DOD issues information-sharing strategy

The Defense Department released its information-sharing strategy May 4, detailing four goals to improve how information is shared across the military and with the intelligence agencies and their partners.

DOD Chief Information Officer John Grimes signed the memo after working with Ted McNamara, program manager for the Information Sharing Environment, and Air Force Maj. Gen. Dale Meyerrose, CIO for the director of national intelligence, to ensure the strategy was in line with the governmentwide objectives.

“The information-sharing strategy cuts across everything we do in DOD, and it is necessary to exchange information with our mission partners,” said Debra Filippi, DOD’s federal information-sharing executive. “We already were doing some work in the information-sharing area, specifically with communities of Interest and information assurance, but it was appropriate to knit these pieces together under the banner of a more strategic perspective and now line them up as service components of DOD.”

The strategy, which DOD has been working on since June 2005, wants the services and Defense agencies to:

• Promote, encourage and offer incentives for sharing. “The practices of the past were about the need to know, and information was very sheltered,” Filippi said. “We are trying to inspire folks to make information accessible and visible, and not be worried about keeping [away from] folks who don’t have an obvious need, but through third or second degrees of separation might need it.”

• Achieve an extended enterprise. “We have to acknowledge our partners don’t exist inside DOD all the time,” she said. “It could be coalition partners, nongovernment organizations, other agencies or others.”

• Improve agility to accommodate unanticipated partners and events. Filippi said this goes with goal No. 2 because DOD often is called on to work with many others on a moment’s notice.

• Ensure trust across the agencies. “The key to creating a trusted environment for warfighters through identity management and assigning roles and responsibilities,” she said.

To take this from strategy to actuality, Filippi said, her office already is working on an implementation plan that incorporates the burgeoning communities of interest approach to information sharing.

“We need the implementation plan and the follow-on effort to see how all the activities align and what...the capabilities [are that] we will give the warfighter,” she said.

Filippi added that the implementation plan looks at what DOD will work on in the next 18 to 36 months. Filippi said her office would finish the draft plan by early fall.

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