ArchiveTitle: Executive Order 12906: Coordinating Geographic Data Access
Office of the Press Secretary
NOW, THEREFORE, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America; and to implement the recommendations of the National Performance Review; to advance the goals of the National Information Infrastructure; and to avoid wasteful duplication of effort and promote effective and economical management of resources by Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, it is ordered as follows:
(b) "Geospatial data" means information that identifies the geographic location and characteristics of natural or constructed features and boundaries on the earth. This information may be derived from, among other things, remote sensing, mapping, and surveying technologies. Statistical data may be included in this definition at the discretion of the collecting agency.
(c) The "National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse" means a distributed network of geospatial data producers, managers, and users linked electronically.
(b) Each member agency shall ensure that its representative on the FGDC holds a policy-level position.
(c) Executive branch departments and agencies ("agencies") that have an interest in the development of the NSDI are encouraged to join the FGDC.
(d) This Executive order is intended to strengthen and enhance the general policies described in OMB Circular No. A-16. Each agency shall meet its respective responsibilities under OMB Circular No. A- 16.
(e) The FGDC shall seek to involve State, local, and tribal governments in the development and implementation of the initiatives contained in this order. The FGDC shall utilize the expertise of academia, the private sector, professional societies, and others as necessary to aid in the development and implementation of the objectives of this order.
(b) Standardized Documentation of Data. Beginning 9 months from the date of this order, each agency shall document all new geospatial data it collects or produces, either directly or indirectly, using the standard under development by the FGDC, and make that standardized documentation electronically accessible to the Clearinghouse network. Within 1 year of the date of this order, agencies shall adopt a schedule, developed in consultation with the FGDC, for documenting, to the extent practicable, geospatial data previously collected or produced, either directly or indirectly, and making that data documentation electronically accessible to the Clearinghouse network.
(c) Public Access to Geospatial Data. Within 1 year of the date of this order, each agency shall adopt a plan, in consultation with the FGDC, establishing procedures to make geospatial data available to the public, to the extent permitted by law, current policies, and relevant OMB circulars, including OMB Circular No. A- 130 ("Management of Federal Information Resources") and any implementing bulletins.
(d) Agency Utilization of the Clearinghouse. Within 1 year of the date of this order, each agency shall adopt internal procedures to ensure that the agency accesses the Clearinghouse before it expends Federal funds to collect or produce new geospatial data, to determine whether the information has already been collected by others, or whether cooperative efforts to obtain the data are possible.
(e) Funding. The Department of the Interior shall provide funding for the Clearinghouse to cover the initial prototype testing, standards development, and monitoring of the performance of the Clearinghouse. Agencies shall continue to fund their respective programs that collect and produce geospatial data; such data is then to be made part of the Clearinghouse for wider accessibility.
(b) Standards for Which Agencies Have Specific Responsibilities. Agencies assigned responsibilities for data categories by OMB Circular No. A-16 shall develop, through the FGDC, standards for those data categories, so as to ensure that the data produced by all agencies are compatible.
(c) Other Standards. The FGDC may from time to time identify and develop, through its member agencies, and to the extent permitted by law, other standards necessary to achieve the objectives of this order. The FGDC will promote the use of such standards and, as appropriate, such standards shall be submitted to the Department of Commerce for consideration as Federal Information Processing Standards. Those standards shall apply to geospatial data as defined in section 1 of this order.
(d) Agency Adherence to Standards. Federal agencies collecting or producing geospatial data, either directly or indirectly (e.g. through grants, partnerships, or contracts with other entities), shall ensure, prior to obligating funds for such activities, that data will be collected in a manner that meets all relevant standards adopted through the FGDC process.
(b) The following activities are exempt from compliance with this order:
(d) This order does not impose any requirements on tribal governments.
(e) Nothing in the order shall be construed to contravene the development of Federal Information Processing Standards and Guidelines adopted and promulgated under the provisions of section 111(d) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended by the Computer Security Act of 1987 (Public Law 100-235), or any other United States law, regulation, or international agreement.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
THE WHITE HOUSE,
April 11, 1994.