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The IJIS Factor is the IJIS Institute's blog that covers technology and information sharing and safeguarding topics, including national standards and initiatives.


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Nlets Implementers Workshop

Posted By Michael Alagna, Monday, September 24, 2018
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2018

I attended the Nlets Implementers Workshop representing the IJIS Institute. The event was held September 10-12 in Tempe, AZ, and I got the opportunity to provide a snapshot of IJIS and Nlets joint strategic projects.  

Nlets is a private, nonprofit corporation owned by the States that was created more than 50 years ago by the 50 state law enforcement agencies. The user population is made up of all the US and its territories, all Federal agencies with a justice component, selected international agencies, and a variety of strategic partners that serve the law enforcement community in cooperatively exchanging data.

The types of data being exchanged varies from motor vehicle and drivers' data, to Canadian and Interpol database located in Lyon France, to state criminal history records and driver license and corrections images. Operations consist of more than 1.6 billion transactions a year to over 1 million PC, mobile and handheld devices in the U.S. and Canada at 45,000 user agencies and to 1.3 million individual users.

The Nlets Implementers Workshop provides attendees the opportunity to exchange ideas, learn about new technologies and national standards, share implementation successes and failures, and create new contacts. Discussion topics included Nlets technology initiatives, security updates from CJIS and Nlets, and several new resources available to law enforcement. 

The IJIS Institute is a long-standing strategic partner of Nlets, and we are working to help address several important technology challenges. IJIS is launching the Computer-Aided Dispatch Interoperability and Technology Working Group (CAD-ITWG), in collaboration with public safety practice associations to improve interoperability of emergency incident information in the public safety communications environment. To participate on the CAD-ITWG, please email me at

Tags:  Alliance Partner  CAD  CJIS  information sharing  Nlets 

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IJIS Institute Participation in the 2018 ASUCRP Conference

Posted By Robert L. May II, Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2018

I represented the IJIS Institute at the Association of State Uniform Crime Reporting Programs (ASUCRP) Conference held at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on September 5-7, 2018. ASUCRP represents participants in the National Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.


Let’s start with a little background. UCR data is collected either through Summary or the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) reporting methods on the local, regional, state, territorial, and national levels. Members of ASUCRP collect and analyze crime data that is not available through any other source.


This was a very productive conference that brought together participants from state UCR Program Offices, FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS), the Bureau of Justice Statistics NCS-X program, Justice Research and Statistics Association members, and several IJIS Institute Member companies.


The highlights from the conference are included in this article.


Amy Blasher of FBI CJIS provided a comprehensive update on FBI CJIS programs. Amy said they are working toward one Uniform Crime Statistics reporting standard for local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies that will provide richer data to inform, educate, and strengthen communities. Major components of this effort include the transition to NIBRS by 2021, the National Use of Force Data Collection, the FBI reporting their own data, and Crime Data explorer. Other CJIS updates included:

  • UCR Tech Refresh – deployed in June of 2018, a more streamlined process with automated error, warning and data quality messages. For more information, go to:
  • Topics for the Advisory Policy Board (APB) Fall meeting include: a UCR Program Update, NIBRS Incident definitions and dictionary of UCR words and phrases topic paper, reporting to UCR program by nontraditional means, crime reporting timeliness recommendations, and the Status of the NIBRS Transition.
  • The Office of the Deputy Attorney General has a desire to report violent crime counts on a more frequent basis. The FBI UCR Program has been tasked to develop a mechanism to provide violent crime statistics for 303 agencies (most in high population areas) for use in high-level briefings.
  • The National Academies of Sciences recently released recommendations for modernizing crime statistics. In response, the FBI will create a Task Force (an extension of UCR Subcommittee) which will have different subgroups that will feed their recommendations up to the UCR Subcommittee Chair to report to UCR Subcommittee. The FBI is looking for people to serve on these subgroups. Modernizing Crime Statistics: Report 1: Defining and Classifying Crime assesses and makes recommendations for the development of a modern set of crime measures in the United States and the best means for obtaining them. This first report develops a new classification of crime by weighing various perspectives on how crime should be defined and organized with the needs and demands of the full array of crime data users and stakeholders.

