DHS seeks best path to data-sharing architecture

The Homeland Security Department is working on plans for a new architecture to lower the hurdles for sharing data among government agencies.

Federal leaders in the field of data sharing are gathering ideas on creating a “Reference Architecture.”

Officials at the Homeland Security Department want to fast-track the convergence of the federal enterprise to an interoperable data correlation and entity resolution framework, according to a new request for information. They want agencies’ information to cross boundaries and be useable wherever needed.

Comments are due March 3.

The goal of the Reference Architecture is to eliminate technical barriers related to sharing data, while streamlining necessary policy decisions. It would also leverage investments in existing capabilities, such as technology, while protecting the information rights of any individuals whose data is being shared.

The RFI was released Jan. 31 on behalf of the Information Sharing and Access Interagency Policy Committee (ISA IPC) and the Information Integration Subcommittee’s Data Aggregation Working Group (DAWG), along with the Homeland Security Department’s Directorate of Science and Technology (S&T). The ISAPC’s co-chairs are the National Security Staff and the Office of the Program Manager Information Sharing Environment.

The effort is based on President Barack Obama’s National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding, which was signed in December 2012. The strategy identifies the need for a reference architecture for data aggregation and correlation. It is one of the 16 priority areas for action.

In time, officials want data standardized, cleansed by fixing errors and filling in gaps, and safeguarded while increasing the usefulness of the data as it relates to an agency’s mission.