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DHS Faces Challenges in Meeting the Responsibilities of the Geospatial Data Act of 2018

Executive Summary

DHS has not fulfilled most of the 13 responsibilities of the Geospatial Data Act.  To comply with one responsibility, DHS has a Geospatial Information Officer and a dedicated Geospatial Management Office whose duties include overseeing the Act’s implementation and to coordinate with other agencies.  However, DHS has only partially met, or not met, the remaining 12 responsibilities in the Act.  DHS’ lack of progress in complying with the responsibilities outlined in the Act can be attributed to multiple external and internal factors.  External factors include the need for additional guidance from the Federal Geographic Data Committee and the Office of Management and Budget to properly interpret and implement certain responsibilities.  Internal factors include competing priorities that diverted resources away from fulfilling the Act’s 13 responsibilities.  We made three recommendations that focus on increasing the resources necessary to comply with DHS’ 13 responsibilities under the Act.  The Department concurred with all three recommendations.

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