Information Monopolies – Several states have internal brokering setups in place. These information brokerages are found most frequently in the areas of law and justice, financial transactions, and health information. I believe these areas represent the first of several information monopolies. These monopolies were driven by federal data exchange efforts in homeland security and bioterrorism and, in the case of financial data exchanges, system consolidations on common ERP platforms. Expect to see more of these natural information monopolies in the near future with efforts such as Real ID, the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM), Medicaid spend management, and the National Provider Identifier (NPI) taking hold. As these monopolies take shape, certain organizations within state government will be the logical choice as keepers of this data. These keepers should be building their systems in a service-oriented fashion to facilitate easy exchange of information amongst all systems requiring access to this data.
Let me confine myself to NIEM, which I know something about. NIEM is not a huge honking data base. NIEM is a framework for sharing information. It permits law enforcement from one jurisdiction to access information from another jurisdiction. It is not a done deal, it is still being built. I encourage all interested parties to follow developments and communicate their concerns. The individuals running this project are not empire builders, but dedicated civil servants, and are eager to protect privacy and the fourth amendment.