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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Official word from Karen Siderelis was delivered to USGS employees today in the memorandum below. A second memo from Robert Doyle, Deputy Director follows.

The plan is to use the two remaining USGS sites, Rolla and Denver, as Operations Centers and to use lessons learned in the now cancelled A-76, to reach goals. It appears both federal employees and private contractors will be invovled in “doing the work.” The new organization should be in place by Q1 2008 calendar year.

No word on the “why” at this point, but I suspect the handwriting (written in large part by Rep. Jo Ann Emerson) was on the wall that failure was imminent. I’m not sure this is a perfect solution, but I offer contratulations to those who’ve fought to keep their vision of USGS alive and out on the landscape.

Other coverage:
Rolla Daily News
USGS stays: Rolla and Denver offices to remain open
USGS stays: Muted celebration
Missourinet (includes audio interview with Emerson)


June 13, 2007

To:      All NGTOC Employees

From:      Karen Siderelis /s/ Karen Siderelis
      Associate Director for Geospatial Information

Subject:      Announcement Regarding National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) Future Directions

This memorandum is to share with you the status and plans of the U.S. Geological Survey regarding the National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) of the National Geospatial Program Office.  As you are aware, the USGS announced formation of the NGTOC in January 2005, and developed a business strategy that led to decisions to consolidate four existing mapping centers, planned to use the competitive sourcing (A-76) process to modernize geospatial production activities, and to restructure the workforce to meet modern day requirements for geospatial operations.  As explained below, the Department of the Interior has decided to cancel the A-76 study and pursue an alternative strategy to complete this transformation.

The A-76 study process to date has allowed the USGS to plan for and develop more efficient, streamlined approaches to meet mission objectives.  New technological advances and innovations are being incorporated into the technical operations and the program has been restructured to include competitive processes that allow the integration of products and services from public and private sector partners into the operations of the USGS geospatial program.  Management actions taken include closing two of the four sites and reducing the permanent government workforce from approximately 400 to 180. 

The USGS will continue the process of transforming its geospatial technical operations.  However, we will discontinue the current A-76 study and use an alternative strategy that builds on the progress described above to achieve efficiencies and modernization of USGS geospatial technical operations.  The NGTOC will be operated at two sites in Denver, Colorado and Rolla, Missouri.  Management will determine the functions and responsibilities at each site in a way that is driven by program goals, is efficient and sensible, and leverages the strengths of each of the two sites.  We expect investments in the process thus far to guide the final transformation of the NGTOC.  Decisions and plans will be made expeditiously and we expect the reconfigured NGTOC to be fully operational in the first quarter of calendar year 2008. 

The USGS remains committed to the vision of the NGTOC as a world-class center for geospatial operations that is a highly efficient and streamlined organization and is focused on the geospatial needs of the Nation in the 21st century.

Should you have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.


June 13, 2007

To:            All USGS Employees

From:  for     Robert Doyle /s/ Karen D. Baker
                Deputy Director

Subject:  Competitive Sourcing Process for the National Geospatial Technical Operations Center

USGS has determined that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76 Competitive Sourcing study underway for the functions of the National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) will be cancelled.  To expedite the process of transforming its geospatial technical operations in a timely manner, the USGS will use an alternative strategy to the current A-76 process to achieve efficiencies and modernization of the NGTOC. 

I realize that mid-stream changes to our Competitive Sourcing plan are frustrating to those of you who are affected by the decisions and those who gave their time to participate in the study process.  In this case, I feel the reasons are well-justified.  We learn more about the A-76 process every time we go through it, and we will bring best practices forward each time.

I want to thank those directly-affected employees who participated in the studies and cooperated in the examination of their day-to-day duties.  In addition, I want to thank the members of the planning teams, the Performance Work Statement Team, Most Efficient Organization Teams, Competitive Sourcing Study Coordinator, Agency Tender Officers, Source Selection Authorities, Contracting Officers, Cost Center Chiefs, and the members of the Competitive Sourcing Team for your exceptional diligence during this study.  Investments in the study process thus far will serve as a guide to the final transformation of the NGTOC. 

If the above list of participants is any measure, you can see that the USGS takes very seriously our ability to operate efficiently and to compete well in competitive sourcing studies.  And, we will continue to do so. 

If you have questions, you may email the Competitive Sourcing Team at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/13 at 03:16 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Brady at O’Reilly goes on about EveryScape a sort of low-budget, low-res Photosynth. Users snap pics that are then woven into a semi-3D fabric via a proprietary technique. Business model: unclear. First up: San Fran this fall and you can vote on the next cities…

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/13 at 12:40 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Federal Election Commission now offers an interactive map that shows how much each candidate has raised right down to the zip code. Now, that’s fine, here’s the interesting part: The FEC did so after seeing a similar app from the New York Times which cost $800,000. I believe it’s this one. The commission then went out and bought the same software (not sure what, but it uses Flash) with fewer bells and whistles for its own site. Cost to taxpayers: $12,000.

- The Hotline and

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/13 at 09:49 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I got a mailing today from HSBC which I now know uses the tagline “The world’s local bank.” I checked out the U.S. website and found they have no branches in Massachusetts. So much for being my local bank!

I actually use a local bank for biz and personally banking. I’m pleased to say I have heard of (and been to!) all the cities in which it has branches.

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/13 at 09:23 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The company will move a mile down the road from its Merchandise Mart location but stay in the Windy City. Part of the deal is a $5 million subsidy from the city to stay. Such subsidies were designed to rekindle blighted neighborhoods, but Mayor Daley said it was well used for NAVTEQ to keep it in the city and out of a skyscraper.

The company employs 550 at HQ and plans to add 350 jobs in the next five years.

Chicago Tribune

by Adena Schutzberg on 06/13 at 09:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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