Back in March, GSA’s Office of Government-wide Policy and I challenged industry to provide recommendations for enhancing the government’s acquisition policy and increasing interoperability through standards. The American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC), a non-profit, public-private partnership focused on improving government through effective application of IT, was asked to solicit feedback from industry and develop a white paper.
Today, ACT-IAC released the white paper: Responsible Information Sharing: Engaging Industry to Improve Standards-Based Acquisition & Interoperability (PDF). I encourage everyone in industry to review and comment on the white paper.
Key findings from the paper include:
- Focus on streamlining governance for interoperability standards. A repeatable standards governance process is necessary to define interoperability requirements and coordinate standards development activities across mission areas and governmental jurisdictions.
- Develop a standards roadmap. In order to encourage adoption of interoperability standards, the government needs to clearly describe its target state vision for how interoperability will be achieved and the standards that will enable it.
- Leverage standards conformance testing and pilots to minimize risk. Reusing standards that have been developed collectively, tested for standards conformance, or piloted within a certain mission area or IT platform, will minimize risk prior to implementation.
- Incorporate standards requirements into all strategic management processes. Beginning with strategic planning, government’s interoperability standards requirements need to be clearly defined and the potential return on investment from using standards needs to be captured.
- Enhance training and outreach. Enhancing training to create a cross-trained workforce and improving outreach with industry and other stakeholder groups will garner great dividends and help ensure expected results.
We are extremely interested in any additional ideas and insight you may have into the use of information sharing standards in IT management lifecycles, including capital planning, acquisitions, and systems development. Your responses will inform the plan of action that my office is preparing for standards-based acquisition and interoperability.
Please share your feedback by joining our discussions on our new LinkedIn page or on Twitter with #SBAI. You can also submit comments by emailing ACT-IAC at email@example.com or anonymously by commenting below. In addition, if you would more frequent updates from us about this important work, subscribe to our new Standards & Interoperability email list. (If you attended last year’s WIS3 Workshop on Information Sharing and Safeguarding Standards, you have already been added to the list.) Finally, for more information, visit ACT-IAC's press release.