COFPAES' Palatiello Dispels Myth of Brooks Act Litigation in ACSM Presentation
[ Back ]   [ More News ]   [ Home ]
COFPAES' Palatiello Dispels Myth of Brooks Act Litigation in ACSM Presentation

RESTON, VA., 14 March 2007 – COFPAES Administrator John Palatiello this week dispelled the myth that the Brooks Act litigation would mean that only licensed architects, engineers and surveyors would be eligible for Federal geospatial or GIS contracts if the court rules in favor of MAPPS, COFPAES, et al.

“This misconception is terribly inaccurate and categorically untrue,” said Palatiello, speaking at the American Congress on Surveying & Mapping (ACSM) Conference on March 12 in St. Louis. “Numerous Federal geospatial contracts have been awarded via the Brooks Act qualifications based selection (QBS) process to firms that are not traditional architectural, engineering or surveying firms. These firms have included ESRI, BAE Systems, Raytheon, Space Imaging and Harris Corp.”

Palatiello also noted that the standard government form (SF 330) used by firms to compete for Federal contracts under the Brooks Act include Occupation Codes for Aerial Photographer, Cartographer, Geodetic Surveyor, GIS Specialist, Hydrographic Surveyor, Land Surveyor, Photo Interpreter, Photogrammetrist, and Remote Sensing Specialist. In addition, there are Prior Experience Profile Codes for Aerial Photography: Airborne and Imagery Collection and Analysis; Cartography; Charting: Nautical and Aeronautical; Digital Elevation and Terrain Model Development; Digital Orthophotography; Environmental and Natural Resource Mapping; GIS Services: Development, Analysis, and Data Collection; Geodetic Surveying: Ground and Airborne; Geospatial Data Conversion: Scanning, Digitizing, Compilation, Attributing, Scribing, Drafting; Hydrographic Surveying; Land Surveying; Mapping Location/Addressing Systems; Photogrammetry; Remote Sensing; Surveying; Platting, Mapping and Flood Plain Studies; and Topographic Surveying and Mapping.

“In awarding mapping and GIS contracts, the Brooks Act clearly seeks to be inclusive of virtually all occupations that comprise the geospatial profession,” said Palatiello. “The litigation is aimed at ensuring the Brooks Act is implemented in the Federal Acquisition Regulations properly to the benefit of all geospatial professionals.”

Palatiello also pointed out that Federal agencies get more competition on QBS procurements for geospatial services than they get with competitive bidding.

Palatiello was invited to speak at the ACSM Annual Conference on issues affecting Federal procurement of surveying and mapping services. He made the presentation in his capacity as Administrator of the Council on Federal Procurement of Architectural & Engineering Services (COFPAES). ACSM and MAPPS are both COFPAES member organizations. Palatiello is a former Assistant executive Director of ACSM and was joint government affairs director of ACSM and ASPRS from 1982 to 1987.

The case of MAPPS, COFPAES, NSPE, and ASCE v. United States of America [1:06cv378] is currently pending before United States District court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

For information on MAPPS, go to For information on COFPAES, go to For information on Mr. Palatiello’s firm, go to


Founded in 1966, the Council on Federal Procurement of Architectural and Engineering Services (COFPAES) has spoken as the united voice of the broad A/E community on issues related to Federal procurement. COFPAES was the leader in securing original passage of Brooks Act in 1972 and has been the vanguard for preserving, protecting, and promoting qualifications based selection ever since. The Brooks Act (40 USC 1101) provides for Federal procurement of a broad definition of architecture, engineering, surveying and mapping services based on demonstrated competence and qualifications of competing firms, subject to negotiation of a fee that is fair and reasonable to the government. As opposed to bidding, the Brooks Act’s QBS process is a highly competitive procedure that permits Federal agencies to select the firm that is most qualified for a particular project, and negotiate a fee that will help assure project success. In 1988, Congress amended the Brooks Act to clarify its application to surveying and mapping services.


MAPPS was formed in 1982 by a small group of U.S. photogrammetry companies as the Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors to represent the interests of private photogrammetric and aerial surveying firms. Since then, MAPPS has expanded in size and scope to become the only national association exclusively comprised of private firms in the spatial data and geographic information system field in the United States.

Current MAPPS membership spans the entire spectrum of the geospatial community, including Member Firms engaged in surveying, photogrammetry, satellite and airborne remote sensing, aerial photography, hydrography, aerial and satellite image processing, GPS, and GIS data collection and conversion services. MAPPS also includes Associate Members, which are companies that provide hardware, software, products and services to the geospatial profession in the United States and other firms from around the world.

Contact John Palatiello at 703-787-6665.

Read the complete story ...