JMP&A Makes Geospatial Community’s Voice Heard in Halls of Congress

June 4, 2018 -- Reston, VA – The voice of the geospatial community is being heard in the halls of Congress and in Federal agencies throughout the first half of 2018 as a result of representation by John M. Palatiello & Associates, Inc. ( JMP&A), the leading public affairs and association management firm serving the geospatial community.

“On a variety of issues, the geospatial community is having an impact on public policy that not only serves the profession, but protects the public health, welfare and safety,” said John M. Palatiello, the firm’s founder and president.

As the leader of the Digital Coast Partnership Advocacy Coalition, JMP&A was instrumental in organizing a briefing for Congress on the NOAA project and in support of legislation authorizing a full Digital Coast program.  S. 110, the Digital Coast Act of 2017, unanimously passed the U.S. Senate on May 25, 2017 and is pending in the U.S. House of Representatives along with its House companion bill, H.R. 4062.  John Palatiello was among the speakers making presentations on behalf of the bill at a May 9, 2018 briefing for Congress, at which he outlined benefits to the public and geospatial community, particularly surveyors, of Digital Coast data, and summarized legislative efforts.  JMP&A also organized a  letter to the House Committee on Natural Resources seeking prompt action on the bill.  The letter was signed by the American Planning Association, Association of State Floodplain Managers, Coastal States Organization, National Association of Counties, National Estuarine Research Reserve Association, National Flood Association, National Society of Professional Surveyors, National States Geographic Information Council, and The Nature Conservancy.

Reform of the Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP) program managed by the Federal Emergency Mapping Agency (FEMA) in support of its National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has also been a topic of attention for JMP&A.   H.R. 4905, the Improvement of Mapping, Addresses, Geography, Elevations, and Structures (IMAGES) Act, a bipartisan bill  introduced by Reps. Alex Mooney (R-WV) and Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) that seeks improvements in the accuracy and data quality of the FEMA mapping program, was written with assistance by JMP&A.

As managers and organizers of the  3DEP Coalition, JMP&A has been engaged in numerous activities to promote the  USGS program that provides a consistent set of elevation data, primarily through LiDAR, on a national basis, through USGS partnerships with other Federal agencies, state and local government, and a public-private partnership.  Earlier this year, JMP&A facilitated a meeting with Kevin Gallagher, Associate Director of USGS for Core Sciences, and program manager for 3DEP, with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DoT) for Intergovernmental Affairs to engage DoT and its constituent agencies, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Highway Administration (FHwA), and several others, as full partners in 3DEP, including a position on the 3DEP Executive Forum.  JMP&A also coordinated  letters in support for appropriations for 3DEP in Congress signed by 15 national organizations and organized a  meeting hosted at the headquarters of the National Association of Realtors where coalition members received a  briefing on 3DEP from USGS and established the coalition’s appropriations strategy.

As Administrator of the Council on Federal Procurement of Architectural & Engineering Services (COFPAES), JMP&A has provided leadership on the promotion of and compliance with the qualifications-based selection (QBS) process for contracts by Federal agencies and Federal grant and assistance recipients.  Among recent COFPAES activities is the inclusion of QBS provisions in H.R. 4, a Federal Aviation Administration FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on April 27, 2018 and S. 2800, America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, approved May 22 by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

JMP&A serves as government affairs consultant to the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS).  On April 11, 2018 NSPS members participated in the society’s annual “Day on the Hill”, organized by JMP&A, the largest geospatial community event, with more than 40 NSPS members from 30 states visiting more than 150 members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to discuss the  Geospatial Data Act Infrastructure, and  Private Sector Utilization.

Through JMP&A’s efforts on behalf of NSPS, President Trump issued a communication recognizing  National Surveyors Week, observed March 18-24, 2018.

Additionally, NSPS member Bryan Haynie, a member of the Board of Directors of the Maryland Society of Surveyors (MSS), and currently serving as Chairman of the Workforce Development Committee of MSS, represented NSPS during a Congressional roundtable on Workforce Development hosted by the  Smart Cities Caucus, co-chaired by Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Darrell Issa (R-CA), on May 14 in the U.S. Capitol.

“JMP&A seeks to serve our professional clients in a manner that upholds their commitment to the public interest,” said John “JB” Byrd, the firm’s registered lobbyist.  “Effective representation before Congress and Federal agencies has been the hallmark of JMP&A for more than 30 years and we’re pleased to support our geospatial community clients in the advancement of their public policy goals.”

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