URISA, the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association, has weighed in on the Federal Geospatial LoB RFI. In section 2.4 (page 15), the authors state:
"No New Funds": Not Realistic.
They have plenty of other serious recommendations as well. I don't agree with all of them, but I do appreciate their objection to rigid, top-down, governance, and emphasis on investment in geospatial infrastructure.
URISA's document mentions FEMA, but doesn't get into particulars. Here's the deal with FEMA: One of the Federal Government's most appreciated entities was reorganized into the Department of Homeland Security, where, through a combination of revolutionary thinking, cost-cutting, and cronyism, it was completely eviscerated. Congress is now discussing whether the agency should be given a burial. Could we be seeing another application of the same anti-patterns to our geospatial domain? Revolutionary thinking is clearly at work in the LoB: "Think big, propose big ideas". The cost-cutting is there, too. The Reverse Midas Touch is so common in the Federal Government these days that it's hard to be optimistic. I'm hoping that the GSA gets many more responses like this one from URISA; our geospatial infrastructure needs to be led by sober practitioners rather than by visionaries and revolutionaries.
Update: to avoid confusion, understand that the editorializing about FEMA and the Reverse Midas Touch is mine, not URISA's.