PA-MAPPS Testifies Before Pennsylvania Legislature on Geospatial Coordination Bill

Harrisburg, PA, August 30, 2007- Ashis Pal, (geographIT, Lancaster, PA) President of PA-MAPPS, testified yesterday before the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in support of H.B. 1304, a bill to establish the Pennsylvania Geospatial Coordinating Council.

H.B. 1304 calls for the Council to improve the access, quality, cost-effectiveness and usefulness of Pennsylvania's geospatial data infrastructure and to promote geospatial information and technology as a government, economic and strategic resource in the Commonwealth.

In his testimony before the Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs, Pal said, "PA-MAPPS supports a Pennsylvania Geospatial Coordinating Council to take advantage of the increasing demand for geospatial data and services that is fueling job growth in the Commonwealth. The Council will help to assure the citizens of Pennsylvania that government at the federal, state and local levels, as well as the business and academic communities are coordinating and using geospatial data in the most efficient way possible."
Members of the Council will be comprised of representatives of a number of stakeholder groups, including from Federal agencies, members of the Senate and House of Representatives from the Commonwealth, local townships and county commissioners, universities, and a private sector representative from PA-MAPPS.

Pal stressed the role of the Council, as defined in the bill, "should make clear that the Coordinating Council will be a policy and coordination organization." He said the authority of the Council should "specify that contracting should be primarily with the private sector to avoid inappropriate government, non-profit or university competition with legitimate business activities and that such contracting be limited to supporting the purposes of the Council."

An amendment to H.B. 1304 to recognize PA-MAPPS as the only private geospatial association in the Commonwealth and the association from which the Governor will appoint a private sector geospatial representative to the Council, if the bill is passed into law, has been formally filed in the Legislature.

About PA-MAPPS and MAPPS

MAPPS is the only national association exclusively comprised of private firms in the spatial data and geographic information system field in the United States. Formed in 1982, MAPPS has expanded in size and scope to become the voice of private U.S geospatial firms. PA-MAPPS is the first state chapter in the MAPPS organization, formed in May, 2007 to represent private sector geospatial firms based in or with offices in Pennsylvania, or firms doing business in or with an interest in Pennsylvania. Firms are jointly members of MAPPS and PA-MAPPS. For information and membership application, visit www.mapps.org or www.mapps.org/PAChapter.


Contact
Nick Palatiello
MAPPS Marketing Communications Manager
703-787-6996




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