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NIEM is a voluntary consensus standard.

The NTAC, NBAC, and Domains, comprise a voluntary consensus standards body for the NIEM standards. We operate according to the principles of openness, balance of interest, due process, appeals, and consensus.

Get Involved. Discover The Value of NIEM.

View Governance

Review how the NIEM Governance process works.

Policies & Procedures

Review our policies used to manage the model.

Standards Using NIEM

Review other standards that leverage NIEM.

NIEM Standards / Specifications

How the NIEM harmonization process works.

Participate In NIEM Standards Development

The National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) is a standards-based approach to defining information exchange specifications for structured, machine-to-machine data exchange. NIEM is comprised of:

  • A data model, divided into a core and several independent subject-area domain models
  • Technical specifications, defining NIEM-conforming exchange specifications and data
  • Governance processes, through which federal, state, local, tribal, commercial, and international participants cooperate to create the data model and technical specifications

It is sometimes claimed that U.S. government agencies must always prefer “open standards” to the use of the NIEM approach. However, as this paper shows, NIEM satisfies the relevant definition of the open standard mandate. Federal agencies should therefore regard NIEM as one of the standards to be preferred, not one to be avoided, or considered after others.

The open-standard mandate is enacted in section 12(d) of Public Law 104-113, and further described in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-1191, as revised in 2016.2 The actual language of the mandate directs federal agencies “to use voluntary consensus standards in lieu of government-unique standards except where inconsistent with law or otherwise impractical”. In order to determine how this mandate applies to NIEM, it is necessary to answer:

  • Is NIEM a standard?
  • Is NIEM a voluntary consensus standard?
  • Is NIEM a government-unique standard?

It is important to distinguish between the NIEM data model and technical specifications, developed through the NIEM governance process, and the many information exchange specifications that have been or may be developed with the NIEM approach. This paper is concerned only with the model and technical specifications.

Join A Working Group

Whenever a new standards project is initiated a working group is formed to write a new standard or revise an existing standard. Working groups consist of volunteer subject matter experts who will work together to produce an ANSI accredited standard related to public safety communications. It is not a requirement to be a NIEM member to participate in developing NIEM ANI accredited standards. NIEM will also issue a press release when a call for participation is initiated so stay connected!

Join the NTAC, NBAC, and/or A Domain

You may apply to be part of the Standards Development Committee or a Standards Development Subcommittee. Participation is based on the need for particular interest categories, which are users of public safety equipment and processes, producers of public safety equipment and processes, and those who have a general interest in public safety standards, such as academia, consultants, and other government agencies.

Review and Comment

As an ANSI requirement, involvement in NIEM Standards Development is open to anyone. One way to participate is to review and comment on future standards during the public review process. During this 45-day period, comments on proposed standards are received from any interested person. All comments are considered by the standards working group. Standards requiring review and comment can be found on the NIEM Call to Action web page. NIEM will issue a press release when standards are ready for review and comment.

For more information on NIEM's International's standards development activities send an email to our Communications Team at information@niem.gov.

NTTAA

The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) directs Federal agencies to adopt voluntary consensus standards wherever possible (avoiding development of unique government standards) and establishes reporting requirements.

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OMB A-119

All federal agencies must use voluntary consensus standards in lieu of government-unique standards in their procurement and regulatory activities, except where inconsistent with law or otherwise impractical.

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