Justice XML project gets virtual help desk

Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute

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Representatives from government agencies and industry who are implementing an Extensible Markup Language (XML) model to help improve information sharing among their justice information systems can turn now to a virtual help desk for questions.

The non-profit Integrated Justice Information Systems (IJIS) Institute, which has more than 130 member information technology companies, announced today the availability of the help desk and an online knowledge base at (http://it.ojp.gov/gjxdm/helpdesk/) for developers of the Global Justice XML Data Model. The help desk will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST and provide three levels of responses usually within 24 hours of an inquiry.

In the first level, staff from the IJIS Institute will provide basic responses to questions. The second level will provide specific expertise from representatives of the National Center for State Courts and SEARCH, the National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics. For the most difficult technical questions, or Level 3, member companies will provide expertise and the Georgia Tech Research Institute, which is the nonprofit, applied research arm of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“The intent is to grow the knowledge base to the point where developers can get their questions answered without submitting a problem report, but to never let a developer starve for answers to pressing questions," said Ashwini Jarral, the help desk project manager, in a prepared statement. “We will keep the staffing level in place until we discover that we have filled the knowledge void.”

Both the Justice and Transportation departments helped fund the initiative. The Homeland Security Department is also providing funding so the help desk can support the National Information Exchange Model currently being developed by the federal government to expand information sharing among the federal, state, local and tribal government agencies.

Montana-based RightNow Technologies, which has implemented similar technologies in other federal agencies, developed the software supporting the help desk.

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