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Promoting the National Spatial Data Infrastructure Through Partnerships
ment for coordinating data production and partnership activities. The range of alternatives to consider should include regional coordination staff and coordinating positions within organizations responsible for spatial data production. Stewardship responsibilities for base (framework) data sets specific to geographic areas should be encouraged. The practicality of a data stewardship certification program should be studied. The clearing-house function should catalogue base data and their availability through data stewards.
Clear guidelines for cost sharing in partnerships need to be developed. The formulation of such guidelines should be one component of the FGDC's role in NSDI. Guidelines should reflect the responsibility of the federal government to address and fund the nation's interest in NSDI.
It is imperative that states and other organizations be involved in the standards development process and that only standards essential to NSDI objectives be required of partnership agreements. Promulgation and maintenance of standards is an important component of the FGDC's role in NSDI; standards must not be compromised in the formation of partnerships.
Incentives are needed to encourage partnerships that are designed to maximize use and benefits to the broader user community. Such incentives could be provided through the monitoring and coordinating roles of the FGDC and state geographic information councils.
The Federal Geographic Data Committee should investigate the extent to which federal procurement rules (and future revisions resulting from the National Performance Review) are an impediment to the formation of spatial data partnerships, and identify steps that can be taken to ease them.
In conclusion, the MSC finds that the FGDC, federal agencies, and state geographic information councils are making positive contributions to the evolution of the NSDI. The MSC further identifies the partnership