Scott Trent provided a historical overview of the APB. The APB was created in 1994 using a shared management concept. The APB is a Federal Advisory Committee and is therefore re-chartered every two years. The APB is responsible for reviewing appropriate policy, technical, and operational issues related to CJIS Division programs. Subsequent to their review, the Board makes recommendations to the director of the FBI. The APB is composed of 35 representatives from criminal justice agencies and national security agencies and organizations throughout the United States. The APB meets at least twice during each calendar year. A notice of these meetings is published in the Federal Register. Meetings are open to the public by law and the minutes are posted online. Nick Mega is the designated federal officer for the APB. For more information about membership, go to:

Kyle Comer (MO) and Scott Trent (FBI CJIS) provided an update on the NIBRS Transition Task Force. Kyle opened with a few quotes from former IJIS Institute Executive Director Paul Wormeli… “better data leads to better information which leads to better knowledge,” and, “NIBRS is actually not about generating crime statistics, it’s about having better information to make better decisions.” Important points from this presentation include:

  • The XCOTA tool is available for use to get to NIBRS.
  • The FBI is trying to make NIBRS pages more user friendly and less text bookish.
  • 10 federal agencies are now reporting and 36 have committed to report. 14 do not report NIBRS since they do not make arrests.
  • State Programs – Mississippi has committed to establish a UCR Program.
  • States with level of agency commitment to meet the 2021 deadline:

o   29 states have 76-100%

o   5 states have 25-75%

o   4 states 26 – 50%

o   8 states 0-25%


Amy Blasher (FBI), Jeff Sedgwick (JRSA), Daniel Cork (Natl Academy of Sciences), and Jonathan Hawkins, (Professor at Carnegie Mellon) discussed the modernization of crime statistics. The National Academies of Sciences recently released recommendations for modernizing crime statistics. The study was done at the request of OMB, BJS, and the FBI. In the presentation, they noted that an attribute-based reporting system aligns well with NIBRS, and we can do advanced analysis with this data. With NIBRS, we will have data we never saw before and the possibilities are endless with the advanced crime analysis. An attribute-based system is a stark departure from the current system.


The IJIS Institute’s UCR/NIBRS Working Group conducted a session on the Working Group’s activities related to web services for NIBRS. The interactive session was led by Chair Jim Pingel of URL Integration. Other work group members serving on the panel included: Todd Thompson (Caliber Public Safety), Melissa Winesburg (Optimum Technologies), Randy Cole (CODY Systems), Chris Bonyun (Beyond 20/20), Ellie Bennett (Mark43), Michael Wise (FBI-CJIS), and and Patti Zafke (MN BCA).

The session used an interactive polling app to obtain input from participants regarding current methods of submission and plans for submission in the future. Jim Pingel described the collaboration between the IJIS Institute, ASUCRP, and FBI CJIS as working together in emerging technologies to help improve timeliness and efficiencies of crime data submission. The panel provided an overview of submission methods and the benefits of each method. During a discussion of state variations and the potential of XML, panelists talked about extending the NIBRS Specification to capture state-specific requirements. Jim concluding by credited the IJIS Institute for bringing competitors together to work on common problems!


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IJIS Represented at the Global Meeting

Posted By Robert L. May II, Friday, September 14, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2018

I represented the IJIS Institute, along with Executive Director Jarral, at the Global Justice Information Sharing Advisory Committee Summer 2018 Meeting in Washington, DC, on August 29, 2018. It was a productive meeting that brought together many of the stakeholder organizations in justice information sharing.


The Advisory Committee first heard an address from the director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Mr. Jon Adler. They also heard from BJA about enhancing overdose tracking and analytic capabilities to address the opioid crisis.


The meeting featured a discussion on Global priorities and recommendations for 2018-2019. These include the following Global Executive Steering Committee and BJA recommended priorities:

  • Methamphetamine abuses associated with the opioid crisis.
  • Identification of the common data element of school violence three assessments.
  • Information sharing gaps in immigration enforcement.
  • Recommendations on improving disposition reporting.
  • Law enforcement exemptions to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
  • Guidance on student tips and leads reporting.

The Advisory Committee meeting featured a number of updates, including one on the Critical Nontraditional Information Exchange Task Team that I chaired. The CNIE Task Team began as a priority identified by the Criminal Justice Technology Forecasting Group (CJTFG) which identified the exchange of critical nontraditional information as a priority for the justice domain. The CJTFG, in coordination with the GAC, established this task team to identify nontraditional pieces of information that are critical to law enforcement, providers, and involved individuals if shared in a criminal justice exchange. Through the use of virtual meetings, a face-to-face scoring session, webinars, and offline subgroup tasking, the team identified domains, subdomains, and the nontraditional data elements for each domain. Domain-specific subgroups worked together to identify and map: sources of the each element, recipients for the data, purposes for each exchange, and any known obstacles. All of the data elements and their associated information (sources, recipients, etc.) were incorporated into a table, which was scored and prioritized, and real-world use case scenarios were developed to demonstrate how an agency might use the information to improve outcomes. Agencies should consider these nontraditional domain data elements when planning to build or upgrading a record management system.

