State system professionals seek open standards to share law enforcement information nationally

State system professionals seek open standards to share law enforcement information nationally

Claire E. House

GCN Staff

Two recent state-federal partnerships indicate that the drive to share criminal justice data among all U.S. governments is gaining momentum.

A February report of the National Association of State Information Resource Executives and the Justice Department urges governments to adopt common open-technology standards to support nationwide sharing of law enforcement data.

Make it easy

The National Governors Association announced that its Center for Best Practices has begun working with Justice to find common data ground.

'We must work with our federal and local counterparts to make sure that our IT investments aren't negated by creating systems that can't easily exchange information across a wide range of programs and jurisdictions,' Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton said at a February gathering of NGA's Information Technology Task Force.

A task force survey found that criminal justice integration is a major near-term priority for nearly all governors, Patton said.

The NASIRE report, Toward National Sharing of Governmental Information, outlines a strategy to develop a national architecture relying on open standards, a nationwide telecommunications infrastructure, a shared vocabulary and common formats for system functions.

Any costs associated with revamping systems or training personnel would be recouped via the efficiency and results of standardization, the report said.

Rounding up the report are action items to get the ball rolling (see chart).

Visit for a copy of the report and for more information about NGA.

State CIOs, Justice outline steps to boost data sharing

• Rapid development and endorsement of a concept of operations

• Rapid development and endorsement of a set of technical standards needed to support the concept of operations

• Rapid development and endorsement of a specific set of message-sharing specifications, focusing first on criminal justice needs and expanding into other areas

• A quantitative description of the
existing telecommunications infrastructure available to all levels of government

• Support for enhancements to telecom infrastructures

• U.S. Justice Department IT grant programs for state and local governments

• Justice using standards-compliant technology to support information flow between Justice, and state and local governments

• State CIOs building standards-compliant networks serving all government entities within each state

• State CIOs encouraging information sharing among localities

• Workshops, tutorials, press coverage and other methods to achieve vendor participation


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