Developing International Information Sharing Standards for CBP

Citizant provided continuous services to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Modernization Support Team for the Customs Modernization Program. Citizant's support to CBP's modernization program included data modeling, business process redesign, and designing and implementing the International Trade Data System (ITDS) repository.

Citizant provided the primary data modeling work for the ACE Data Architecture Team, developed the ACE Conceptual and Logical Data Models for the To-Be Data Architecture, and provided support and guidance to the ACE Functional Architecture by aiding development of To-Be ACE Business Process Models.

For ITDS, Citizant led the data harmonization team that captured, evaluated, and streamlined ACE data needs of all government agencies tied to import security, regulation, enforcement, or analysis. Our work included standardizing data elements across 42 Federal and international trade organizations.

Citizant worked with Participating Government Agencies (PGAs) to facilitate their understanding of:

  1. The ITDS program
  2. How their agency can identify their functional, data, system, and business requirements; and
  3. How their agency can leverage the power of ACE to streamline its admissibility decision processes and more vigorously enforce its regulatory and jurisdictional mission/authority.

We participated in the identification and implementation of the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) for exchanging trade-related data between DHS and the Department of Justice. Citizant conducted the initial pilot implementation of the NIEM-based framework. In addition, Citizant mapped the NIEM to the World Customs Organization Data Model to ensure global data exchange and compliance with those standards.

Through Data Collection Workshops and individual agency meetings, Citizant introduced agencies to the Standardized Data Set (SDS) and explained how their data was mapped to the SDS and eventually will be stored in ACE for their agency use, as well as use by CBP, law enforcement, and other PGAs that require the data and have the authority to access it. Citizant mapped the data elements on their forms to the SDS and modeled their current business processes (BPM activities). Composing and maintaining the SDS required close collaboration with clients and SMEs.

The value of this task allowed all parties involved in national or international commodity transactions to communicate in globally understood terms, thus reducing ambiguity and redundancy and enhancing the efficiency with which commodities are admitted into the commerce of the United States. The SDS was stored and maintained in System Architect, a business process modeling tool formerly from Telelogic, now owned by IBM. During data harmonization, ITDS gained an understanding of how ACE can be used and how it fits in the big picture of commodity imports with CBP and other PGAs. As a result of the process redesign, the agency envisioned how its business processes will be improved by leveraging ACE and ensuing technologies.

Citizant played a leadership role in the team that designed the architecture for the repository where project-related artifacts are stored and maintained, including business requirements; business process diagrams and scenarios; and agency-related forms, interfaces, messages, and reference files. The repository was architected to provide traceability among the major sources of information related to requirements. The ITDS Repository uses the IBM Rational Telelogic DOORS requirements management and traceability software.