I later provided an IJIS update on behalf of Ashwini Jarral which included updates on current relevant IJIS projects including the Silicon Valley Regional Data Trust project which will impact school safety (one of Global’s current priorities). Other updates included the IJIS Springboard Program’s Cyber Standards Check subscription service, the Courts Service Provider Directory, the resources being developed by the IJIS Background Check Task Force, and the newly formed Law Enforcement Advisory Committee.  

The Advisory Committee also heard updates from the Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council and the Nationwide Criminal History Records Task Team. Following the updates, the Advisory Committee reviewed information from two tools/resources, the Council of State Government’s 50-State Summit on Public Safety and the FirstNet App Ecosystem.


The most important takeaways from this meeting were:

  • The need for guidance on the use of drones by law enforcement and the ever-evolving challenge their use creates for law enforcement. Members suggested Global consider developing best practices and documenting success stories and model policies for the use of emerging technologies involving video such as Unmanned Arial Vehicles.
  • The desire of BJS to determine how technology can help bridge the gaps in information sharing related to immigration data.

The Global Advisory Committee plans to meet again in by conference call on October 30th. 

Tags:  BJA  Global 

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Information Sharing Safeguarding and Interoperability – Reuse or Reinvent?

Posted By Ashwini Jarral, Tuesday, September 11, 2018

In the past six months, I’ve been attending various conferences and meetings where, to my surprise, the is much talk about new strategies to solve information sharing and interoperability issues but almost no mention of the myriad of investments made in successful information and interoperability efforts that are already in progress or completed.

New organizations and projects have been popping up all over the landscape and claiming they are the one that will be successful in solving interoperability issues. However, nowhere in these discussions am I hearing about the great work already done and the investments made so far to address the interoperability challenges nationwide. It made me realize now, more than ever, that the IJIS Institute and our partners in government and within other practice associations need to do a better job of sharing and promoting all the work we have led or supported around information sharing safeguarding and interoperability with the broader community. 

Since 2002, IJIS has been involved in solving information sharing challenges. This involvement came as a result of the events of Sept. 11th and the findings in the Markel Foundation Report and the 9/11 Commission Report on the need for a nationwide capacity to share information that could detect, prevent, or deter a terrorist attack.  IJIS Institute membership and staff started looking at enabling information sharing across different levels of governments, across missions, and among the private sector, they realized early on that information sharing cannot be possible without resolving the interoperability issues.

As this discussion on interoperability started within the IJIS Institute, we realized very quickly that everybody has their own definition of interoperability.  The first thing that everyone could agree on in the context of information sharing, was that we need to address data interoperability and focus on defining the data syntax challenges. This is where the IJIS Institute Advisory Committees and staff took the leading role in contributing to the development of the first data standard in the justice mission called the Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM). It was the IJIS XML Advisory Committee who coined the term Information Package Exchange Document (IEPD), which became the core concept of GJXDM and is now known as the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM).  As GJXDM and NIEM took off and got widely adopted, we realized that data itself doesn’t help achieve the interoperability, so IJIS, along with our key partner, National Center for State Courts (NCSC), led the effort to leverage Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) concepts to address the other aspects of achieving interoperability. This SOA model adoption for the justice community became the Justice Reference Architecture (JRA) and got the endorsement of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) – Global Justice Information Sharing. The IJIS advisory committee then took the lead with subject matter experts from the industry to vet this concept and morph it into the Global Reference Architecture (GRA).   

After great success with GJXDM, NIEM, and GRA, the IJIS community realized that these efforts were still just the beginning of solving information sharing and interoperability challenges. There was an effort initiated and funded by the Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE) Office under the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to help put together the other pieces of the puzzle that could address the full information sharing and interoperability stack. Out of this effort, Project Interoperability was born as an interoperability frameworks built to incorporate, data, services, policy, privacy, security, and Identity Credential and Access Management (ICAM) core components to fully address the interoperability challenges.  This set of building blocks formed the concept of the Information Sharing and Safeguarding Core Interoperability Framework (ICIF). The goal of Project Interoperability was to provide an integrated set of mission-agnostic documentary and technical resources that:

  • Facilitate operational integration of the ICIF components and
  • Advocate standards and technologies most likely to achieve compatibility, performance, and scalability desired in an Information Sharing Environment (ISE).

