The Central Elements of an Integration Implementation Plan
- Defining integration, and the scope and focus of the integration initiative. (Achieving recognition that "no one agency has all of the information" and that integration provides a means of ensuring that agencies have all of the information that they need to inform their decision-making; that the historical fragmented approach to development of information systems is "no longer affordable," and that consolidation of functions therefore is inevitable.) (Potential integration partners may react more favorably to the use of the term "information sharing," rather than "information integration.")
- Identifying integration goals, and articulating these goals in terms of what justice-related decisions and actions will be better informed under an integrated justice information system. ("Expectations need to be realistic . . ., goals need to be achievable. [You need to] come up with an evolutionary process that will move you toward the goals you want to achieve.")
- Ensuring that all affected agencies have a full and clear understanding of, and have agreed upon, integration goals.
- Agreeing on the respective roles of partners in achieving integration implementation. ("Identifying the elephant in the closet.") ("Ninety percent of the problem is getting agencies to work together.")
- Securing the governor's interest in, and support and leadership of, the integration initiative, thereby achieving "executive ownership" of the integration initiative.
- Securing legislation to "institutionalize" integration. ("The legislative process is the way to go in pursuing integration, so when the players change, the framework is set up in permanent fashion.")
- Ensuring that all stakeholders are represented "at the table." Integration must not become "an unfunded mandate" imposed on affected interests.
- Ensuring that the stakeholders are represented by the "right people" at the table; that stakeholder representatives have the position and authority to enter into agreements concerning integration on behalf of their respective agencies. ("People issues" are the most frequent causes of problems in resolving conflicts in the early stages of integration planning and implementation.)
- "Getting over organizational reticence," and overcoming "turf" issues related to "control and authority." ("Any effort that threatens me, I will fight.") Overcoming agencies' disinclination to open up their respective information systems and risk showing these systems deficiencies.
- Enlisting the courts as full partners in the integration initiative. Dispelling concerns about the separation of powers issue in the context of integration (Dispelling the operating assumption "that every court is unique," when in fact "95 percent of the courts" functionality is the same. The uniqueness is in the individual cases." Moreover, on the matter of access and privacy, "court records always have been public as a matter of law, private as a matter of practicality because they are so hard to get through.") Responding to judges' central questions regarding integration: "What's in it for us? What does it get us?"
- Addressing access, privacy, and security issues as they relate to integration. Identify where justice information generally, and integrated justice information specifically, may create unique access, privacy, and security interests. Also, talking about the "integrity of the data" -- addressing completeness (one state found case files too incomplete to be used in sentencing), timeliness (data must be accessible on a "real-time" basis), and accuracy. Engaging the courts in developing access, privacy and security standards. ("If standards are created in a closet [without the courts' participation], an "F-Y" message will be returned [when information is requested by an agency]. [Access, privacy, and security issues as they relate to court data] are aggravated by separation of powers, but not unique to the courts. [These issues] have to be worked through by means of collaboration and cooperation." Responding to the public's concerns about privacy and security ("I want to know everything about anyone who might harm me, but I don"t want you to know anything about me.")
- Reviewing procurement procedures and protocols to identify potential obstacles to integration implementation, particularly requirements that may delay implementation. Consider adjustments in procurement procedures to allow locals to purchase hardware and software under state contracts.
- Exploring options for budgeting for integration that will optimize available funds (e.g., exploring the possibility of managing integration expenditures as capital costs) and overcome problems created by vertical, agency-by-agency funding of information systems (e.g., creating a neutral body to manage integration funds on behalf of integration partners; creating a special technology account.)
- Implementing integration as a "phased process, where each phase can stand on its own." ("Agencies can come on to do this when they are technologically able to do so. [Participating in integration] does not take away an agency"s authority.") (Legislators want to see a finished project; "legislators are tired of 'scope-creep'.")
NOTES ON NATIONAL GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION CENTER FOR BEST PRACTICES IT WORKSHOP AGENDA TOPICS