June 15, 2007

Breaking: MAPPS loses lawsuit

Filed under: Uncategorized — ubikcan @ 10:42 am

Doug Richardson (Director of AAG) has just released the following pdf announcing that the judge has dismissed the MAPPS lawsuit. On the whole, this would appear to be a good thing.



  1. The heading “MAPPS loses lawsuit” is in every sense of the word a stretch. Summary judgment was only made on the issue of standing, not the legal merits and policy issues of the case. In fact, the Court in its 19 page ruling gave MAPPS and its co-plaintiffs several items to claim victory on.

    First, the Court reaffirmed that a Federal Agency must use a QBS procurement process for those services that are defined as surveying under state law. This is a significant victory with respect to programs like the USDA NAIP where QBS will be required in many states.

    Second, the Court record indicates that mapping services in the modern market place are much broader in scope than the traditional mapping work of a land surveyor. Again, MAPPS can claim a victory because the Court recognized and agreed with basic point of the suit which was that the FAR was not in step with the current technologies and/or market.

    Third, the court did not accept the claim of the Amicus parties, that only licensed surveyors, engineers or architects would be able to perform Federal mapping contracts if the Court were to rule in favor of the procurement issues raised in the MAPPS suit. The Courts ruling confirms that this was not an issue in the case, which has been the contention of MAPPS.

    Further, it needs to be stressed that the issue for the MAPPS legal action is not about who is going to do the work, but rather, how it will be procured. There are many unlicensed professionals (both members and non-members of MAPPS) who have won Federal mapping contracts on the basis of a QBS procurement. MAPPS is not taking a narrow approach on this matter and it certainly is not about to take any action including filing a suit against the government that would serve to cut its members off at the knees. Unfortunately, misunderstanding the intent of the suit by the Amicus parties has been the source of unwarranted and non-constructive criticism of MAPPS and its co-plaintiffs for several months. Based on the comments from those in the user community, it is clear that the thinking is that MAPPS filed its suit without concern for the broader geospatial professionals. However, attention should be given to the Courts discussion of the legislative history of the Brooks Act in which it is noted that MAPPS has been working on a resolve to this matter for more than five years. It was only after exhausting all other options that a law suit was filed.

    Regarding the statement “on the whole, this would seem to be a good thing” I would like to respond by posing a question. That question being: Is it a good thing when a Federal Government Agency can pick and choose which statutes they will adhere to and those that they will not? If one cannot see the harm in this then one would have to ask “What is the purpose of the US Congress or any other legislative body?” If on the other hand one agrees that this is not a proper response to implementing/enforcing the will of Congress, then we are much closer to understanding and possible even agreeing as to why MAPPS filed suit.

    Ultimately, given that the MAPPS case was dismissed on procedural grounds rather than on the merits/issues, making the statement that MAPPS lost the suit misrepresents what actually took place. As noted herein, MAPPS has several reason to celebrate the Courts ruling. Moreover, given the time invested in attempting to resolve this issue by not only MAPPS and its members, but also other associations, stakeholders in the private sector and government, it is safe to assume that the time we are in know is akin to intermission between periods in a hockey game. Regardless of the score, there is still a lot of excitement, anticipation, and passion to play the game.

    Comment by Marvin Miller — June 19, 2007 @ 7:37 pm

  2. Thank you Mr. MAPPS President-elect.

    I do think you’ve managed to hit every MAPPS-provided talking point you’ve already posted.

    You messed up your sports analogy though. The talking points have a baseball analogy:

    The game is not over. This action is tantamount to a balk being called in the top of the first inning. This is still a nine-inning game.

    You guys must be desperate if you’re astro-turfing blogs like this one which get all of 8 visitors a day.

    Comment by ubikcan — June 21, 2007 @ 9:06 am

  3. […] affirming the reason for the ruling (that the parties were not harmed, the same reason the MAPPS lawsuit was dismissed) Greenwald zeroes in on the most important aspect: The most important point here is, as usual, the […]

    Pingback by Greenwald on yesterday’s NSA ruling « ubikcan — July 7, 2007 @ 9:38 pm

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