This article originally appeared on CIO.gov, the website of the U.S. chief information officer and the Federal CIO Council. Richard Spires is CIO of the Department of Homeland Security and vice chair of the Federal CIO Council.
I had the privilege to attend and speak at 2011 National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) National Training Event (at the end of last month) on behalf of the Executive Steering Council and other strategic partners who steward the program. The two-day NTE was both educational and inspiring-undoubtedly the NIEM community is really something special to be a part of.
I support NIEM from two distinct seats, as chief information officer at the Department of Homeland Security and also as the vice-chair of the Federal CIO Council where we look to leverage NIEM across the federal government.
The NIEM adoption rate of the 24 major agencies in the U.S. federal government is rather incredible and is growing at a significant rate. To date, 14 federal agencies are committed to use NIEM.
At the NIEM NTE, I talked to the more than 500 attendees about some of the key objectives we are accomplishing at DHS that are tied to NIEM, including how IT and the partnership of the customer and IT organizations can enhance an agency’s mission effectiveness.
NIEM is now the DHS enterprise architecture standard for how we interconnect systems.”
I view NIEM as an enabling capability in helping us to do this. NIEM is grassroots and supportive of bringing communities together to foster solutions. DHS has some astounding success stories using NIEM as it plays a critical role in the “bottoms up” bringing together of technologies. In fact, NIEM is now the DHS enterprise architecture standard for how we interconnect systems.
The NIEM Program Management Office is currently based in my office in the DHS Office of the Chief Information Officer. When I talk about NIEM, whether at DHS, Office of Management and Budget, or up on the Hill, I always stress that I have not seen a better return on investment for our taxpayer dollars than in supporting NIEM and what the broader NIEM community is doing.
I hope that I can continue to hold up my part of the bargain over the next few years and continue to help ensure that NIEM becomes that much more robust on the federal level.
NIEM also reaches beyond the federal government.
Here in the United States, state and local governments are adopting NIEM for numerous types of information exchanges across twelve different domains. NIEM is also being leveraged internationally. A number of foreign government representatives attended the event, including significant delegations from Canada and Mexico. I look forward to further collaboration with Canada and Mexico to complete pilots for trilateral information exchange using NIEM as the foundation.
By the way, in case you were unable to attend, free on-line access to the 2011 NIEM NTE keynotes and 40 breakout presentations is now available via NIEM.gov. Be sure to check out the 2011 Best of NIEM winners as well.