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Promoting the National Spatial Data Infrastructure Through Partnerships APPENDIX A RELATED INITIATIVES AND DEVELOPMENT OF PARTNERSHIPS The promotion of the NSDI through partnerships represents but one dimension of a broader national thrust toward enhanced federal/state cooperation. Through legislation, governmental pronouncements, conference emphases, and media commentaries alike, the search for new and better ways of shaping a more efficient and responsive system for acquiring, maintaining, and distributing spatial data continues. Early in the new Administration, President Clinton and Vice President Gore stated, ''Effective management of technology policy . . . requires an effective partnership between federal and state governments. The states have pioneered many valuable programs to accelerate technology development and commercialization.''1 Several organizations and reports have recently focused on the high potential of such collaborative efforts. The National Association of State Information Resource Executives2 has interacted directly with the OMB in a positive effort to establish effective partnerships to change paradigms and prototype new approaches. Case studies with proposed solutions were identified—from such states as Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, and Texas—across a spectrum of applications. The stated goal of the report prepared by the State Information Policy Consortium3 was to provide "a scenario in which technology and information can be used to re-engineer and streamline government operations at all levels." The consortium consists of representatives from the Council of State Governments, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the National Governors' Association.
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Promoting the National Spatial Data Infrastructure Through Partnerships A study issued by the National Academy of Public Administration4 further reflects the belief that "information is pivotal to the vitality and productivity of government services and the nation's competitiveness." In Vice President Gore's report5 on the National Performance Review, the establishment of an NSDI as a responsibility of the Department of the Interior was specifically noted: By supporting a cross-agency coordinating effort, the federal government can develop a coherent vision for the national spatial data infrastructure (NSDI). (Spatial, or geographic data refers to information that can be placed on a map.) This will allow greatly improved information analysis in a wide range of areas, including the analysis of environmental information and the monitoring of endangered animals and sensitive land areas. In a similar vein, the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government issued a report6 that examined the achievements of the states in managing science and technology. The report also recommended ways in which the states can join with industry and the federal government in addressing the domestic issues of the 1990s and beyond: "The establishment of an interstate compact to help the states themselves decide what policies work best in a decentralized and variegated nation." The Library of Congress, also exercising a leadership role in this crucial focal area, held a conference on July 14, 1993 on "Delivering Electronic Information in a Knowledge-Based Democracy." The emphasis was on helping shape the policy framework essential to creating an advanced information infrastructure through an examination of the "critical policy issues central to the development of electronic information resources that will be distributed over the emerging digital 'highways.'" In September 1993, a State-Federal Technology Partnership Colloquium was "designed to establish broad-scale cooperation between the federal government and the states in matters related to science and technology." Topics such as "telecommunications and information infrastructure," "national and state science and technology policy,'' and "redefining federal laboratories'' were explored.7 In October 1993, a National Research Council report8 on the National Biological Survey that called for "a new national, multisector, cooperative program of federal, state, and local agencies; museums; academic institutions; and private organizations." A large portion of the proposed programs of the new National Biological Survey involve the generation,
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Promoting the National Spatial Data Infrastructure Through Partnerships management, and application of biological information tied to geography. The organization will become an important component of the NSDI. Several key congressional measures encourage the use of advanced technologies. These include the Stevenson Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, the Technology Transfer Act of 1986, and the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988. Illustrative of Presidential action (in 1987) augmenting these initiatives was Executive Order 12591, "Facilitating Access to Science and Technology." Last but not least, the recent Executive Order (Executive Order 12906, April 11, 1994, "Coordinating Geographic Data Acquisition and Access: National Spatial Data Infrastructure") explicitly calls for the development of partnerships for spatial data acquisition. Although most of these undertakings have not concentrated on the creation of a national spatial data infrastructure per se, the overarching concerns regarding federal/state cooperative processes, protocols, and priorities are quite germane to the philosophy and programs of those responsible for developing such an infrastructure upon which the nation and our society are increasingly dependent. It is imperative that public and private entities charged with creating the national spatial data infrastructure be fully aware that they represent only a single, but critical, component of a far more comprehensive information infrastructure. NOTES 1 Science policy address, February 28, 1993, Palo Alto, California (cited in Executive Summary of the National Association of State Information Resource Executives Case Studies, April 22, 1993, p. 1). 2 National Association of State Information Resource Executives Case Studies, April 22, 1993. 3 National Information and Service Delivery System—A Vision for Restructuring Government in the Information Age, 1993, State Information Policy Consortium, 8 pp. 4 The Information Government: National Agenda for Improving Government Through Information Technology, 1993, National Academy of Public Administration. 5 Creating a Government That Works Better & Costs Less: Report of the National
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Promoting the National Spatial Data Infrastructure Through Partnerships Performance Review, 1993, Vice President Al Gore, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 168 pp. 6 Science Technology, and the States in America's Third Century, 1992, Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government, New York. 7 The State-Federal Technology Partnership: Colloquium Proceedings, September 12-14, 1993, Battelle Memorial Institute, Cleveland, Ohio, 38 pp. 8 A Biological Survey for the Nation, 1993, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 195 pp.
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