Response of The MITRE Corporation to the Request for Comments on the Cross-Agency Priority Goal: Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset: Phase 3

July 2019
Topics: Data Analytics
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In March 2018, the Trump Administration launched the President's Management Agenda (PMA). It lays out a long-term vision for modernizing the Federal Government in key areas that will improve the ability of agencies to deliver mission outcomes, provide excellent service, and effectively steward taxpayer dollars on behalf of the American people. The PMA established a Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) goal of Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset with an intended purpose of guiding development of a comprehensive long-term Federal Data Strategy to grow the economy, increase the effectiveness of the Federal Government, facilitate oversight, and promote transparency.

The Federal Data Strategy establishes a balanced and holistic approach to leveraging data as a strategic asset. The strategy articulates a vision for the Federal Government to accelerate the use of data to support the foundations of democracy, deliver on mission, serve customers, and steward resources while protecting security, privacy, and confidentiality. Consistent with this vision, Executive Branch agencies will routinely leverage data in support of Federal Government mission priorities to better inform decision-making and improve accountability and will securely share and provide access to data for commercialization, innovation, and public use. The CAP Goal team then drafted an Action Plan to guide agencies as they implement the Federal Data Strategy, and requested feedback on the draft.

MITRE has direct experience assisting federal agencies leverage government and private-sector data to meet critical mission needs. Per the Federal Acquisition Regulation, FFRDCs can have unique access to both sensitive government data and proprietary private sector data – and both the government and the public sector have regularly trusted MITRE to access and leverage their data. Thus, we have combined and leveraged a variety of data sources in support of research, analysis, and the development of new operational capabilities on important national issues. MITRE’s access to, and use of, disparate data sources has given us insight into data’s untapped potential, as well as the challenges associated with greater use of government data (alone and in combination with private-sector data). Our experiences show that high-quality data combined with best practices will increase the effectiveness of the Federal Government, enhance accountability, and promote transparency. As requested in the Request for Comments (RFC), MITRE has reviewed the draft Action Plan and the questions specifically posed in the RFC. MITRE generally felt that the draft actions are proper, though some required fine-tuning. We also felt that the measurements needed to be enhanced so that they better support their goals and the dependencies across the actions need to be better understood and properly staged. Our response provided discussion and material to support these recommendations.

Note: This RFI response is one in a series of MITRE’s input into the development of the Federal Data Strategy.

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