Congress cutting NOAA chart funding, I wonder?
I’m very glad that BoatU.S. keeps a boater’s eyeball trained on the government, but, man, it must be hard to understand what’s going on sometimes. The organization’s latest concern is a Congressional budget proposal that cuts “the President’s request for Mapping & Charting and virtually zeroed out any funding for converting existing paper charts into electronic files.” Say what? The piece goes on to lay out all the reasons why that is a bad idea, including the idea that conversion to ENCs will save money eventually. Anyone guess why congress thinks this program a waste?
This appears to be yet anothr trick from the Rick Santorum (R-PA) school of let’s sell the Federal Govt to the highest bidder. Does it surprise anybody that this comes on the heels of C-Map’s purchase by Boeing – a large overcharging Federal contractor. This is really a travesty. It speaks volumes about what those in DC think about We The People who give them their jobs. Remember this on the first Tuesday in Nov!!!!
From a “former legislative aide”, via back channel:
My guess that this is not a policy position of the administration or the congress. My guess it is at the request of one member acting on a request from some commercial marine cartographic company. It would be interesting to see who is behind this. Obviously driven by greed.
There is plenty of opportunity for the commercial companies to make their profits from value added improvements to the NOAA data. I see this as completely not in the public good and a probably a violation of the ethic rules of congress if the member received compensation for this budget axe proposal. Be interesting to find out who’s finger prints are on this.