The other key aspect of this effort was that even though it was sponsored by the PM-ISE, the work products were jointly developed by the Standards Coordinating Council (SCC). The SCC represented members from the federal/state/local government agencies, national practice associations, standards organizations, and the technology industry. Project Interoperability was intended to help:

  • Save users time and money in aligning their architectures and establishing ISEs,
  • Reduce implementation risks by creating available interoperability examples, known as a common vocabulary, and
  • Scaling trust by moving to federated, standard, and automated enforcement of policy assertions at both the technical and policy levels in an ever-changing ecosystem.

All three of these objectives have been demonstrated across the nation, and even internationally, in various projects that government agencies have undertaken to address the information sharing and interoperability challenges. 

In the coming months, the IJIS team will be writing about some of these efforts on how government agencies, working with their solution providers, have overcome the information sharing, safeguarding, and interoperability challenges.  This will be one of our primary efforts at the IJIS Institute as we raise awareness of the successes and share lessons learned from various efforts.  Our goal through this effort will be to help leaders in the public and private sector to connect, collaborate, and share their innovations solving problems through investments already made, and not being forced to break ground already established for information sharing, safeguarding and interoperability.

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A Post-briefing Path Forward

Posted By Ashwini Jarral, Thursday, August 23, 2018

The IJIS Institute is forging a new path forward following our successful 2018 Mid-year Briefing event in Denver, Colorado, earlier this month where the new strategic plan was released and our new 2018-2019 board of directors held their first meeting. IJIS also refined its mission statement and organizational descriptions to better capture the organization’s focus, capabilities, and direction.

The IJIS Institute’s mission is to drive public sector technology innovation and empower information sharing to promote safer and healthier communities. The newly-released strategic plan has this mission at its heart, and lays out four main goals for the Institute: funding, membership, identity, and landscape. More about the strategic plan can be found at

The Mid-year Briefing was also the first meeting of the 2018-2019 IJIS Institute Board of Directors:

  • Chairperson: Michael Wagers, Vice President, Axon
  • Vice-Chair: James (Benji) Hutchinson, Sr. Director of DC Operations, NEC Corporation
  • Treasurer: Tanya Stauffer, Practice Director, Analysts International
  • Secretary: James E. Cabral, Partner, MTG Management Consultants LLC
  • Director At-Large: Tom Herzog, President, The Herzog Group
  • Kirk Arthur, Managing Director, Microsoft
  • Ben Harrell, Director of Sales & Marketing, Marquis Software, Inc.
  • William Josko, Public Safety Practice Leader and Associate Partner, IBM Global Services
  • Roger Mann, CEO, GlobalFlyte, Inc.
  • Michael McDonald, Business Development Manager - Law Enforcement, Intellicheck, Inc.
  • Kay Stephenson, CEO, DataMaxx Group Inc.
  • David Taylor, Vice President, Software AG
  • Bob Turner, President, Commsys
  • Dan Twohig, MSSSI VP of Sales, Motorola Solutions

If you missed the Mid-year Briefing, we already have the makings for another great agenda that will be coming up at the National Symposium, January 23-24, at the Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center. This is a great facility in a great location and it will be a fantastic educational and networking event. Watch for more information in the coming weeks. We are looking for additional presentations for the event...if you are interested, let us know at

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Data Interoperability Enabling the Future of Emergency Patient Care

Posted By Tim Grapes, Thursday, May 24, 2018

The IJIS Institute and its Member companies recognize the value of widespread adoption of data exchange standards to improve emergency and disaster management. The Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) Suite of standards, published by the Standards Development Organization (SDO) OASIS, enables data sharing in support of multi-jurisdictional emergency support functions. One of these functions is emergency patient care and tracking.

The IJIS Institute is helping the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) to advance state, local, and federal adoption of three OASIS data exchange standards. Kevin McGinnis of NASEMSO highlighted the proposed effort as, “addressing a critical flaw in the nation’s efforts to respond quickly and effectively to disasters involving casualties and responders from multiple jurisdictions.” 

Government agencies have their own budget cycles and decision-making; they purchase or build their own emergency and disaster support systems which do not share data. During local and mass casualty incidents, first responder agencies from multiple jurisdictions and disciplines devolve to manual, paper-based, slow, and error-prone processes causing confusion, delays, and added stress for patients, families, and response organizations. 

