Geospatial Services
Information Resources and Technology Management
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 Policy  Description

USFWS Geospatial Services Strategic Plan


The Fish and Wildlife Service 2018 to 2022 Geospatial Services Strategic Plan focuses on specific goals and objectives that will improve communication and collaboration within the Service and with our partners in the geospatial area. This plan replaces the GIS Strategic Plan that covered the time period from 2010 to 2014.

Fiscal Year 2018 Action Items


Effective strategic plans include mechanisms for implementing the plan and monitoring progress towards achieving goals and objectives. The GIS Steering Committee works on implementing the strategic plan by identifying yearly Action Items and Tasks associated with the goals and objectives of the plan.

USFWS GIS Steering Committee Charter The GIS Steering Committee Charter was approved by the Director, April 27, 2005.  The charter “refines the Committee’s purpose, goals, authority, and scope of activities and enables its members to make a greater contribution towards improved management of the GIS resources within the Service.”  This Geospatial Services Strategic Plan sets the strategy and actions for accomplishing the charter goals and activities.

USFWS Service Manual Chapter 270 FW 8 Geographic Information Systems The GIS Manual Chapter “states the objectives of our spatial data management program and how we implement GIS technology.  It describes the roles and responsibilities of Service employees managing and implementing GIS and describes the general authorities under which our GIS program operates.”

USFWS Manual Chapter 343 FW 1-3 Cadastral Surveys and Maps: Survey Policies and Responsibilities, Standards and Procedures, Mapping The purpose of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) surveys is to research, locate, plat, and describe the geographic position and configuration of points, lines, and shapes for the acquisition, disposal, and management of real property rights and interests.

USFWS Graphic Standards The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's graphic program relies on simplicity and directness, demanding that every detail be addressed in maps, publications, and other media. The FWS Geospatial Services Strategy will work to support the policies and responsibilities for approval, development, review,printing, and distribution of all publications USFWS funds, sponsors, and publishes.

USFWS IRTM Mission The IRTM program, along with the Directorate, is responsible for maintaining and enhancing management of the Service’s information resources and technology, providing customer support, and developing policies, procedures, and guidance in support of the Service’s mission. GIS is considered part of IRTM due to the technical infrastructure requirements of GIS and related technologies even though many GIS end users are located in other programs in the regions and nationally.

DOI Strategic Plan The U.S. Department of the Interior's Strategic Plan serves as the agency's roadmap for our near term actions. In accordance with the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), agency strategic plans cover a five year period and are updated at least every three years. Interior's strategic plan frames organizational responsibilities and operational assumptions, and converts them into expectations for performance and accomplishment. It establishes measurable performance targets in each defined mission area along with targets for Departmental management initiatives. This structure helps us to consider risks and our capacity to perform under less than ideal circumstances. Most of the outcome goals of the mission framework that identify the USFWS as contributing to the accomplishment of the measures will rely heavily on GIS and related technology to achieve them.

OMB Circular A-16 Circular A-16 was created to address the “Coordination of Geographic Information and Related Spatial Data Activities”.  The Circular provides direction for federal agencies that produce, maintain or use spatial data either directly or indirectly in the fulfillment of their mission. The Circular establishes a coordinated approach to electronically develop the National Spatial Data Infrastructure and established the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC).

OMB Circular A-130: Managing Information as a Strategic Resource The Circular establishes general policy for information governance, acquisitions, records management, open data, workforce, security, and privacy. It also emphasizes the role of both privacy and security in the Federal information life cycle. Importantly, it represents a shift from viewing security and privacy requirements as compliance exercises to understanding security and privacy as crucial elements of a comprehensive, strategic, and continuous risk-based program at Federal agencies.

OMB Memo M-15-14 Management and Oversight of Federal Information Technology Act The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), passed by Congress in December 2014, is a historic law that represents the first major overhaul of Federal information Technology (IT) in almost 20 years. Since FITARA’s enactment, OMB published guidance to agencies to ensure that this law is applied consistently governmentwide in a way that is both workable and effective. This guidance is now available as OMB Memorandum M-15-14: Management and Oversight of Federal Information Technology. The FWS GIS effort will support this act by finding ways to implement datacenter consolidation, IT investment consolidation, and other related efforts.

Executive Order 12906 Executive Order 12906 was established to “Coordinate Geographic Data Acquisition and Access:  The National Spatial Data Infrastructure.”  The Executive Order states “the National Performance Review has recommended that the executive branch develop, in cooperation with State, local, and tribal governments, and the private sector, a coordinated National Spatial Data Infrastructure to support public and private sector applications of geospatial data in such areas as transportation, community development, agriculture, emergency response, environmental management, and information technology.” 

Executive Order M-13013 Open Data Policy - Managing Information as an Asset Information is a valuable national resource and a strategic asset to the Federal Government, its partners, and the public. In order to ensure that the Federal Government is taking full advantage of its information resources, executive depa11ments and agencies (hereafter referred to as "agencies") must manage information as an asset throughout its life cycle to promote openness and interoperability, and properly safeguard systems and information. Managing government information as an asset will increase operational efficiencies, reduce costs, improve services, support mission needs, safeguard personal information, and increase public access to valuable government information. FWS GIS efforts will work to implement the Open Data and related Data Management policies.

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Last updated: July 23, 2018