Best of NIEM 2021 Awards Announced
Winners of the 2021 Best of NIEM awards were announced at this year's annual NIEM Annual Plenary Session. The Best of NIEM Awards recognize teams that have demonstrated noteworthy contributions to the use, growth, and adoption of NIEM. It is particularly noteworthy what this years’ winners have been able to accomplish, with consideration to the challenging dynamics of working in remote teams. This year four teams were awarded for:
- Best Implementation of NIEM
- Improving the NIEM Model
- Contribution to the NIEM Community
- Exceptional Domain Stewardship
Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (AAICPC)
American Public Human Services Association (APHSA)
Implementing the National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE), which uses a NIEM Message Specification that improves the processing of data and documents for interstate placements of children, while managing information sharing across state and local human service agencies.
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
Incorporating Federal Incident Reporting, the Automated Indicator Sharing (AIS) and Structured Threat Information Expression (STIX) data exchange specifications within the NIEM Cyber domain.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
Innovation, Information and Technology Branch (IITB)
Interoperability Solution Division (ISD)
Sharing Best Practices for Implementing NIEM by aligning processes with the IEPD lifecycle.
Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM)
Community Engagement and Collaboration, Advancing the NIEM model, and Commitment to encouraging NIEM adoption.
Detailed Summaries of Each Recipient:
Best Implementation of NIEM was awarded to the Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (AAICPC) and the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA). This implementation not only converted a 50-year-old paper, mail, and fax process into an electronic data interchange, but they also provided flexibility for states to adopt the project. Some states elected to use Clearinghouse (API) and some used a NIECE Modular Case Management System, or a portal. The organizations, with support from the Tetrus Corporation, recently updated the NIECE IEPD to NIEM 4.0 and their implementation meets all security safeguards and meets HIPAA standards and follows the NIST best practices for security. What started out as a pilot involving 6 states in 2014, has now grown into a national data exchange. Ultimately, because of the efforts of this team’s work, there is faster decisioning and reduction in the time children and families wait for placement determinations.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) received the Best of NIEM award for Improving the NIEM Model. Not only did this organization add new content, but their content also comes at a critical time in our country. Cyber threats are on the rise and stakeholders need a common way to describe and share information. Enter CISA. CISA established the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) Cybersecurity domain by engaging with the NIEM leadership in DoD and DHS. CISA evolved the domain so that stakeholders can exchange cyber threat and other information in standardized ways. Several use cases were considered for the development of NIEM exchanges, documenting them and submitting them to stakeholders for review. CISA incorporated the Federal Incident Reporting, the Automated Indicator Sharing (AIS) and Structured Threat Information Expression (STIX) data exchange specifications within the NIEM Cyber domain construct to allow users to better exchange information. The team identified and partnered with the Cybercrime Support Network (CSN), a public-private partnership organization to evolve the NIEM Cyber domain and ensure it meets the needs of a wider community.
The Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), Innovation, Information and Technology Branch (IITB) and Interoperability Solution Division (ISD) received the Best of NIEM award for their Contribution the NIEM Community. This award was for sharing best practices for Implementing NIEM by aligning processes with the IEPD lifecycle, all while following an Agile scrum development methodology. They provided a standard format for expected output from the Scenario Planning and Analyze Requirements phase which became the input to the Map and Model phase. They also provided developer level documentation of their highly effective best practices, generated using Azure DevOps Services, for consumption by the NIEM Community. The products focused on providing developers the level of NIEM documentation that they would need to support the work required to create IEPDs. The team demonstrated their tool capabilities and documentation strategy at the NBAC 2021 Annual Meeting last week.
The Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM) was awarded the Best of NIEM award for Exceptional Domain Stewardship. DHS OBIM, as the NIEM Biometrics Domain (NBD) Steward, facilitates the NBD Working Group (NBDWG) bi-weekly meetings to bring together NIEM and Biometrics SME’s, DoD, DOJ, and NIST to mature the DNA standard. They are extremely active players in the NIEM community and respected NIEM advocates to external stakeholders that might benefit from NIEM. As an advocate of NIEM, the NBD Team provided a briefing for the Data Stewardship Tactical Working Group (DSTWG), chaired by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), to provide updates on the NIEM Biometrics Domain activities and discuss ways to further promote NIEM within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Inside the community, the NBD supports the NIEM State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Tiger Team (SLTT) and actively engages in the NIEM Technical Architecture Committee (NTAC) and Harmonization Workgroup efforts. The NIEM Biometric Domain (NBD) provided extensive outreach to communities of interest, government agencies, and various NIEM domains to promote NIEM utilization and implementation. The NBD team is working with the OBIM DNA project implementation team to coordinate with FBI CODIS on harmonizing DNA elements across CODIS and the NIEM biometrics domain. In addition, the domain has consistently provided content updates to the NIEM model at each release cycle. The team creates and publishes a polished quarterly newsletter. Their most recent accomplishment has been the standup of a NIEM GitHub Biometrics Repository with information designed to inform and assist the community.
These teams have demonstrated exceptional efforts in support of NIEM. Congratulations to our winners!
The National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) provides a model framework with rules and guidance designed to develop consistent, well-defined, enterprise level information exchanges. NIEM successfully supports communities of interest with a shared need to exchange data within federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies, internationally, and in the private sector.
To learn more, please visit www.NIEM.gov.