The Alliance Public Policy Office is looking to form an ad-hoc member taskforce to provide comments on the Federal Register Notice: Request for Comment Data Exchange Standards for Improved Interoperability of Multiple Human Service Programs

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) notice issued Nov. 8 aims to address ACF’s commitment to providing state agencies with flexibility to implement standards for economical, efficient, and effective information systems that support policy and practice. ACF is soliciting comments from interested parties on setting standards for data exchanges that affect the SSA Title IV programs for child welfare and foster care (title IV-B and IV-E), child support (title IV-D), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, title IV-A). But we are also interested in receiving input affecting additional programs. Consistent with the National Imperative Report North Star #5 – Regulatory Modernization, the Alliance wishes to engage members in a taskforce to advance comments on the planned Data Exchange Standards Regulation.

ACF is particularly interested in obtaining responses to the following questions:

1. The ability to share data is often impacted by state or federal law, policies, or other governing frameworks. Are there individual programs or agencies that are particularly impacted by their existence or absence? What are the key enablers and/or barriers to automated data exchange in your program or agency?

2. To what degree, if any, are data exchange efforts negatively impacted by a lack of standardization? In other words, where would greater consistency of data (definitions, format, and structure) help improve existing or planned data exchanges?

3. Have you considered adopting a standards-based approach to data exchange? If so, were any existing standards frameworks (such as the National Information Exchange Model) considered, and what influenced the decision for or against? What are some of the benefits (planned or achieved) of adopting a standards-based approach?

4. What factors should be considered before committing to a standards-based approach to data exchange? This might include timing (procurement, fiscal year, or legislative cycles), cost, availability of required expertise, needed regulatory change, impacts on current practices, etc.

5. If a more standards-based approach to data exchange were adopted, what kinds of technical assistance or training would you anticipate needing, if any?

Comments due on or before Jan. 7, 2019. Please send an expression of interest to join the task force to Alliance Public Policy Office. 

Please review the other calls to action in the Nov. 9 edition of the Policy Radar.

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