The good news is that the standards needed to solve this problem are ready. A few years ago, while leading a national Practitioner Steering Group under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, we established the EDXL roadmap, defined the requirements, and participated in the OASIS standardization process. Not only are the standards ready, OASIS and Health Level 7 (HL7) have jointly released them for use between emergency practitioners and care facilities, such as hospitals. 

Testing these data exchanges was successful and the operational benefits have been proven during live, large-scale, multi-jurisdictional patient movement exercises. But a standard isn’t a standard unless it is adopted and used. So why has adoption been sluggish, and what’s new? 

The practitioner group that originally drove standardization has re-energized the effort to support adoption and implementation of real-time emergency patient data exchange through government grant guidance and purchasing practices. The project will demonstrate cost-effective patient tracking, hospital preparedness, family notification and reunification, and enable emergency hospital evacuation through local data exchange development. 

Operationally, it will demonstrate local data exchange running automatically behind the scenes, freeing key resources for more urgent tasks, while improving preparedness and response. It will allow jurisdictions and professions across the entire emergency medical continuum of care to continue daily use of their own locally-operated systems and automatically scale to support mass casualty incidents and events with no additional user training.

These objectives will be accomplished through cross-jurisdiction governance, outreach and education, a third-party standards conformance program, pilots, demonstrations and live patent movement exercises, and transition planning for operational support. Ultimately, our plan creates a repeatable model and standards roadmap that will be endorsed by SAFECOM, and applied to subsequent standards development and adoption priorities such as the OASIS Hospital Availability Exchange (HAVE). This crawl-walk-run approach delivers immediate local value while streamlining subsequent efforts.

The IJIS Institute and NASEMSO call for the support and participation of industry in the adoption and use of the OASIS EDXL Tracking of Emergency Patients (TEP V1.1) standard.

For more information or to get involved in this effort, contact me at


Tags:  EDXL  OASIS  OASIS EDXL Tracking of Emergency Patients  patient tracking  standards 

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Sessions for the 2018 Mid-year Briefing

Posted By Ashwini Jarral, Thursday, May 17, 2018

The 2018 Mid-year Briefing will be held in Denver (Colorado) on August 15th and 16th, and I really want to tell you about the great sessions we have lined up for this event.

Plenary sessions:

  • Going Dark: Challenges in Accessing Digital Evidence
    Using Data to Combat the Growing Opioid Crisis
  • Using Secure Data Environments to Improve School Safety
    FirstNet and NIST’s Public Safety Communications Research Division Standards
  • Information Sharing to Address Foster Youth Trafficking
  • Challenges with Non-Law Enforcement Background Checks

Breakout sessions:

  • Demystifying the Blockchain
  • Improving Outcomes with Colorado’s Justice-to-Health Exchange
  • Corrections Technology in the Future ... Where are We Heading?
  • Understanding N-DEx and NIBRS
  • The Impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • The Colorado Criminal eDiscovery System

The Mid-year Briefing will start mid-day on the 15th and continue all day on the 16th. The IJIS Board of Directors will meet on August 14th and IJIS Advisory Committees will meet during the morning hours on the 15th. There are lots of open opportunities to join advisory committees and working groups.

Registration is open for the 2018 Mid-year Briefing. Please join us for this great line-up of sessions and to network with industry and practitioner communities. See you in Denver!

Tags:  blockchain  justice-to-health  mid-year briefing  ndex  nibrs  opioid 

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IJIS Participates in AJA Conference

Posted By Kathy Gattin, Wednesday, April 25, 2018

This week, Members of the IJIS Institute Corrections Advisory Committee and IJIS staff participated in the American Jail Association’s (AJA) 37th Annual Conference & Jail Expo in Sacramento, California (April 21-25, 2018). AJA’s Annual Conference & Jail Expo is the only national event that focuses exclusively on local jails and detention facilities. The conference provides attendees opportunities for education and professional development, networking, and access emerging jail technologies and products.

The IJIS Institute presented Corrections Technology in the Future: Where Are We Heading? on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. This workshop presented the findings from the IJIS Institute’s Corrections Advisory Committee’s Corrections Tech 2020—Technological Trends in Custodial and Community Corrections white paper. The authors identified eight prominent technology trends in corrections, explained how these capabilities are evolving, and discussed where technology may address present and projected business problems. The technology trends discussed included:

  • Technological Support for Alternatives to Incarceration,
  • Cost Avoidance and Reduction of Workloads,
  • Mobility,
  • Big Data and Advanced Analytics,
  • Evidenced-Based Strategies to Manage Correctional Populations,
  • Expanded Information Sharing,
  • Cyber Security, and
  • Standards and Policy.

