NIEM to become an open, international standard

NIEM to become an open, international standard

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

At the annual meeting of the NIEM steering committee, the decision was reached to transform the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) into a formal, open, international standard for creating specific automated information exchanges within and across organizations and disciplines. The path to reaching this more broadly engaging status for NIEM will be through transferring the leadership of the NIEM program from federal government departments to the OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), a nonprofit, international consortium whose goal is to promote the adoption of product-independent standards for information formats. The U.S. Department of Defense, currently having responsibility for the management of NIEM, will guide the transfer of management responsibility to OASIS and will be the first sponsor of projects to create the new and formal standard.

OASIS is well known in the technology world for its well-developed processes for setting information and interoperability standards related to the introduction of XML and related frameworks. It manages an extensive set of processes for collaborative development of standards and their formal vetting with all stakeholders. According to Katherine Escobar, currently the managing director of the NIEM Management Office at DOD, this transfer of responsibility will keep the current practices and structure of stakeholder involvement in the development and sustainability of NIEM generally the same, but will add the more formal and extensive sponsorship aspects of OASIS to create a more robust and sustainable set of standards that agencies and companies can rely on for developing future interoperability standards. This new model will also create the kind of collaborative environment that technology companies and government agencies need to accelerate interoperability initiatives across boundaries.

A major feature of the OASIS management is that the OASIS open standards consortium has been accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop and maintain American National Standards (ANS). Ratified OASIS Standards are eligible for ANS designation.

Over the next 12-18 months, the transition plans will be developed by the NIEM community in concert with the OASIS staff and leadership, to create a new charter, organization and principles for the care and sustained improvement of NIEM under the new structure.

There are many opportunities for SLTT agencies and companies to participate in the transition and in future exchange work using NIEM. To express your interest in participating, go to and click on Contact Us.