At the National States Geographic Information Consortium, Sean McSpaden, deputy CIO for the State of Oregon and chairman of the National Information Sharing Consortium (NISC) provided an overview of this relatively new initiative. NISC, launched in June 2012, looks to facilitate agreements to share governance documents, information plans and standard operating procedure with a goal to enhance situational awareness and improve community involvement regardless of jurisdiction.
For years, state and local jurisdictions have been sharing code, data, and other tools on an ad-hoc basis, most recently through the Virtual USA® (vUSA®) pilot projects sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) First Responders Group (FRG). In reflecting on the value of these experiences, the State of Oregon and the Commonwealth of Virginia recognized many opportunities to leverage one another’s efforts toward “operationalizing” each of their situational awareness and information sharing capabilities. The State of California; the City of Charlottesville, VA; and the City of Charlotte, NC joined the conversation, and the group agreed that a formalized approach to accessing and sharing information was needed. The decision to form the National Information Sharing Consortium (NISC) was made.