TUESDAY, MAY 11, 2004


Thank you, Patrick; and thanks to Dr. Stephen Cross and the Georgia Tech Research Institute, both for hosting our conference and for the strong partnership relationship we have enjoyed with them. Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to this important workshop on the Global Justice XML Data Model. The Department of Justice is pleased to support this workshop and the development of the Data Model as part of our ongoing efforts to help government at every level - federal, state, and local - share critical justice information.

Emerging technologies like XML are a core component of our strategy to give state and local governments new tactics and methods to help them respond to the security challenges of a post- 9/11 era. We recognize the ability of XML to bring about paradigm shifts in information processing, and in our responses to an increasingly complex and technology-driven world.

For example, industries that use information to drive their everyday operations have been early advocates of XML. Last year, Computer Weekly reported that the Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications - known as SWIFT - agreed to develop a single XML standard for sending payment information.

SWIFT is a global cooperative of more than 7,000 financial institutions. So this single commitment is projected to affect how trillions of dollars change hands and to create enormous savings for the industry in information technology and business costs.

Our goal at the Department of Justice is to generate similar advantages for agencies fighting crime and terrorism by encouraging adoption of the Global Justice XML Data Model. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, we've seen how critical it is that law enforcement and emergency response officials do a better job of sharing criminal intelligence to prevent terrorism and ensure that our homeland and its people are fully protected.

At the same time, in today's ongoing information revolution, the public expects government to make wise use of resources to provide better public service. Indeed, it is safe to say that, today, the public not only expects, but also demands, that government agencies coordinate and share information more efficiently and cost-effectively. XML can help government fulfill these expectations.

As most of you probably know, XML was developed by the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative, as just one of its many activities. Global is a consortium of local, state, tribal, federal, and international justice organizations that work together to overcome barriers to justice information sharing while preserving important privacy protections.

The XML project began a few years ago as an effort to support the field in developing common definitions of criminal justice data to support information sharing. From this effort, a data dictionary was produced.

Now, through the cooperation of the Global members, agencies throughout the country, our industry partners, and the Georgia Tech Research Institute, we have an object-oriented data model with over 2,500 reusable components.

Today, more than 50 justice information sharing projects are underway using the XML Data Model. These projects - and other initiatives that will be launched by people like you - are building the future of justice information sharing. All across the nation, public safety agencies are using XML to revolutionize the justice system. Let me give you some examples of how it's working.

Last April, police in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, were able to capture a bank robbery suspect in less than two hours by matching his bank surveillance photo with an image on Justice Network, or JNET, which is Pennsylvania's XML-enabled justice information sharing network.

Just three months ago, within hours of learning about four homicides in one neighborhood, police in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, used a JNET photo image to confirm the suspect's identity. Through a stakeout, police apprehended the homicide suspect and recovered an assault weapon.

In addition to using XML to solve cases, state and local jurisdictions that have implemented the Global Justice XML Data Model are reporting substantial cost savings. Minnesota's Department of Public Safety has saved more than a million dollars over three years by using the XML Data Model rather than developing its own statewide standard for information systems.

Officials in Orange County, Florida, predict that they will realize savings of five to seven million dollars a year on their Integrated Criminal Justice Information Systems project by replacing redundant data entry applications with a Global Justice XML application.

And the CEO of a technology company that is working with Colorado state officials to implement the statewide AMBER Alert child abduction recovery system recently wrote to tell me that the company - and, therefore, the state - is saving thousands of dollars in programming costs by using the AMBER Alert XML standard, which is based on the Global model.

But this is just the beginning. This workshop is designed to give justice technology practitioners like you the opportunity to learn how the Data Model can help your local or state agencies better detect threats and protect communities through improved information sharing.

OJP and all of the partners that have helped prepare for this training welcome your participation in this workshop, and encourage you to become engaged in the process of implementing the Data Model. Over the next few days, you'll be doing more than just learning about another data model or building another application. You will become part of a critical national effort to build a technical infrastructure that will help reduce crime, protect communities, and save lives.

The goal of this effort is to put the best minds and the most promising solutions to work in winning the war against terror. To achieve this goal, and to secure the safety of our homeland, we need your support, as well as your best efforts and brightest ideas.

It is only through our collective efforts that we can increase our efficiency and effectiveness in sharing critical justice information. Through this important work, we can demonstrate cost-effective applications that enable improved decision making in the administration of justice in our nation and the protection of our homeland.

For our part, we are working across federal government agencies to encourage our grantees to use the XML data model and data dictionary as the basis for the information technology-related work that we fund, as well as engaging in outreach initiatives to inform state and local officials of the tremendous potential XML offers.

Whether it is a police officer on patrol, a probation officer in the field, or a judge on the bench, each will be better armed to protect the public by having the right information, at the right time, and in the right place.

Your work here, and your efforts when you return to your communities, can help usher in a new era of global justice information sharing. In this new era, we'll be able to do more than merely access and share data quickly and accurately. Future system designs will provide information that helps us identify initiatives that are promising, programs that work, and methods that aid in improved decision making by justice leaders.

We've all heard the adage that information is power. I believe this, and that the efforts of our Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative have truly historic implications. By creating a national strategy to develop information systems that support information sharing, we will create a legacy for those who follow in our footsteps.

By coordinating resources under a shared vision, we will better serve communities across the country. We will have the power to identify areas of greatest need. We will have the power to improve the effectiveness and fairness of the justice system. We will have the power to evaluate and design programs to respond efficiently to regional and local concerns. And we will have the power to help prevent crime, fight terrorism, and protect our communities.

I applaud each of you for your efforts to advance justice information sharing in the 21st Century and for dedicating your time and talents to supporting our Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative. Thank you all very much for being here, and for your valuable work.