Geographic Information System: Forest Service Not Ready to Acquire Nationwide System, Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies, Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 3MB]

"While a GIS [Geographic Information System] holds the promise to significantly enhance the ability of the Forest Service to manage and preserve natural resources, the agency is not ready to procure a $1.2-billion nationwide GIS system. The Service did not analyze a full range of alternatives or adequately analyze alternatives for integrating a nationwide GIS into its operations. The Service made assumptions that limited the alternatives it considered and did not analyze the organizational impact of the alternatives in its feasibility study. Further, it did not estimate the dollar value of specific benefits it expected to achieve from the planned GIS, but instead used what we believe is an invalid representation of future benefits in its cost/benefit analysis. Finally, the Service did not adequately define its information and system performance needs, thereby failing to comply with Department of Agriculture regulations governing functional requirements analyses. As a result, an increased and unnecessary risk exists that the proposed GIS will not result in an effective and cost-beneficial system to support the agency's management and protection of the public lands and natural resources entrusted to it."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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