Good morning folks - 

You sent me to Congress with a specific mission: cut wasteful spending and make Washington squeal. 

I take seriously the responsibility you have entrusted in me to make Washington more competent and less wasteful.

As Tax Day approaches, and Iowans are forced to turn over more of their hard-earned dollars to Uncle Sam, I am taking a close look as to how efficiently our government is actually operating.

Every month, I will be researching and identifying areas of waste, abuse and inefficiencies. Then, once a month, I will give out the Squeal Award, which recognizes a Washington expense, program or concept that has proven to be wasteful and must be cut.

Squeal Award: Duplicative and Unaccountable Spending on Geospatial Data

Have you ever thought, how does the “maps” application on my smartphone work? Well, in part, it’s due to the use of geospatial data, or information associated with a specific location.

Geospatial data purchased by our government supports Iowa’s agriculture industry.  Without quality and accurate data, Iowa farmers and growers can’t map and project their crop output or fluctuations in temperature and precipitation.

The federal government is one of the world’s largest purchasers of geospatial data. But unfortunately there is little-to-no coordination between our federal agencies on geospatial data purchasing.  This often leads to agencies buying multiple sets of the same data or maps, which wastes billions of your hard-earned dollars.

For this reason, I’m presenting this month’s Squeal Award to federal agencies’ duplicative and unaccountable spending on geospatial data.

We must hold our federal agencies accountable.  That’s why I’ve cosponsored the Geospatial Data Act (GDA), bipartisan legislation that will create congressional oversight of federal agencies to reduce wasteful and unnecessary spending on geospatial data.

The GDA increases transparency and accountability across federal agencies.  This will in turn save taxpayer money, while improving the technological capabilities of the data.

The GDA was included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018 which was signed into law by President Trump on October 5, 2018. 

It’s imperative for our agriculture community and for taxpayers across the country that we get geospatial data purchasing right.  And with the GDA in place, we should see more responsibility and better quality data from our federal agencies. 

Do you have an example of government waste or inefficiencies that I should take a look at? Send me an email by clicking here.

Thank you!