Internaut: E-gov sites deliver the data
Shawn P. McCarthy
Cross-agency cooperation is a crucial component of every data sharing project, from Extensible Markup Language tagging to joint application use.
It's time to recognize the groups within government that are making it happen.
Shawn P. McCarthy has designed products for a Web search engine provider.
- First stop is the General Services Administration's Office of Intergovernmental Solutions. It tracks data sharing projects that require federal, state and local cooperation. Visit www.gsa.gov and type 'intergovernmental solutions' into the search box. The 'building blocks' link is useful if your agency is just starting to plan.
- Second stop is the interagency XML.gov site. Check the working groups and the Standards and Guidelines section to learn about government XML registries. The sharing concept works only if organizations use the same definitions of data elements. A registry helps users find and retrieve documents, templates, rules and resources.
- The White House e-Gov gateway, at www.whitehouse.gov/omb/egov, has great potential but doesn't yet list many projects. If it began to share resource lists with the other sites mentioned here, it could become a high-profile resource for community building.
See the list of contacts at www.whitehouse.gov/omb/egov/contacts.htm in the government-to-government section.
- Many agencies won't get into XML or interagency application development until they have completed an enterprise architecture survey and a long-term plan of where they want to go. The Federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office's business reference model is worth a read, at www.feapmo.gov/resources/2002-50.pdf.
- The CIO Council has liaison persons available for interagency projects. To see the list, enter GCN.com/117 at www.gcn.com.
The council's strategy is posted at www.cio.gov/index.cfm?function=strategicplan.
- GSA's eStrategy office, at estrategy.gov, is designed to highlight online service-to-citizens projects. But its section on fostering e-gov professionals is valuable for federal IT managers working on new interagency projects. The section on authentication discusses what must be done when agencies open their systems to outside participants.
- Finally, a good e-gov project chart is downloadable from www.whitehouse.gov/omb/egov/downloads/EGov_Initiatives.pdf.
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Shawn McCarthy, a former writer for GCN, is senior analyst and program manager for government IT opportunities at IDC.