The presenters were IJIS Members Brian Day and Fred Roesel. Brian Day is the director of product strategy for Syscon Justice Systems and also the chair of the special sub-committee of the IJIS Institute Corrections Advisory Committee that led the effort to research and development the white paper discussed at the workshop. Fred Rosel is the business architect for Marquis Software and the chair of the IJIS Institute Corrections Advisory Committee.

Both Brian and Fred, along with IJIS Institute staff members Bob May and Kathy Gattin, staffed an IJIS Institute booth on the exposition floor, providing information about the organization and our services to conference attendees. They met with representatives from counties, jails, and law enforcement agencies from all over the country, and also engaged with many other exhibitors representing products and services offered to jails and law enforcement agencies.

The IJIS Institute group took time to visit with Robert Kasabian, the executive director of the American Jail Association to discuss common objectives. AJA is a working partner with IJIS in events such as the IJIS Corrections Technology Forums held in 2013, 2015, and 2017.

The IJIS Institute offers our thanks to our Members Syscon Justice Systems and Marquis Software for participating in this important event. 

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  American Jail Association  corrections  corrections technology  jails 

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WIS3 Highlights Cooperation and Coordination in Info Sharing

Posted By Ashwini Jarral, Monday, April 4, 2016

The Workshop on Information Sharing and Safeguarding Standards (WIS3) is an annual event sponsored by the Standards Coordinating Council (SCC) and the IJIS Institute. The 2016 event was held on 17 March at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Reston, Virginia.

This year’s WIS 3 was an interactive workshop that brought together more than 100 government and industry leaders to chart the future for architecture and standards frameworks for the national information sharing environment.

The workshop opened with an introduction from Victor Harrison, senior VP of Object Management Group (OMG). WIS was co-located with the OMG Technical Meeting.

The opening keynote presentation was given by a special guest, Michael Echols, director of the Cyber Joint Program Management Office, National Cybersecurity Policy and Risk Management, Department of Homeland Security. He spoke about the recent executive orders on cybersecurity and what progress has been made. He had two important points that he emphasized to participants: 1) that cybersecurity is a team sport with many communities of interest that are involved and 2) that public/private partnerships are essential for success in improving the state of cyber security in this country.

Of particular interest to the WIS3 attendees and the SCC, Echols noted that, “standards are how we empower the weakest team members and make the networks that link us strong.”

Echols went on to discuss the need for information sharing platforms to be linked. He discussed the need for more organizations and individuals to get involved in the Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO) Standards Organization, He went on to say that, “we want to move cyber threat information to the right people at the right place in the right time,” and that realizing this would start with standards and mean working with organizations in the community of interest.

The first panel of the workshop was Project Interoperability 2.0. The panelists provided the vision for Project Interoperability 2.0 activities. The panel was moderated by Kshemendra Paul, program manager, Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE), Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the panelists were:

  • Steve Ambrosini, executive director, IJIS Institute
  • Mark Reichardt, president and CEO, Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)
  • Jamie Clark, general counsel, Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (Oasis)
  • Ashwini Jarral, director of operations, IJIS Institute

At the start of the panel, Paul reviewed PM ISE’s perspective on the future of Project Interoperability and the role of PM ISE in that effort. He also discussed the development and importance of the Information Sharing and Safeguarding (IS&S) Playbook,, and how the Playbook interacts with the work of the SCC and Project Interoperability.

Ambrosini discussed IJIS’ role and interest in the SCC and Project Interoperability and noted that through the SCC, organizations can send out relevant standards to communities of interest, public and private, to encourage use and adaptation.

Reichardt discussed that OGC’s interest in the SCC is access across standards development organizations (SDOs) and different communities of interest so that standards created worldwide by OGC are not created in a vacuum. He provided an example of this, noting that earlier versions of the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) were able to transmit location information but not within the frameworks of the GIS providers. OGC conducted a pilot to use NIEM to transmit location information and now the changes discovered through this process are a part of NIEM 3.0. He stated that engaging industry in the creation of tools and testing things in real operational situations are examples of success through SCC. OGC is an international organization and the international connections help them enable information sharing across national boundaries. OGC is planning pilots in the international space to further these important efforts.

