Federal agencies and State governments use a variety of geospatial information, linked by data to specific geographic locations, to support their missions. Geospatial data describe locations of objects, events, phenomena, and other characteristics, such as the location of a specific address or an earthquake. They are generally represented in vector datasets by points, lines, polygons, or other geographic features or phenomena.
In October 2018, Congress passed the Geospatial Data Act (GDA) to codify the committees, processes, and tools used to develop and manage the National Spatial Data Infrastructure. The act requires inspectors general of covered agencies, including the Department of Transportation (DOT), to report to Congress at least once every 2 years on their agencies’ collection, production, acquisition, maintenance, distribution, use, and preservation of geospatial data. This year’s report is due by October 4, 2022. Our audit objective will be to assess DOT’s progress since our 2020 GDA audit in implementing the requirements outlined in the act. Specifically, we will assess the Department’s progress in implementing its responsibilities (1) as a lead covered agency under section 756(b) and (2) as a covered agency under sections 759(a) and 759(b) of the act.