NSPS utilizes questionnaire to set legislative agenda
NSPS Government Affairs Consultant John M. Palatiello and Associates, with assistance from Flat Dog Media, the NSPS media relations firm, has prepared a questionnaire to inquire of its members their perspectives for establishing a Government Affairs issues agenda for the coming year. To participate in this exercise, click on this link.
Rhonda Rushing (Berntsen International) has donated five copies of her popular book entitled "Lasting Impressions" to be given to five respondents to the questionnaire. The drawing for winners' names will be at random.
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NSPS seeks fairness for surveyors in design-build
NSPS Executive Director Curt Sumner and Government Affairs Representative John Byrd pushed for fairness in the participation of surveyors on design-build contracts in a March 12 meeting on Capitol Hill. The meeting with professional staff of the House Small Business Committee and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee was to evaluate the use of design-build in Federal procurement.
Discussion focused on the issues affecting architecture and engineering firms, as well as those in surveying, mapping, and other specialty subcontractor professional services, such as the cost compete for small business, differences between the design-build procurement method and traditional QBS-based design-bid-build, selections on a low-bid basis, and match the technical complexity of a project with the proper procurement method.
Future meetings are planned where legislation to reform the process and protect the Brooks Act may be discussed. Also attending were representatives of COFPAES (of which NSPS is a member) including the American Institute of Architects, American Society of Civil Engineers and MAPPS, as well as the American Council of Engineering Companies, the National Electrical Contractors Association and the Design-Build Institute of America.
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NSPS members qualify for discount at QBS workshop
COFPAES, of which NSPS is a member, will host a one-day workshop on the qualifications based selection process for federal procurement or architecture, engineering, surveying, and mapping services on Tuesday, May 14 at the American Institute of Architects, 1735 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. There is a discount for NSPS members at $215, compared to the non-member price of $265. This U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-instructed workshop will review the background of the qualifications based selection process for procurement of professional services.
Topics covered will include the principle requirements of the Brooks Act and similar state laws, and provide details on all phases of implementing a successful contracting process, including acquisition planning, scopes of work, public notification, full and open competition, evaluation and selection, negotiations, contract award, contract management and administration. It will also cover traditional design-bid-build versus design-build.
Census data shows high, low demand jurisdictions
Where is the greatest and least demand for surveying services? Recent reports from the Census Bureau provide an indication. Census reports one in three U.S. counties is dying. Meanwhile, Census data show which are the top 15 growing metropolitan areas.
QBS application to GPS survey contract questioned
At the request of NSPS members, the society's government affairs representatives, John M. Palatiello & Associates Inc., have initiated an inquiry with the Veterans Administration of a request for competitive bids on a contract solicitation for GPS surveys at several national cemeteries. The Brooks Act, 40 U.S.C. 1101, requires such contracts to be procured via the qualifications based selection process. Questions have also arisen as to the role a surveyor must play on the contract. As a contract set aside solely for service disabled veteran firms, the prime contractor must, under federal rules, perform at least 50 percent of the personnel time requirements in-house, rather than through subcontractors.
FLAIR Act garners 12 cosponsors
H.R. 916, the Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform Act, now has 12 cosponsors. The bill to create a current, accurate inventory or cadastre of federally owned land, introduced Feb. 28 by Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., and Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, now also bears the names of Reps. Mark Amodei, R-Nev.; Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.; Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah; Mike Coffman, R-Colo.; Bill Johnson, R-Ohio; Walter Jones, R-N.C., Michael Michaud, D-Maine; Stevan Pearce, R-N.M.; David Price, D-N.C., and Don Young, R-Ark.
Digital Coast bill introduced in U.S. House
A bipartisan bill, H.R. 1382, the "Digital Coast Act of 2013" by U.S. Representatives C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, D-Md., and Don Young, R-Ark., to authorize a "Digital Coast" program whereby the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would develop a coordinated and comprehensive national surveying and mapping effort for coastal, state and territorial waters of the United States, has been introduced in Congress.
'Drone' bill in Georgia state legislature exempts surveying, mapping
Legislation to limit the use of unmanned aerial vehicles or "drones" is now pending in some 30 state legislatures, but a bill in Georgia specifically recognizes the unique role of aerial surveying and mapping. Georgia Senate bill, SB 200, by state senators McKoon and Cowsert, would exempt from the bill's limits "any object, mechanism or vehicle deployed in flight for the purpose of mapping, cartography or surveying or imaging of land if such deployment is made without intent to engage in surveillance or search and seizure."
Missouri surveyor rides to help disaster victims
Surveyor Jerrod Hogan is among a group of cyclists who are riding to raise awareness and funds to support the rebuilding and recovery efforts in New York/New Jersey, New Orleans, and Joplin, Mo.
The JOMONOLA Bicycle Tour starts in Joplin on June 20 and ends in New Orleans on June 29.
Visit the website, www.jomonola.org, to learn about the team's journey, sponsor and support the ride, connect with tour events in your own area and find out how you can be part of helping to bring families home one mile at a time.
Jerrod will appear on the NSPS Radio Hour on April 8 to share more information. Listen online at www.americaswebradio.com at 11 a.m. EDT to hear more about this project.
NSPS Joins GPS Innovation Alliance
In recognition of the benefits of GPS to the surveying profession, NSPS has affiliated with a recently established alliance focused on protecting, promoting and enhancing GPS.
The new cartographers
Twenty years ago, a driver lost at night would pull his car over, take out a paper map bought at a gas station, and pore over its folds under a dim light. With luck and some critical thinking, he would eventually get where he was going. Today, he'd be more likely to swipe his finger across a smart phone screen and follow directions using Google Maps.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
Is a geospatial user fee the answer to creating and maintaining the US National Spatial Data Infrastructure?
A Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors working group is exploring the viability of a geospatial user fee that would create a trust fund to insure the creation and maintenance the United States spatial data stores. It's not as farfetched as it might seem; there are dozens of such fees that support important government created goods and services.
Google Earth goes mobile
The American Surveyor
With the advent of accessible, Internet-connected, hand-held computing devices, the opportunity for using such devices to support fieldwork became a reality. Metzger and Willard, Inc. began using smartphones in 2010 to bring construction drawings and survey control data to the field, search record drawing data, and locate utility infrastructure.
Engineers give America's infrastructure a 'D+'
When it comes to maintaining and investing in infrastructure, the nation's engineers say America is seeing some progress, but still not making the grade. In its latest report card on infrastructure conditions, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the U.S. a "D plus" this year, up from a "D" in 2009.