The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

With an annual budget of close to $5 billion, it recently built a gigantic $1.8 billion headquarters — “the third-largest structure in the Washington area, nearly rivaling the Pentagon in size” — for its 16,000 employees.

It literally has its “eye” on the globe in a way that would have been left to sci-fi novels almost half a century ago and is tasked as “the nation’s primary source of geospatial intelligence, or GEOINT.”

BAE Systems has been awarded a multi-year $60 million contract to provide Activity-Based Intelligence (ABI) systems, tools and support for mission priorities for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).

This award is a task order under the NGA’s Total Application Services for Enterprise Requirements (TASER) program, a five-year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract.

BAE Systems’ ABI solution employs advanced software analysis tools integrated with commercial, off-the-shelf computing infrastructure to automate the ingestion, storage and processing of large volumes of intelligence data across multiple sources.

This solution enables intelligence analysts to better identify adversarial activity patterns, and helps them achieve a greater understanding of the relationships between individuals, their activities and their transactions.

BAE Systems’ ABI streamlines processes to enhance analyst productivity, rapidly turning data into actionable intelligence.

“Our ABI solution has created a dramatic step forward into the creation of predictive intelligence analysis that enables us to proactively defend our nation against terrorism, insurgency, narcotics trafficking, and weapons proliferation,” said DeEtte Gray, president of BAE Systems’ Intelligence and Security sector.

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“An estimated 25% of all NGA’s geospatial data and holdings come from international partners,” according to National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) Director Letitia Long.

That point was made even more emphatically by Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper at the recent GEOINT Symposium in Orlando, Fla., when he said: “We are bound tightly to our allies and friends now more so than ever before.”

As a result, “A robust international outreach program that helps build and sustain effective partnerships with the worldwide GEOINT community is key to NGA’s vision of putting GEOINT into the hands of our users,” said Long.

An essential way that NGA accomplishes that vision is by collaborating with industry to build the “GEOINT at Our Fingertips” Application Store for delivering relevant apps and widgets for online and mobile use.

But to make that collaboration work for this need, they have had to consider new models for addressing agile acquisition, development and compensation.

One of the questions NGA is facing is whether to to use a single-broker solution, managing submitted apps (e.g. like the Apple App Store does), or an environment of rolling solicitations with the government managing the app, where NGA would pay a fixed price for each app, plus incentives potentially based on innovation, performance, and quality.

NGA thinks the ideal development time frame from desire to desktop would be 60 days, with approval granted two weeks from time of submital. NGA Director Long’s expectation is that 75%of all applications within the GEOINT App Store will come from industry by 2013. This is part of her “creating tomorrow’s NGA, today” with three key activities: • Easy and intuitive access to the agency’s GEOINT products, data, and knowledge; • Creation of a three tiered customer service model in an open IT environment; and • Creation and provision of new value through efforts to cheapen and broaden analysis.  NGA would to try to accomplish that by: • Delivering more robust content • Developing the Integtarted Analytics Environment (IAE); and • Introducing new analytic methodologies.  Long’s metrics for performance include: • 40% of NGA products, data, and knowledge are service-enabled now; and • 100% of NGA’s data will be service-enabled in a smart data framework and cataloged by 2013. • Analysts can overlay different data sets and begin to see patterns and trends and make those observations to other analysts and to decision-makers.  The NGA Collaboration Forum offered an opportunity for industry to ask questions about and make suggestions for a more agile acquisition process that produce higher speed of mission execution for NGA.

Three federal agencies tasked with government-wide management of specific geospatial data are wasting millions of taxpayer dollars annually in duplicative efforts, according to a report released Nov.26 by the Government and Accountability Office.

The report criticized the Interior, Commerce and Transportation Departments for not effectively implementing policies and procedures for coordinating investments in geospatial data because “these efforts have not been a priority.”

The report recommends these agencies — as well as the Office of Management and Budget, which has oversight responsibilities on geospatial data, and the Federal Geographic Data Committee, established to promote coordination of geospatial data nationwide — improve coordination and accountability while reducing duplication.

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