NIEM director offers four tips on information sharing


Information sharing among federal, state and local governments requires standards and parameters, but not so many rules that entities can't collaborate, said Donna Roy, executive director of the National Information Exchange Model, at the June 22 Symantec Government Symposium in Washington, D.C.

Roy offered advice on how to identify what information should be shared and which key stakeholders should have access to that information:

  • Use enterprise architecture methodologies to create "shared mission communities;"
  • Let these community members know what specific data is available that could help them fulfill their mission;
  • Name and agree upon information exchange practices; and
  • Ensure that privacy and civil liberties are considered in every step. It's important to manage the legal and privacy process just as urgently as the technology side, Roy said.

Clark Smith, executive for Programs and Technology, who focuses on information sharing projects in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said information sharing comes down to trust.

Information sharing is about building relationships so that trust can be fostered, he said. So when something goes wrong, agencies can work together to identify information that is helpful, and make it clear how to digest and use information, he added. Clark also criticized a federal propensity to slap "For Official Use Only" designations onto documents by default and for not including some description of the information in the FOUO document.

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