Negroponte unveils new information-sharing strategy

Standards currently being developed for intelligence information sharing are expected to be fully incorporated into federal enterprise architecture reviews and budgets by fiscal 2009, according to a schedule submitted to Congress by National Intelligence Director John Negroponte.

A description of how the standards are being created, along with a schedule for their completion, is included in the 186-page Information-Sharing Environment Implementation Plan Report released on Nov. 16.

The broad-ranging document lays out a vision of how the environment is to work as a trusted partnership of users to facilitate, coordinate and expedite access to terrorism-related information. The environment encompasses federal, state, local, foreign and private communities of users.

Ambassador Thomas McNamara, project manager for the environment, is creating an enterprise architecture for the environment along with Common Terrorism Information Sharing Standards. He is working in consultation with the Information Sharing Council.

"These initiatives help establish an overarching architecture and standards program from which to build a nationwide, integrated information-sharing environment," the report said. "Once implemented, they will facilitate the sharing of analytic products and other information by all information-sharing environment participants."

The information-sharing environment will be rolled out on the following schedule:
  • McNamara will convene and chair a new working group to select and issue information-sharing standards by Dec. 31, 2006.
  • Version 2.0 of the standards will be ready by July 31, 2007.
  • State intelligence fusion centers will incorporate the standards by July 31, 2008.
  • The private sector will incorporate the standards by Sept. 30, 2008.

The plan includes a description of the functions and design of the environment together with plans for designing, testing, integrating, deploying and operating the ISE. It also includes benchmarks for progress.

"The ISE and this Implementation Plan Report are critical to ensuring that those responsible for protecting our nation from future terrorist attacks have the information they need to effectively carry out their mission," Negroponte said in a statement.

The plan has been in development since December 2005 as a collaboration between McNamara and officials from the departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Defense and State, FBI, Office of the Director of National Intelligence and 10 other agencies on the Information Sharing Council.

Congress created the National Intelligence Office, as well as the information-sharing environment, in the intelligence reform legislation of 2004.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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