually have been able to raise many more millions of dollars to invest in their separate mapping and record systems than have their counterparts who operate the county government facilities. The executives of the regulated utilities have been able to justify far heavier investments in land data to their public regulatory boards than have the county executives to their councils or to the electorate. One would hope this is due, in part, to the recognition of high professional standards in the management of the regulated utilities. However, one must also recognize that the appointees to state regulatory boards do not answer to the voters for the duplication they pemit between separate utility companies in the same way that county officials must answer for duplication they permit among county departments. The marginal costs of duplication, or the marginal savings from a shared data system, revert to the public in either case, through their utility bills or their property-tax bills.
We recommend that the regulated public utilities be required to identify the field measurements, maps, or other land data for which budgetary approval is being requested and that, prior to this approval, the state boards that regulate them be required to submit this information to the designated state and local offices responsible for local Land-Information Systems for evaluation of the adequacy of the data that should be included in the mitltipurpose cadastre and for a determination of any duplication of effort.
The original basis of title to most of the land in the United States was as federal territory, and most of this has been subdivided and transferred to others with reference to the Public Land Survey System (PLSS). The major exceptions are the lands of the original 13 colonies, which make up 18 of our present states. Thus, the General Land Office of the U.S. Government was predominant in establishing the cadastral records for most of Ohio (where the system originated) and for all of 29 states that