CIO Council sends Data Reference Model to OMB for final approval

The CIO Council delivered Version 2.0 of the Federal Enterprise Architecture's Data Reference Model to the Office of Management and Budget last week for final approval.

This is the last stage before the draft is finalized by Dec. 17 as required under the E-Government Act of 2002.

Kim Nelson, Environmental Protection Agency CIO and co-chairwoman of the CIO Council's Architecture and Infrastructure Committee, said the document could be one of the most important documents produced all year.

'I believe [the DRM] will be one of the most significant in the next couple of years to facilitate information sharing across the federal government,' Nelson said. 'It is a model that will set the stage for a framework for how agencies put their data in context, how they define their data and how they share and exchange the data.'

The first version of the DRM, released in October 2004 by OMB's Federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office, met heavy criticism for being difficult to implement and left agencies unsure how to define certain data in the business context and package information to be shared.

Along with the reference model, the DRM working group developed an Extensible Markup Language schema that agencies can use to describe their data, specifying what format the data is in, what topics the data addresses and how the data can be accessed.

This tool will help agencies implement DRM as part of their business processes.

'DRM provides the framework that will support the high-quality sharing of information on a regular basis'. For those people who want repeatable, routinized sharing of information, whether it's within the intelligence community, whether it's within the environmental protection community' the DRM is the framework that will be used to support that kind of information sharing,' Nelson said.

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