Top 4 Questions and Answers

What approach do you see in breaking down the architecture in a hierarchical manner?

The Open Civic Architectural Framework (OCAF) is a reference architecture that is broken down into five horizontal domains: business, data, applications, technology and security. Within the data architecture we use ontologies to represent the hierarchical structure of entities. This is a powerful tool for the representation of data that makes up government governance structures. Consider data that is transmitted through a Health Information Exchange as an example. At the federal level, regulations such as HIPAA are defined and must be inherited by every application that manages, stores and transmits protected health data. We also have regulatory authority at the state, local, tribal and territorial levels. When an organizational specific OCAF architecture is instantiated, building blocks are inherited from this hierarchical structure, ensuring that the appropriate business rules are followed through each layer of government.

How does trial and error, and iteration come into play when frameworks are implemented? How do we identify needed updates and improvements?

Change management (CM) is a crucial part of managing an architectural framework in a collaborative environment. The CM process followed by the Open Civic Foundation establishes an architectural board including a chair for each domain within the Open Civic Architectural Framework (OCAF): business, data, applications, technology and security. Under each domain, workgroups are established to develop, contribute to, and maintain vertical standards such as configuration management and business process management. Contributors to the standards workgroups are organizations and individuals who will use the standards within a service or product. Trial and error is built into each development and testing iteration and continues through the life of the standard. As the standards are used in real-world products, updates and improvement requests are passed through the workgroups for implementation in the next version.

What approach would solve the “digital nomad” problems of today's government?

Within the Open Civic Architectural Framework (OCAF), we use a profile system and master data management to align people and organizations with their data, and data with regulatory rules and processes. Predictive matching is key, alongside allowing individual engagement with one's own data. There will always be bad actors, and connecting disparate data across regions (counties, states/provinces, countries) will be more helpful in addressing digital nomads.  The OCAF digital ecosystem also helps identify community and constituent needs for improved civic engagement and  service delivery.

Data is a commodity in the dark web.  What methods are thought to ensure protection of the data space and data streams.

The OCAF initiative goes beyond the development of a reference architecture to establish a non-proprietary digital ecosystem. The ecosystem is built on standardized distributed infrastructure, which ensures interoperability and security of all applications by default. Data classification and configuration management are necessary components for service-oriented and cloud infrastructure security, privacy, and audit logging to verify that data governance rules are being followed and are effectively securing data.


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About us

The Digital Infrastructure Forum---an OCF, OMG, GCTC collaboration---addresses the top data and information technology issues challenging government, and the use of public data and digital assets for improved civic outcomes through open civic standards.

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