Industry needs to play bigger role in information sharing

Panelists at AFCEA event call on vendors to help shape standards

Government information-sharing officials are encouraging vendors and industry groups to help develop standards and practices for sharing data across domains, but even more industry involvement is needed, officials said at a panel today sponsored by AFCEA-Bethesda.

“We need industry input,” said Kshemendra Paul, program manager for the Information-Sharing Environment, which is in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. “Let the record show we want to talk with industry.”


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Paul said initiating more dialogue on data standards and architectures is especially important now that he is reviewing the National Strategy for Information Sharing and developing a national strategy for the information-sharing environment.

Paul directed vendors and industry executives to the website, which contains links to a Partner Resource Directory of industry groups that are stakeholders in developing the environment. For example, the Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute is a nonprofit industry consortium that is working on common standards for information sharing, testing, certification, assurance and interoperability. Other groups involved include AFCEA and the Association for Enterprise Information.

The website also has a community page for submitting ideas for the information-sharing environment and the National Information Exchange Model. To date, 10 comments have been submitted.

AFCEA Panelist John Teeter, deputy chief information officer for the Health and Human Services Department, said industry input also is being sought through acquisition channels. With White House encouragement, he said, HHS and other agencies are actively seeking a broader array of information about information-sharing and data exchange solutions from vendors.

“We need to put out a Statement of Objectives rather than a targeted Statement of Work,” Teeter said. “That allows companies to come to the table with innovative approaches.”

Steve Cooper, executive director of law enforcement information-sharing at the Homeland Security Department, recommended that vendors and industry executives interested in information-sharing and collaboration should approach the Information Sharing Coordinating Council and the Information Sharing Governance Board.

Jeremy Warren, CTO for the Justice Department, and David Burns, deputy information-sharing executive at the national director's office, also spoke at the AFCEA-Bethesda event today.

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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