Jamie Clark build on this concept using an analogy that all the SDOs are out there creating tools, but if you put a toolbox in front of people without any experience with a hammer, they won’t be able to make any sense out of the 45 different hammers in the box. The SCC can be thought of as a way to help guide those people to understand what is in that toolbox and ways it can be used, ultimately encouraging people to reach in the box and use the tools effectively instead of being overwhelmed and closing the box. Clark encouraged people from other SDOs to participate in the SCC so we can help the greater information sharing community properly use the toolbox.

Clark also had a real-world example; OASIS was working on XACML and through their involvement in the SCC they discovered that OGC was working on the geospatial component of XACML. The two organizations ended up working together to both organization’s and both standard’s benefits.

Jarral discussed how the many pieces that were discussed so far, like the SCC, Project Interop, and others, fit together and interrelate.

Following the panel presentation, a town hall-type session was held to allow the audience to provide comments and ask questions of the panelists about the SCC and Project Interoperability. It was a very lively session that went to the last minute with audience questions and comments.

The next panel was a discussion of information sharing and interoperability in the maritime domain. The moderator for the panel was Doc Holliday from the PM-ISE and the panelists were:

  • Dr. Mark Haselkorn, professor of human-centered design and engineering, University of Washington, and director, Center for Collaborative Systems for Security, Safety, and Regional Resilience (CoSSaR)
  • Bradford Clark, Mission Integration and Capability Development Division, Office of Shore Forces (CG-741), U.S. Coast Guard

Haselkorn and Clark educated participants on how Federal partners have co-sponsored and teamed with the University of Washington to analyze the Puget Sound operational sharing environment, how Project Interoperability tools and resources are being employed there, and how the results of this work, in addition to being shared across the greater maritime community of interest.

Haselkorn noted in his presentation that we aren’t designing systems for users because users are a part of the system; it is more like we are designing Interventions to close the socio-technical gap. His presentation also focused on the work of the CoSSaR. He went on to state that the intent of the work being done should be the development of a common operational picture instead of hoping that someday there would be one big system that everyone used, as that was not a possible scenario.

The next panel was a use case about law enforcement deconfliction and request for information. The panel was moderated by Hank Oleyniczak from the PM-ISE and the panelists included:

  • Alan Rosenhauer, CTO, RISS Technology Center
  • Glenn Fueston, associate deputy director, Intelligence and Information Sharing Initiative, Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area

Deconfliction is becoming a standardized term within the law enforcement community. The panelists discussed the varying degrees of what deconfliction represents in the law enforcement community and reviewed a successful implementation interconnecting three nationally-recognized event deconfliction systems (RISSafe, Case Explorer, and SAFETNet).

The panelists described the three types of deconfliction: 1) Event Deconfliction is agencies avoiding an event at the same time in the same place, 2) Case/Subject/Target/Entity Deconfliction is law enforcement provider to law enforcement provider communications about issues, and 3) a Request for Information is a generic request for info about a topic in a general sense.

Both presenters reinforced the necessary ingredients between partners for deconfliction activities are  building trust, enabling interoperability with security/safeguarding, and achieving scalability as deconfliction efforts move from event to general requests for information and all within the framework of countering terrorism and enhancing homeland security.

Rosenhauer discussed future plans for enhancements involve investigating potential connections with the Drug Enforcement Agency, cyber organizations, FBI, N-DEx, and other national and regional partners. More about their project can be learned at

The fourth panel was entitled Scaling Trust and Interoperability: Lessons from Federating Identity and Access. The panel was moderated by John Wandelt, fellow and division chief, Information Exchange and Architecture Division, Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). The panelists were:

  • Alan Rosenhauer, CTO, RISS Technology Center
  • Marc-Anthony Signorino, JD, CIPP, executive director, Identity Ecosystem Steering Group, Inc.
  • Bill Phillips, security specialist, Nlets
  • Tom McCarty, director, Identity, Credential and Access Management (ICAM) Program Management Office (PMO), Information Sharing Environment Office, Office of the CIO, DHS
  • Jim Derry, IT Manager, Tennessee Methamphetamine & Pharmaceuticals Task Force

Scaling trust and interoperability across autonomous federal, state, and local partner organizational boundaries is a fundamental requirement of the information sharing and safeguarding environment to support the counterterrorism and homeland defense mission. The panelists explores experiences, lessons learned, and strategies from existing trust framework operators and stakeholders during the implementation of the federated identity use case.

