The National Association of State Chief Information Officers on Thursday released its 2014 federal advocacy priorities that include collaborating with the federal government on cybersecurity and building a nationwide public safety broadband network.
Other priorities include pushing for greater information sharing between government entities and implementation of grant guidance reform.
“Information technology is a rapidly evolving field,” explained NASCIO President Craig Orgeron, chief information officer for the state of Mississippi. “While progress was made in 2013 with the release of federal grant guidance reform and a sweeping executive order on cybersecurity, there is still a long road ahead. Congress has yet to act on this vital issue, and the administration must continue to work with state partners to modernize and secure government information technology.”
Of key concern in the development of FirstNet, explained Herckis, director of government affairs for NASCIO.
“NASCIO hopes building a business plan with the states will be the number one priority for FirstNet in 2014,” Herckis said. “It is the missing keystone and necessary next step toward the rollout of our nation’s largest infrastructure project since the interstate system.”
NASCIO also pointed out four key issues that are specific advocacy concerns that must be addressed to reach the organization’s strategic goals:
- Mature Identity Management: The instantaneous exchange of data has proven itself vital to our nation’s progress; yet, it is also a major threat to personal and national security. Finding ways to exchange information while ensuring it does not fall into the wrong hands is one of the greatest challenges of the digital age. To achieve this, we must build robust, interoperable trust frameworks that ensure we know who is truly accessing sensitive data.
- Build the Public Sector IT Workforce: Policy solutions must be identified to recruit and train more qualified information technology professionals to the public sector at all levels. It is a necessity for effective and efficient government, as well as the security of our nation.
- Promote Common Data Standards: The federal government must work with state governments and our industry partners in deploying standardized approaches to exchange of data, including classified and sensitive information. Information exchanges between intergovernmental partners requires adopting common models, such as the National Information Exchange Model, and create security overlays that provide federal agencies a shared baseline.
- Collaborate on Broadband: Increasingly, the federal and state governments are taking a hands-on approach to strategic planning of broadband activities. Between the creation of the FirstNet Public Safety Broadband Authority and reforms to the E-Rate Broadband for Schools and Libraries Program, there are significant stakes for state governments in federal broadband planning and deployment.