The professional photogrammetry and related remote sensor-based geospatial mapping services addressed by these Guidelines play a critical role in the success of the engineering, architecture, surveying, planning, natural resources, agriculture, emergency response, disaster recovery and other applications that they support. Procurement methods should onsider potential impacts to the intended end application. Qualifications-based procurement methods are endorsed by ASPRS and recommended for the procurement of professional photogrammetry and related remote sensor-based geo-spatial mapping services. Even if there is a detailed scope of service, rigid inspection and
strict client quality control process in place, these types of professional services involve too many variables and complexities to facilitate the kind of price-based process that is used for construction services, product purchases or other procurements that use price as one of the primary selection criteria. Independent judgment and independent oversight by the professional in direct responsible charge of the work are critical to the success of the project. When price submittals influence which proposer is selected for initial negotiations, responding proposers often are forced to design their approach to a lower standard that meets only the very minimum requirements outlined in the scope of work. This may not be the approach that serves the best overall interest of the client and the public. Quality may be compromised and advanced technologies, innovation, or best techniques and the most cost-effective overall approach may not be implemented. The federal law, commonly known as the Brooks Act, outlines a proven and successful model for qualifications-based selection. The Brooks Act process ranks proposers according to qualifications only. Cost is not a factor in the initial selection of the top ranked proposer. After the top ranked proposer is selected based on qualifications and capabilitytise of the general principles of geomatics, the sensor technologies employed, the specific processes to be implemented and the final application of the published data. Several universities offer undergraduate and graduate programs that include photogrammetry and remote sensing; many professional photogrammetrists and remote sensing specialists have specifically studied photogrammetry at the undergraduate or graduate level. Many others have more varied backgrounds in surveying, engineering, geography or related disciplines that rely on similar principles of science and measurement. The specific application of these principles to photogrammetry requires many years of practical experience and on-the-job training. The photogrammetry and remote sensing profession has well established certification programs, accuracy standards and expectations of ethical conduct that apply to professional practitioners. ASPRS maintains certification programs for Certified Photogrammetrists and Certified Mapping Scientists. These certifications are available to qualified photogrammetry and remote sensing professionals. These certification programs have rigorous requirements for testing, references from other professionals and experience history. Applicants must demonstrate professional level experience, a history of competence and ethical conduct, and an overall level of professional excellence that exceeds minimum levels of competence. APSRS has published a strict code of ethics that applies to mapping professionals. Many states license professionals in photogrammetry and remote sensing, and have codes of ethics and standards of practice. Several map accuracy standards have been developed by federal agencies and professional organizations. The National Standard for Spatial Data Accuracy (NSSDA), developed and published by the Federal Geographic Data Committee, is the most comprehensive and current map accuracy standard that applies to professional photogrammetric mapping. This standard incorporates the Map Accuracy Standards for Large Scale Maps that were developed by ASPRS in Photogrammetric mapping data are frequently used to make critical decisions that require accurate and reliable information about the location of features on the Earth. Professional photogrammetric mapping professionals may provide services and data directly to the public or may work in cooperation with other
to best perform the work, an acceptable scope of work and fair and reasonable cost are negotiated. If a fair and reasonable cost cannot be agreed on with the top ranked proposer negotiations are initiated with the next most qualified service provider. The process continues until a fair and reasonable price can be negotiated. The Brooks Act process is not the only selection process that emphasizes qualifications; however, it is the model used for most state and federal QBS procurement laws and is the most widely accepted by professional organizations.
The Brooks Act qualifications-based selection (QBS) process is required by law, 40 U.S.C. 1101, and implemented in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) (48 C.F.R. 36.6) for all federal procurement of architecture, engineering and related surveying and mapping services. Other federal laws may require state and local governments to use QBS when expending federal grant funds. Moreover, several states have mini-Brooks Acts. Contracting and procurement personnel should contact the state licensing board for surveying and/or engineering in the state(s) in which the work is to be performed to confirm what aspects of existing surveying, mapping and engineering statutes apply to their projects. In many states, specific aspects of photogrammetric mapping and related remote sensing services are considered surveying and require a license to practice. Many states also have a mini-Brooks Act that requires qualifications-based selection for the procurement of all architecture, engineering, surveying and mapping services, as defined by state law. State laws vary widely in their definitions of surveying and mapping. Some statutes specifically license photogrammetry and related remote sensor-based geospatial mapping practices. Others regulate certain aspects of this kind of mapping under the broader definitions of surveying or engineering. FAR Part 36 includes many (though not all) of the professional geospatial mapping services addressed by these Guidelines. Services licensed as “surveying” under state law in the state where the work is being performed require Brooks Act procurement. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also publishes a comprehensive definition of services subject to the Brooks Act in the Engineering Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (EFARS). Further, in the absence of specific statutory language or precedent for enforcement addressing professional geospatial mapping services in a given jurisdiction, ASPRS considers the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) Model Law, Model Rules and associated NCEES documents to be the best definitive guideline for determining which geospatial services should be considered “surveying” services. It should be noted that the NCEES Model Law and Model Rules are only guidelines for the purpose of assisting state governments in the implementation and interpretation of state licensing laws. The Model Law and Model Rules do not represent enacted legislation and do not have any specific legal authority, unless so enacted in a given state. ASPRS has endorsed Brooks Act and similar QBS processes for procurement of all profes-sional photogrammetry and related geospatial mapping services, including both surveying and non-surveying services, since at least 1986. The Brooks Act QBS process is widely accepted by other professional organizations; encourages innovation and design; encourages competition among the most qualified proposers; fosters a relationship of trust between the
client and provider; and is designed to ensure the most appropriate scope of work at a fair and reasonable cost. Further, in many states, licensed professionals are prohibited from submitting a cost or bid for public work. In these states, procurement methods that do not follow QBS procedures may eliminate many of the most qualified proposers from competing. It is recognized that professional photogrammetry and related remote sensor-based geospatial mapping services may be procured within the scope of a more extensive project, wherein the specific professional geospatial mapping services would be considered incidental to the project. Regardless of the method of procurement for the larger project, or the size of the geospatial mapping component of the project, ASPRS recommends that these Guidelines be implemented for all subcontracted photogrammetry and related remote sensor-based geospatial mapping services. ASPRS recognizes that QBS is not required by law in all cases, particularly for services acquired by organizations not subject to federal or state procurement laws, or in cases where the proposed services do not meet state or federal definitions of surveying and mapping as related to architecture and engineering. ASPRS recognizes there will be instances where an organization will choose to use an alternative procurement method other than a QBS process. In those cases, ASPRS recommends that specific minimum guidelines be