NIEM 2011 National Training Event
Philadelphia, PA
August 23-25, 2011
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2011 Best of NIEM Awards

National Information Exchange Model Progam

2011 Best of NIEM Award Nomination Form

The National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) Program is now accepting nominations to recognize NIEM implementation projects that demonstrate how intergovernmental collaboration and innovative technology deliver results that increase government transparency, improve performance, and enable civic engagement. Projects must have been implemented within the past 12 months and must report specific measurable results. Successful nominees will be those that leverage best practices and deliver innovative solutions effectively to get results.


These awards will be given to individuals or teams in the information technology field for their dedication and commitment to advancing and substantially improving the way NIEM is used for government business. Recognition will be given for recent advancements that have affected the way government conducts business on a national or cross-boundary basis, and for achievements in efficiency through reuse of information exchanges.

A cross-boundary information exchange is one that crosses a bureau or agency boundary, including information sharing with international, state, local, tribal, industry, or nongovernmental organization partners.

The awards are instituted to further ensure that technology innovations and achievements are recognized and leveraged across all levels of government, as well as encouraging the broader use of the National Information Exchange Model.


This award is for NIEM practitioners in the public government and private sector who are implementing innovative solutions. Nominated programs or individuals must show work in information exchange or sharing projects using NIEM that directly support state, local, tribal, or federal government initiatives. Senior executives and political appointees are ineligible.

Award Guidelines

Nominations must demonstrate accomplishments based on the impacts for improving government services within the preceding 12 months. Accomplishments should:

  • Demonstrate reuse of a NIEM exchange by interagency or cross-boundary information sharing initiatives.
  • Demonstrate measurable improvement in performance, linked to mission objectives, by the successful implementation of NIEM.
  • Demonstrate involvement of people and ideas from two or more organizations collaborating to solve a common information sharing problem.
  • Demonstrate use of technology that supports transparent government and enables increased citizen engagement.
  • Ensure that all projects submitted conform to NIEM as detailed in the NIEM Implementation Guide.

Honoree Benefits


  • Have bragging rights and recognition.
  • Receive exposure on the special awards page on
  • Receive an award in front of their peers at the NIEM 2011 National Training Event on August 23–25 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

There will be up to five awards.

Nomination Deadline

All nominations, supporting materials, and biographies must be received by Tuesday, June 7, 2011. No nominations will be accepted after this date. There are no exceptions.

Nomination Guidelines

The Call for Nominations will be open on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, and nominations will be accepted until midnight on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. Anyone may submit a nomination for these awards, and self-nominations will be accepted. An appropriate government official from the agency or bureau must concur with the nomination. Nominations should be submitted electronically and must include the nomination form, a narrative description of the achievement or innovation (no more than two pages), and the group or individual nominee’s biography (no more than one page).


The NIEM Program Management Office will evaluate all nominations and make award recommendations to the NIEM Executive Steering Council.

Where to Submit Nominations

E-mail all entries (nomination form and three pages of supporting material) to:


Questions concerning the award or nomination process should be directed to:

All of the following documents must be submitted (via e-mail) for a nomination to be considered complete:

  1. Nomination Form (included below)
  2. Two-Part Narrative—A narrative description of the achievement or innovation describing its development, implementation, and measurable improvements to business operations (no more than two pages).
  3. Biography—The group or nominee’s biography (no more than one page).

2011 Best of NIEM Award Nomination Form

Past Honorees

For the first time ever, the NIEM Program Management Office (PMO) presented five Best of NIEM Awards at the 2009 NIEM National Training Event. The awards were announced by Donna Roy, Executive Director of the NIEM PMO, and presented by Kshemendra Paul, Chief Architect at the Office of Management and Budget (currently Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment). The awards went to NIEM implementation projects that demonstrate how intergovernmental collaboration and innovative technology deliver results that increase government transparency, improve performance, and enable civic engagement. All the projects have been operational since 2008 and have reported specific measurable results. The awardees were selected because they leverage best practices and deliver innovative solutions effectively to get results.

Collectively, the 2009 winners serve or process more than 16 million transactions per year. They have complex environments with legacy systems and use innovative new technologies. They integrate data across hundreds of data sources. Each winner includes collaboration across at least five agencies or teams. They represent great strides in information sharing with NIEM.

The 2009 "Best of NIEM" honorees are:

USCIS Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) Program

The United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States.


USCIS receives and processes 7.5 million applications and petitions per year for more than 50 types of immigration benefits. The current process of receiving and processing these applications and petitions is paper-intensive, making it difficult for USCIS to efficiently process immigration benefits. These forms are managed by different case management systems within USCIS based on form type. Getting the forms into the disparate, stovepiped systems is just as challenging as getting the information out. The USCIS Office of Information Technology has leveraged and reused the NIEM schemas and data models provided by Some services have very complex data requirements and required modeling more than 2,000 elements per form. Across the 80 forms, the 80 percent overlap of element data from each form allowed for significant reuse of the NIEM IEPDs. The use of associations and references is a vital best practice leveraged by these NIEM message exchanges to help manage the complexity and interdependency of the domain data model.

