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What is this U. S. Federal Special Interest Group (FEDSIG)?

By Mark Patrick posted 01-22-2016 15:45


The FEDSIG is for federal information workers, whether IT professionals, knowledge or records managers, process engineers, or any of a host of related experts including access (FOIA, Mandatory Declassification Review, Security Review), privacy, cyber security, legal discovery, etc. None of these federal information workers can solve problems in silos.  We need to come together in a cross-functional way to connect the dots and learn from one another.  This activity is to not only improve in our individual specialties, but to integrate them, and understand the specialties of others.

The AIIM Relationship

You don’t have to be a member of AIIM to participate in the FEDSIG.

However, because AIIM provides the web support, you will need to register with the site to see all the content and fully participate. If you’re unfamiliar with AIIM International, you’ll want to refer to the main AIIM web site.  The planning team members have all reaped great benefits from being members of AIIM through the years, broadening our business and social networks, as well as increasing our knowledge through AIIM training and conferences.  We urge you to consider joining AIIM today -- you won’t regret it!

How we got started

With AIIM providing web presence and administrative support, the FEDSIG met virtually for the first time in October 2015, and will meet again, online, in February 2016.  So, this is a pretty new thing.

It was initiated by a small planning team of experienced federal civilians and contractors who support federal work and agreed this group needed to exist. Currently there is no “leader” designated for our group. The planning team decided upon draft goals and policies.  However, these documents are just a starting place for group discussion as we form.

The FEDSIG planning team members agreed that there is a need which is not currently being met by existing governmental organizations or associations that focus narrowly on areas like records, or IT, or knowledge management. Those groups are dealing with many of the same problems, and although they have much in common with private sector information management challenges, they exhibit characteristics unique to the U.S. federal sector.  

We are the Federal information tribe...the Fed iTribe.  

We have critical work to accomplish for the country, and a unique government environment.

Let's get together and solve our overlapping problems using ALL our skills!

How the FEDSIG might function

The draft goals for our group are visible in the home page drop-down under “About Us,” but we’ll state them here as well to save clicks:

  1. Access to a network of professionals within the Federal Government - learning from each other, sharing best practices, developing white papers and initiating webcasts/podcasts.

  2. Work towards more standardized ways of working across the Federal Government.

  3. Work collectively with chapter members and AIIM toward standard qualification for information professionals in the Federal Government. Such qualification needs to carry weight within the Federal information sector for both employees and hiring officials, and needs to guarantee a certain level of knowledge across the various aspects of Federal Government management -- a value proposition for our group.

  4. A unique learning and development opportunity with conversations around topics of shared interest.

The Goals will be achieved through:

Central Community:

  • Information sharing via AIIM microsite discussion and file sharing

  • Develop and deliver virtual programs to increase knowledge and skills

  • Interview senior Federal Government leaders about value of information

  • Provide career development opportunities within the Federal Government

  • Host virtual and physical networking opportunities

  • Host annual SIG meeting at AIIM conference

  • Arrange peer visits (physical/virtual) to learn from each other

  • Development of industry best practices (project based)

Training and certification:

  • Promote AIIM training & certification

  • Address topics in virtual sessions

  • Share other known training and networking opportunities with one another

As there was a number of folks during our first get together interested in the growing volume of information at our agencies, where that information resides, and associated privacy and security related issues, we are hoping to make that a topic of discussion in February and have invited an appropriate guest to be with us and share perspectives.  We’re excited about our guest speaker and will soon provide more information once we’ve finalized the details.


UPDATE!  Our guest speaker will be David Bray, Eisenhower Fellow, Harvard Exec In-Residence, and the current CIO of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Date is February 24th, finalizing time soon.  Click for details.

Please join us as we network, learn, and grow in this information community, so that we can make the U. S. Federal Government more efficient and simply better for all of us, as federal workers--and as taxpayers.

1 comment


02-04-2016 09:32

We are moving our February online session to 11am on February 24th to accommodate our guest of honor, Dr. David Bray. Please consult the FEDSIG main page for event updates: