Data Sharing Gets On Track–Finally
Governments at the federal, state, and local levels have begun to find success in data sharing after some high-profile early failures. An example is the Law Enforcement Information Exchange (Linx), in which six states are already participating and others are about to go live. Linx enables information sharing at all levels of government for catching criminals and fighting terrorist threats, and it has already demonstrated its efficacy by enabling an arrest to be made in the killing of a police officer within 24 hours of the crime being committed.
Meanwhile, the Utah state government presents another example of enhancement of government data-sharing. Several Utah state agencies are now able to share eligibility information for citizens qualifying for such services as Medicaid, food stamps, and child care, so that case workers no longer need to conduct separate interviews each time. “If a person or family is eligible for one of these programs, often they’re eligible for several of them,” says state CIO J. Stephen Fletcher.
Reporting requirements forced the state to get several federal agencies’ permission to bring the databases together, and this underlines “a big challenge in the interaction with the states and the feds,” he says, arising from the constraints placed on federal agencies by congressional funding and watchdogs. Public sector data sharing is likely to expand further thanks to the examples set by Utah and other government entities.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the InformationWeek (07/03/06) No. 1096, P. 58; Ambrosio, Johanna .