Monday, October 20, 2014

GAO says U.S. DOT can improve tracking of highway spending

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported on the Highway Trust Fund, finding that in fiscal year 2013, operating administrations within the Department of Transportation (DOT) collected and reported some information on the types of activities and administrative expenses funded from the Highway Trust Fund, but did so with varying levels of detail. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) obligated about $41 billion in fiscal year 2013, most of which ($39 billion) was apportioned to states through the federal-aid highway program. FHWA tracks federal-aid highway program obligations in its Fiscal Management Information System (FMIS) for individual project segments or contracts. This process allows FHWA to collect and report information on the types of activities (such as obligations for the construction of new roads or bridges) funded with Highway Trust Fund monies. Ultimately, GAO recommended that U.S. DOT improve transparency and provide Congress and the public greater visibility into the types of highway activities funded with Highway Trust Fund monies, and that the Secretary of Transportation should direct the FHWA Administrator to explore the costs, feasibility, and options for collecting and publicly reporting consistent aggregate project-level spending data.

Friday, October 17, 2014

NSPS Radio Hour — Oct. 20, 11 a.m. EDT

http://www.multibriefs.com/briefs/nsps/curtsumner.jpg

NSPS Past President Bob Dahn will join host Curt Sumner for a discussion about the “Innocent Surveying Mistake” that made national headlines earlier this year related to the placement of a $1.9 million home on the wrong property in Rhode Island. However, it wasn’t a mistake made by a surveyor.




Listen to learn the facts.


If you are unable to listen to the show when it is being broadcast, listen to the archive of the show at http://www.radiosandysprings.com/showpages/ACSM.php. Archives for each show are typically available for listening within a few days after the show airs.

During the show, listen for the "key question" and be the first to email the correct answer to quikstakescontest@americaswebradio.com to win a $50 gift certificate from our sponsor, Parker Davis Quik Stakes. No purchase is required to receive the gift certificate. Winners limited to once every three months.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

NGS Releases Video Explaining Difference between “Precision” and “Accuracy” in Geodetic Surveying



The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) has just released a new (approximately two-minute) video focusing on the importance of both precision and accuracy in geodetic surveying and the difference between the two terms. Produced as a collaborative effort between NGS and The COMET® Program, the video is designed for surveying professionals, planners, policy-makers, and others who use mapping products.

This resource is hosted on COMET's YouTube Channel. COMET is a world-wide leader in support of education and training for the environmental sciences. The video emphasizes that the accuracy of survey measurements should always be verified by relating measurements to a known reference system, such as the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) in the United States. NGS defines, maintains, and provides access to the NSRS, the consistent coordinate system that defines latitude, longitude, height, scale, gravity, and orientation throughout the United States and is designed to meet our nation’s economic, social, and environmental needs.

Watch the video today on YouTube.


For more information, contact: Brett.Howe@noaa.gov 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Congressman to speak to NSPS Leadership

Curt Sumner with Congressman Kevin Yoder


NSPS is pleased to announce that Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-KS) will speak at its Board of Governors meeting on Thursday, October 23. Rep. Yoder represents Overland Park, KS, the site of the NSPS Fall Meetings which are being held in conjunction with the Kansas Society of Land Surveyors & Missouri Society of Professional Surveyors Bi-State Joint Conference. Rep. Yoder was a leader on legislation that sought to prevent  GPS spectrum from interference that would have resulted from a system proposed by Lightsquared, and has pushed for improving the Real Property Profile, the General Services Administration’s inventory of land and buildings owned by the Federal Government. Rep. Yoder will speak at 8:30 am at the Sheraton Overland Park Hotel at the Convention Center. Yoder is pictured here in a recent meeting with NSPS Executive Director Curt Sumner.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

NSPS Radio Hour — Oct. 13, 11 a.m. EDT



News & Views reader may be among those who receive a monthly newsletter entitled "Welcome to the Flood Zone." Professional Surveyor Jim Nadeau began the newsletter a few years ago with the intent to "guide, assist, and educate all interested parties in regards to flood zone issues." Join Jim and host Curt Sumner for a discussion about the newsletter, and about Jim's perspectives on the surveying profession.

If you are unable to listen to the show when it is being broadcast, listen to the archive of the show at http://www.radiosandysprings.com/showpages/ACSM.php. Archives for each show are typically available for listening within a few days after the show airs.

During the show, listen for the "key question" and be the first to email the correct answer to quikstakescontest@americaswebradio.com to win a $50 gift certificate from our sponsor, Parker Davis Quik Stakes. No purchase is required to receive the gift certificate. Winners limited to once every three months. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

USGS continues delay in 3DEP partnerships


The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) continues to delay the due date for proposals in response to a broad agency announcement (BAA) first issued on July 18 seeking proposals from partners for data collection activities in support of the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP).  USGS most recently announced that the due date for stage 1 pre-proposals was extended to Friday, October 10, 2014 and the due date for stage 2 proposals was extended to Friday, November 21, 2014. Another extension is expected. USGS has posted information on 3DEP and its benefit to individual states.  NSPS supports 3DEP and has been advocating for funding in Congress.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Labor Department denies Congressional request to rescind Davis-Bacon rule on survey crews

The U.S. Department of Labor has turned down a request from three committee and subcommittee chairmen of the U.S. House of Representatives to reverse a March 2013 policy that expanded application of the Davis-Bacon Act, classifying members of survey crews as “laborers and mechanics”. NSPS Executive Director Curtis Sumner, government affairs consultant John Palatiello and lobbyist John “JB” Byrd met with Labor Department officials on September 30 to seek a revision and narrowing of the new policy.  Details of the meeting will be reported in a future edition of NSPS News & Views.