HHS-Connect, Information Architecture and Development

CONNECT is a consortium of five states that have agreed to pool their collective expertise to make interstate information sharing a reality.


New York City's Health and Human Service (HHS) agencies serve more than 2 million clients. Before the HHS-Connect program, case workers were required to log in to several agency systems to view the clients’ cases across the diverse benefit programs. To alleviate this, HHS-Connect now uses groundbreaking and innovative technologies to improve the city's ability to serve its HHS clients, while providing better customer service and online access. HHS-Connect leverages the technology resources in place at the city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), furthering the implementation of PlanIT—the city’s IT strategy. The varied types of data involved in the information exchange and the number of agencies affected by this exchange pose an unprecedented challenge to the IT services of DoITT. With the establishment of the NIEM exchanges, the worker portal is able to retrieve relevant client information from the connected agencies and collate it for presentation to case workers. The worker portal presents a holistic view of the client information across agencies to the case workers, allowing them to practice collaborative case management and make speedier decisions for benefit delivery.

Disaster Assistance Improvement Program (DAIP) Program Management Office

The Disaster Assistance Improvement Program (DAIP) exists to ease the burden of victims by creating a single access point for more than 40 federally funded forms of assistance (FOA). DAIP will consolidate benefit information, application intake, and status information into a unified system.


Each year, approximately 50 presidentially declared disasters result in injury and death, destroy homes and businesses, and disrupt the lives of hundreds of thousands of people across the nation. The DAIP was designed to ease the burden of disaster victims by consolidating federally funded forms of assistance information, application intake, and status information into a unified system. Applications for assistance from 17 U.S. government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS/FEMA), runs across almost 60 forms, which are now available through a single, online application using NIEM to automate the exchanges. This new portal,, eases the burden on disaster survivors and increases their access to disaster relief by creating a continually updated information clearinghouse that provides information on the benefits most valuable to disaster survivors, such as housing, food, and employment aid, in both English and Spanish. reduces the time needed to apply for aid and check the status of claims while decreasing redundancy in application forms and processes.

Colorado Integrated Criminal Justice Information System

The Colorado Integrated Criminal Justice Information System (CICJIS) is an integrated computer information system that links five state-level criminal justice agencies—law enforcement, prosecution, courts, adult corrections, and juvenile corrections—to create one virtual criminal justice information system.


The CICJIS program facilitates the sharing of critical criminal justice data among five state-level agencies at key decision points in the criminal justice process. It created the first technical enterprise sharing architecture in the state and is driven by the business information needs and business process requirements of Colorado’s state criminal justice agencies. The partner agencies are the Colorado Department of Public Safety; the Colorado Bureau of Investigation; the Colorado Judicial Branch; the Colorado Department of Corrections; the Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Youth Corrections; and the Colorado District Attorneys Council. To date, CICJIS has developed 35 transfers and 63 queries and processes more than 6 million transactions per year. However, the current architecture has design limitations that limited data sharing to the five partner agencies. The architecture had performed well for more than ten years, but because of its closed nature and the lack of security and limited scope of sharing to five agencies, it needed improvement. CICJIS identified two transfers that could be moved to the CICJIS Service-Based Architecture (SOA) solution without affecting the current architecture. CICJIS moved forward criminal justice data sharing using the Justice Reference Architecture (JRA) and NIEM.

Emergency Operation Center—Interconnectivity (EOC-i)

Paragon Technology Group is a fast-growing 8(a), woman-owned, small, disadvantaged business (WOSB, SDB) company headquartered in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia. Paragon has been recognized as a top 8a firm in Virginia, a top small business in the United States, and one of the 50 fastest-growing companies in the Washington, DC, area.


Effective response to large incidents requires real-time collaboration among multiple agencies and jurisdictions. Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs), activated during an incident, use many different systems to support operations and situational awareness. Most EOCs are neither interoperable nor interconnected, which makes it very difficult to coordinate resources and inform the decisionmakers. The EOC-interconnectivity (EOC-I) project defined a set of data exchanges for requesting and responding to incident and resource information enacted and acquired during the incident. The NIEM-conformant exchange and prototype system is based on emerging Internet technologies and designed to improve information sharing, situational awareness, and collaboration by regional EOCs during multijurisdictional emergencies to maximize the situational awareness for first responders. The EOC-I project was developed through interactions with state, regional, local, and tribal first responders in the Seattle and Cincinnati regions as well as in coordination with FEMA National Incident Management System (NIMS) multiple working groups.

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