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9/9/2013
02:54 PM
Wyatt Kash
Wyatt Kash
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Information Sharing: Feds Cite Progress

Government agencies are gaining ground in automating the exchange of information, says new report that highlights Boston Marathon bombing lessons.

Another sign of progress is the evolution of the Integrated Justice Information Systems (IJIS) Institute Springboard, which helps certify that information systems used by public safety agencies can exchange information according to common technical standards agreed to by government and industry groups. Springboard gained visibility last December when it was used to certify a new Web-based information exchange developed for state public health agencies to collect and analyze information on the prescription, dispensation and use of prescription drugs.

"Today 60% of the costs and 80% of the management risks are around legacy systems," and identity and access management, Paul said. IJIS Springboard makes it easier for government agencies to buy commercial technology by streamlining the work involved in ensuring systems comply with information exchange standards. Paul noted that Springboard was also an example of increasing efforts to work with industry in refining technical standards for exchanging information.

Perhaps one of the most promising advances Paul is seeing in this effort is the construction of new information-sharing environments at the state and local level. He pointed to a project in New Jersey to build an operations and intelligence center to support statewide law enforcement, homeland security and emergency management efforts. The project makes use of ISE's national information sharing architecture. "We think this is leading edge," he said.

There's also progress with federal agencies to gather and analyze information more quickly. The FBI's Guardian system, for example, aggregates and processes leads and tips generated by FBI field offices, state and local police forces, and the public.

After a news conference following the Boston Marathon bombings on April 18, the FBI received more than 5,700 tips on that day alone and about 15,000 tips in the days following, enabling the FBI to generate 119 investigative leads for assessment, according to the ISE report to Congress. ISE earlier this year introduced its interoperability framework, which defines information requirements and offers baseline standards for networks and the services that use them to exchange information. The framework is significant, Paul said, because it aligns guidelines for making systems interoperable with underlying architectures used by the government, including the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework. The final version of the ISE Interoperability Framework is due to be delivered in November.

Paul acknowledges that the ISE's "Annual Report to Congress on National Security Through Responsible Information Sharing" is hardly light reading. But it's important reading for CIOs in and outside of government, he said, in that it "provides an enterprise view of where we've been, where we are and where we're going" in exchanging information more effectively.

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OtherJimDonahue
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OtherJimDonahue,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/10/2013 | 9:19:14 PM
re: Information Sharing: Feds Cite Progress
I'm glad some progress is being made -- it's important stuff -- but, seriously, the slow pace of this is ridiculous.
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
9/11/2013 | 1:34:06 PM
re: Information Sharing: Feds Cite Progress
Much of that progress is due to long standing work initiated by NIEM - the National Information Exchange Model. Worth noting: The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) recently highlighted NIEM as an example of effective governance that enables cross-jurisdictional collaboration. Read More at http://www.nascio.org/publicat...
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
9/11/2013 | 5:11:09 PM
re: Information Sharing: Feds Cite Progress
The beauty here is in the details. The more the feds can show data sharing across agencies and departments (that is, give specific examples) rather than just tell us they're making progress, the better. Obviously, some information sharing needs to be kept confidential.
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
9/12/2013 | 2:52:39 AM
re: Information Sharing: Feds Cite Progress
There's a lot of rich details here too that we didn't get to cover on data fusion centers. For instance, the report notes: As of March 2013, 78 designated state and major
urban area fusion centers make up the National Network of Fusion Centers (National
Network). Agency responses to the 2013 ISE Performance Assessment Questionnaire ]indicate
that 57% of federal agencies participate in the National Network; and that 68%
incorporate fusion center information into their own products and
services.
Kshemendra
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Kshemendra,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/13/2013 | 7:58:30 PM
re: Information Sharing: Feds Cite Progress
I appreciate the comments. I mostly agree with @OtherJimDonahue G«Ű it can seem a slow pace. But its important to recognize the scale and scope of the undertaking, the impact already realized, and the need to do transformation while operating. I am impatient when it comes to finding good solutions, as are most of my colleagues across government. Processes and bureaucracy exist for a reason, and we do have to work within the system.

I am constantly asking myself how we can move faster in these issues. One way weG«÷re trying to catalyze action is by working closely with industry. IG«÷m speaking with the geospatial industry on Monday at a USGIF event, and then speaking with standards development practitioners at OMG the following week. The links:

http://usgif.org/news/412-usgi...
http://www.omg.org/news/meetin...

@RobPreston, check out the G«£interludeG«• sections of our Annual Report. There are a lot of pilots, examples, etc., of the work that weG«÷ve done. We also try to highlight success stories on our blog. Some things do need to be kept confidential (information safeguarding is just as important as information sharing) but we want to talk about pilots and projects whenever we can, because other jurisdictions can benefit by learning about what worked for their colleagues. The link:

http://www.ise.gov/annual-repo...

Thank you for your comments.
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
9/13/2013 | 8:12:24 PM
re: Information Sharing: Feds Cite Progress
Always glad to see when federal officials who are actually in charge of programs like the one reported here -- take time to comment and share their views in our online forums on InformationWeek.
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