The fifth and last panel of the day was called New National Initiatives: Leveraging Project Interoperability and Standards to Create Information Sharing Momentum. The moderator for this panel was Ashwini Jarral, director of operations, IJIS Institute, and the panel included:

  • Laurie Flaherty, Coordinator of the National 911 program, Department of Transportation
  • Vernon Mosley, Senior Cybersecurity Engineer, Cybersecurity and Communications Reliability Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • Peter Shebell, Deputy Director for Standards Policy and Coordination, Office of Standards, Capability Development Support Group, Science and Technology Directorate
  • Jeff Bratcher, CTO, FirstNet
  • Richard Spires, CEO, Learning Tree International (former DHS CIO)

The panelists discussed opportunities and challenges around interoperability, standards, and building trust within their community. Panelists provided their perspective on using different components of Project Interoperability and SCC resources to develop an information sharing and safeguarding environment. The panel also addressed the policy and procurement challenges that agencies face as they develop standards-based capabilities.

The workshop closed with a wrap up of the day’s events and view for the future by Paul from the PM-ISE.

Planning has already started for the 2017 WIS3. Please visit for event information as well as other SCC information and activities.

Tags:  cybersecurity  information sharing  interoperability  WIS3 

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Promoting Meaningful Information Sharing

Posted By Robert L. May II, Monday, February 29, 2016

Earlier this month I was invited to speak at a special event hosted by the City of Denver Department of Human Services Crime Prevention and Control Commission. The event, Promoting Meaningful Information Sharing, was held in Denver on 23 February intended to help participants:

  • Ensure accurate information on Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and 42-CFR laws.
  • Understand current interpretations and practices regarding HIPAA and 42-CFR laws.
  • Develop common practices used across and within Denver and Colorado agencies.
  • Discuss how Wellness Recovery Action Plans (WRAP) can be used across systems in a digital form.

The event began with general discussions on HIPAA and 42-CFR Part 2 and then I provided the information on criminal justice provisions within HIPAA and 42-CFR. Following my session, there was a presentation on electronic health data exchange and then the rest of the session included scenarios and responses to participant questions.

Also speaking at the event were:

  • Drew Labbo, Chief Information Security Officer & Privacy Officer at Denver Health and Hospital Authority, and he owner and principal of Rocky Mountain HIPAA Guru, which offers HIPAA consulting and HIPAA advisory services.
  • Charles Smith, PhD, Regional Administrator for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Region VIII (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, and WY). Dr. Smith is a Licensed Psychologist and the former Director of the Colorado Division of Behavioral Health and Deputy Commissioner of Mental Health and Substance Abuse for the State of Colorado.
  • Hyla Schreurs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, Rocky Mountain Region, Supervisory Equal Opportunity Specialist. Ms. Schreurs is licensed to practice law in Colorado.
  • Jennifer Hill, Program Coordinator at the Colorado Mental Wellness Network.
  • Lyn Snow, Compliance Officer for Colorado Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health.
  • Kate Tipping, Public Health Advisor and privacy lead on SAMHSA’s Health IT Team. PATRICK FOX
  • Patrick K. Fox, MD,  Chief Medical Officer for the Colorado Department of Human Services and Deputy Director of Clinical Services for the Office of Behavioral Health.
  • Toria Thompson, Behavioral Health Information Exchange Coordinator at CORHIO and is responsible for implementing solutions for the secure exchange of Behavioral Health data within CORHIO’s HIE.

The combined PowerPoint presentations are attached to this post as a resource, and the following were provided as web resources for further information on the topics discussed.


  • Full text of Privacy, Security, and Breach Rules
  • HIPAA Privacy Rule summary
  • Covered entity "decision tool" to assist individuals and entities in making these determinations
  • Over 200 frequently asked questions
  • Fact sheets
  • Information about the OCR enforcement program

Substance Abuse& Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): and

  • To help providers in the behavioral health field better understand privacy issues related to Health IT, SAMHSA, in collaboration with ONC has created two sets of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).


Opportunities for Information Sharing to Enhance Health and Public Safety Outcomes


Prioritizing Justice-to-Health Exchanges Task Team Final Report


Aligning Justice-To-Health Priority Exchanges Task Team Final Report

Corrections and Reentry:

Protected Health Information Privacy Framework for Information Sharing


Download File (PDF)

Tags:  corrections  HIPAA  information sharing  justice-to-health  mental health  substance abuse 

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