description icon green arrowPutting in place a governance process where all stakeholders believe they are represented in the making of policy decisions is the fastest way to get complete acceptance and support for an Information Sharing and Safeguarding (IS&S) Environment. A governance body can be created by executive order, legislative action, or by a consensus of leadership from sponsors or leading actors in the IS&S Environment. Essential to success is the formal assignment of responsibility to the individuals who are selected to represent the participating organizations. Governance bodies need a charter to define both the boundaries of their responsibility and authority and the processes for making decisions that affect all participants. Such a body is essential during early policy discussions on issues such as privacy, selection of standards, responsibilities for implementation, and other critical decisions shaping the IS&S Environment. The governance body will remain in place and active for the duration of the IS&S Environment lifecycle.


Desired Outcome: Representatives of relevant stakeholder organizations are appointed to a governance body authorized and empowered to proceed to implement an information sharing environment.  

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1. The governance body must include representatives of all stakeholder organizations that are impacted by the development of an IS&S Environment. 
2. The members assigned to the governance body should be formally appointed to serve by their agency’s executive.
3. The governance body must be empowered to make the important decisions that will shape the IS&S Environment.
4. All meetings should be issue-driven and documented.
5. Transparency of the governance body deliberations is essential.
6. The governance body must be supplied with adequate staff support to get things done.
7. Governance works best when the governance body develops its own charter and other organizational documents.
8. Work leading to policy decisions can be delegated to operational committees to expedite decision making.

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1. Who are the stakeholders and who represents them in the governance process?
2. Do the stakeholders believe they are represented in the governance process?
3. Have leadership roles/responsibilities been established?
4. Have boundaries of authority been defined?
5. What committees need to be established to guide the work of the governance organization?
6. What is the governance plan for the long term?
7. Is the decision-making process well understood and documented?
8. Is there a communications plan to explain the governance process to interested external parties?
9. Do committees understand their responsibilities and deliverables?
10. What policy implications need to be addressed?


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The following resources can help you with this play:


Establishing Governance for Health and Human Services Interoperability Initiatives (2013),

Illinois Framework for Healthcare and Human Services


The Good Governance Standard for Public Services (2004), Office for Public Management Ltd.

and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy,


Governance Guidance for Horizontal Integration of Health and Human Services (2012),

American Public Human Services Association,


Governance Structures in Cross-boundary Information Sharing: Lessons from State and Local

Criminal Justice Initiatives (2012), Theresa A. Pardo, J. Ramon Gil-Garcia, and G. Brian Burke

Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany, SUNY,


Information Sharing Environment Common Profile Framework Description,

Governance Agreements for Information Sharing Projects

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