Working groups to revise Data Reference Model

Working groups to revise Data Reference Model

The Data Reference Model, the final piece of the Federal Enterprise Architecture, is only a few months old, and already federal officials are making plans to revise it.

The Office of Management and Budget released the first version of the reference model in October, but federal officials were unsure of how to implement some parts, such as defining certain data types in the business context and packaging information to be shared.

Michael Daconta, metadata program manager for the Homeland Security Department, said today that the strategy to revise the reference model would be finished by the end of March. He plans to set up three working groups to begin the improvement efforts.

'Version 1.0 of the DRM had some holes,' Daconta said at a breakfast discussion sponsored by the Industry Advisory Council of Fairfax, Va. 'It did not address the security and privacy issues of data that is very important if agencies are going to share information with confidence.'

Daconta, who did not work on Version 1.0, said he did not know why the model omitted security and privacy information initially, but that they would be included in the upcoming version.

To get started on Version 1.1, Daconta said his team would set up a public Web site on which industry or government users could create a virtual working group by posting information or suggestions.

He also will set up a formal working group of federal, state and local government workers that would meet every two weeks to figure out the specifics of the revised model.

The final working group would be an executive committee made up of OMB chief architect Richard Burk, Daconta, and representatives from the CIO Council, which would meet weekly to track the progress of the effort and resolve disputes.

'We need to revise the DRM so it is complete and addresses structured and unstructured data,' Daconta said.

In the strategy proposal Daconta will submit to OMB, he will suggest changing the name of the FEA to the National Enterprise Architecture to help alleviate some concerns from state and local governments.

'OMB said we have to present a decision brief on why we would like to change the name,' Daconta said. 'This has not been approved, but it is something we are considering.'

Daconta also addressed the revised DRM implementation strategy and how agencies should measure success when using the model.

He said he hoped that by April the formal working group would select subcommittee leads to address functional areas such as context, exchange, description, data governance and security and privacy for each of the function areas. The working group would finalize the revised DRM by August.

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