SEARCH Featured in New NASCIO Publication

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The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) has recently published Government Information Sharing: Calls to Action. This two-volume publication, funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, looks at the current state of information sharing from the perspective of representatives from integrated justice, state government, public health, homeland security, and others. It identifies and discusses the "barriers" and outlines the "calls to action" required to move forward in the information sharing process.

Kelly Harris, SEARCH Deputy Executive Director of Programs, contributed to the Justice Perspective, "Information Exchange Modeling: Understanding the Enterprise and Creating a Blueprint for Success."

Excerpt from "Information Exchange Modeling: Understanding the Enterprise and Creating a Blueprint for Success," by Kelly J. Harris, SEARCH Deputy Executive Director:

The barriers facing those who are trying to foster collaboration, information sharing and integration are not new or unique. Indeed, the age old challenges of politics, personalities, turf and ownership continue to surface as the most difficult to overcome, yet also the most critical issues to address for jurisdictions to further information sharing.

What has changed in recent years, however, is that justice and public safety practitioners realize that these historical barriers must be kicked down, hurdled over, or blasted completely out of the way. There is simply no choice. Mandates and directives, from Executive Orders to congressional legislation, to after-action reports that investigate the handling of major public safety events (especially the 9/11 Commission Report) demand information be shared-immediately, effectively and securely. And if that's not enough, perhaps the biggest driver is an increasingly vocal and sophisticated public expectation. The public-which is becoming acutely aware of the power of technology and the obstacles to government information sharing-will not tolerate excuses of politics, personalities and battles over turf for failing to share needed public safety information.

And so, in the past several years, there has been a great deal of nationwide activity to build tools that will help overcome, or at least mitigate these challenges and get us on our way to successful information sharing. Best practices have been identified, tools have been created, methodologies have been adopted, standards are being developed and the justice information sharing industry is taking an unprecedented leadership role to make integration happen.