As it relates to Case Management, NIEM is very important. The need for sharing information is vital for the war on terrorism as well as combating domestic crimes (i.e. drugs, sexual perpetrators and etc.). Law Enforcement agencies have to be able to share case related data and NIEM sets the framework for accomplishing that. Given that each agency has its own Case Management system that supports its business processes, security model, data structure and etc., there needs to be a common language/schema for these systems to export and import pieces or the entire case. NIEM is that standard.
As my colleague has clearly stated in his blog, My name is NIEM, NIEM is not a silver bullet. There are many issues to resolve:
- Security of information once export from system.
- Sharing of information between civilian and intelligence agencies – What if it contains data about US citizen? How do we share with our international partners?
- What if one system does not support all data elements and during the import data is lost? Agency could be making decisions based on limited information.
- When does the imported data become stale? What if the case is active and new information contradicts the export data that has been shared?
- Given the limited budgets of local and state law enforcements, how do they participate in collaborating to combat crime?
- How do we combat data overload once data is being shared throughout the community?
These issues/concerns must and will be addressed because the alternative is not acceptable. Our enemy wins when we allow distractions to take our eyes off accomplishing this goal of information sharing amongst the community. As I review current and future procurements, I am glad to see the FBI, DHS and others make this a core element of their system.