[10/26] Update: More insider news from the Rolla Daily Times includes what went on in Denver when Karen Sideralis and Gale Norton prepared to meet with Rolla officials regarding the decision. According to a letter from a Denver employee, the staff was asked to document partners associated with the Denver office. That didn’t bother the writer. Instead he asks, rightly, I believe: “‘Shouldn’t Ms. Siderelis and her staff have all this information already?’ Supposedly, she should have had this at her disposal when she made her decision.” This whole situation is looking bad for Interior and USGS.
[10/25] Update: The article from FCW notes that the new Denver “union” is pushing for splitting resonsibilities between Denver and Rolla. Union leader Sandra Hoyle, a USGS cartographic technician, also suggests that Karen Siderelis selected Denver since it’d be easier for private business to “win” the work. In Rolla, it’d have been harder.
While the memo from USGS Director Patrick Leahy announcing this “hold” is widely quoted it is not available on the Web. It was send as an e-mail to USGS employees and was apparently also shared outside USGS. USGS decided not to put out a press release. I requested it from USGS and reprint it below.
October 21, 2005
To: All National Geospatial Technical Operations Center Employees
From: P. Patrick Leahy (signed Pat Leahy)
Subject: The National Geospatial Technical Operations Center
Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Mark Limbaugh has requested that the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) put a hold on the implementation to locate the National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) at the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood, Colorado. Assistant Secretary Limbaugh directed a review of the decision process in light of questions raised about that process. Therefore, I am directing that no further actions be taken to implement the location decision and the A-76 competitive sourcing study pending the outcome of this review.
All of us at USGS remain committed to developing the most efficient, effective workforce and organizational structure to fulfill our mission.
I thank you for your patience while this issue is reviewed.
[10/21] Via the Associated Press: “The U.S. Interior Department said today it is postponing plans to move its federal mapping agency office out of Rolla, pending a review of the decision.” Missouri Congresspeople have been all over this since the decision was made locate the NGTOC in Denver. Clearly, Interior is listening.
Even as this annoucement was made, local Rollans were asked to sign a petition to reverse the Devner decision by the publisher of the Rolla Daily News.