Game on for ODNI's C&A revamp

Revitalizing Certification and Accreditation Initiative

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The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) is using a competitive gaming approach to refresh the way the federal government thinks about certification and accreditation (C&A).

The four-month program pits teams of government and industry experts against one another, culminating in a “war room” battle of ideas.

Begun in June, the C&A Revitalization initiative is a collaborative effort led by ODNI and supported by the Defense Department and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. It seeks to solicit innovation by mixing teams of specialists to work on C&A issues. The goal is to produce new policies, processes and ideas for handling C&A.

“The idea is to bring those competing ideas to war rooms and out of the war rooms, bring about actionable elements that ODNI, DOD and NIST will jointly work in the business of certifying and accreditation,” said retired Maj. Gen. Dale Meyerrose, associate director of national intelligence and chief information officer.

Meyerrose spoke at an event held Sept. 12 by AFCEA International’s Washington, D.C., chapter that benefited the National Science Center’s student programs.

“When you get down to it, C&A is about two things: alignment and bringing on innovation,” Meyerrose said. He called the C&A initiative the “clash of the green and gold,” referring to the color designations of the two opposing sides.

About 100 participants are divided into six teams, with about 50 percent coming from industry and 50 percent from government, Meyerrose said. Participants can originate from any sector of industry, and there are no restrictions on citizenship or location, according to an ODNI briefing.

The teams have been working together since June 7 and will issue their team reports Sept. 21, Meyerrose said. On Oct. 16, the war rooms will open and each team will present its solutions to panels made up of flag-level officers, Senior Executive Service members and industry executives. The panels will then issue recommendations based on any or all of the teams’ ideas.

The panels’ recommendations will be the basis of documentation creating new C&A policies, processes and procedures across the defense and intelligence communities, according to the ODNI briefing.

Team members in different locations work together online. The project Web site also includes an open-discussion forum and a Web log to provide participants with a daily progress overview. All discussions inside the initiative are unclassified.

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