The CJIS Advisory Process

The Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) Advisory Process is a federal advisory committee that gathers user advice and input on the development and operation of CJIS Division programs.

Shared Management

The process works by shared management, meaning the FBI and its partners share responsibility for all systems the CJIS Division administers for use by the criminal justice community.

Those who share this responsibility include:

  • The FBI
  • Federal, state, local, and tribal data providers
  • System users
Stock image depicting police badge/patch on officer's sleeve.

CJIS Division Programs for Law Enforcement

The CJIS Division manages several programs that federal, state, local, tribal, and foreign criminal justice agencies use in their work:

CJIS Systems Agency (CSA)

Each state or territory has a CJIS Systems Agency (CSA). A CSA is a criminal justice agency that oversees administration and usage of the CJIS Division programs within a state, district, territory, or country.

(This includes any federal agency that meets the definition and provides services to other federal agencies and/or whose users reside in multiple states or territories.)

The CSA plans and provides for authorized agencies to access CJIS Division data services including:

  • hardware
  • software
  • funding
  • quality assurance
  • training

CJIS Systems Officer (CSO)

The CSA’s state level representative is the CJIS Systems Officer (CSO). The CSO

  • monitors system use
  • enforces system discipline
  • ensures operating procedures are followed

The CSO has operational and technical expertise in CJIS Division systems and authority to represent state interests when voting on issues.

Components of the Advisory Process

By law, the FBI Director appoints a Designated Federal Officer (DFO) who manages the advisory process.

The CJIS Advisory Process consists of three components:

Working Groups: Geography

The working groups review operational, policy, and technical issues related to CJIS Division programs and policies. The working groups make recommendations to the APB or one of its subcommittees.

Representatives from all 50 states, as well as U.S. territories and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, are organized into five working groups:

  • North Central: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

  • Northeastern: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

  • Southern: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia

  • Western: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming

  • Federal: Federal agencies that participate in CJIS Division programs form a federal working group. In addition to federal agency representatives, this includes one tribal law enforcement representative chosen by the U.S. Department of Interior. The number of agencies varies based on functional need.

Working Groups: Selection

The four regional working groups include:

  • one state-level agency representative (chosen by the CSA)
  • one local-level agency representative from each state (chosen by law enforcement organizations)
  • one tribal law enforcement representative from each region (appointed by the FBI)

In addition, the FBI Director, at his discretion, may add one additional person to each of the five working groups.

The District of Columbia, Guam, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands also have one representative each on the working groups.

Working Groups: Local Agency Representative Responsibilities

  • Conveys the interests of the CJIS Advisory Process during meetings/conferences with criminal justice agency representatives in their states to solicit topics for discussion to improve the CJIS Division systems and programs
  • Serves as a spokesperson for all local agencies in their state on issues being addressed during working group meetings

Working Groups: State Agency Representative Responsibilities

  • Provides the views of the CSA on issues being addressed during working group meetings
  • Serves as a spokesperson for all agencies in the state on issues being addressed during working group meetings

Working Groups: Meetings

The working groups typically meet twice a year.

Working group leaders coordinate with the CJIS Division’s Advisory Process Management Office (APMO) to identify proposed topics and prepare the agendas for the working group meetings.

After the meetings, the APMO forward proposals either to one of the APB’s ad hoc subcommittees or directly to the APB for consideration.

Attendance at working group meetings is limited. The chairperson of the APB, in consultation with the DFO, may invite any governmental or quasi-governmental entity that is involved in CJIS Division activities to attend any working group meeting.


Subcommittees

The DFO may create ad hoc subcommittees as needed to assist the APB in carrying out its duties.

Subcommittees include APB members and other subject-matter specialists.

The chair of the APB, in consultation with the DFO, may invite any quasi-governmental entity involved in CJIS Division activities to attend any meeting of the CJIS Subcommittees for the purpose of consultation or providing information.

Subcommittees: Meetings

The subcommittees typically meet twice a year.

Their meetings are closed to the public.

The subcommittee chairperson coordinates with the APMO to identify proposed topics and prepare the agendas for the meetings. After meetings, the APMO forwards proposals directly to the APB for consideration.

Other short-term task forces are established as needed.

Subcommittees: Role

Subcommittees thoroughly review controversial policies, issues, program changes. Subcommittees create alternatives and recommendations for the consideration of the entire APB.

Currently, there are 10 ad hoc subcommittees:

  • The Bylaws Subcommittee evaluates proposed changes to the bylaws for the CJIS Advisory Process and recommends appropriate language with notice to the APB for approval.
  • The Identification Services Subcommittee addresses biometric identification and criminal justice use of criminal history record information.
  • The Data Sharing Services (DSS) Subcommittee reviews and evaluates the development of both the N-DEx System and LEEP. The subcommittee forwards recommendations and analyses of issues relating to program and policy development to the APB. 
  • The NCIC Subcommittee addresses issues relating to the FBI’s NCIC program.
  • The Executive Subcommittee reviews topics, programs, and issues being addressed by other law enforcement professional associations/organizations.
  • The Compliance Evaluation Subcommittee evaluates the results of audits conducted of participants in the CJIS Division programs. The subcommittee makes specific recommendations to the APB on sanctions that should be imposed against agencies that are not in compliance with the APB policies.
  • The Security and Access Subcommittee reviews the hardware and software security policy for current CJIS Division computer systems, as well as those systems under development. The subcommittee recommends to the APB a security policy governing the FBI’s CJIS Division systems, as well as those systems interfaced with the CJIS Division’s computers and telecommunication systems.
  • The UCR Subcommittee reviews issues related to the UCR program.
  • The NICS Subcommittee reviews, analyzes, provides feedback, and makes recommendations on issues related to NICS.
  • The Public Safety Strategy Subcommittee provides guidance to the CJIS APB on topics that impact the CJIS Division’s services, while maintaining a future-oriented, strategic approach. In addition, the subcommittee helps maintain and strengthen the APB’s relationships, communications, and interactions with major law enforcement associations and organizations.

CJIS Advisory Policy Board: Role

The reviews appropriate policy, technical, and operational issues related to the CJIS Division’s programs and makes recommendations to the FBI Director.

CJIS Advisory Policy Board: Members

The APB has 35 representatives from criminal justice and national security agencies and organizations throughout the U.S.

The APB membership includes:

  • Twenty members are selected by the members of the four regional working groups. Three state-level agency and two local-level agency representatives are recommended by each of the four working groups. These members must be the chief executives of state or local criminal justice agencies. They can also be at the policy-making level and have responsibility for the management of CJIS Division systems in their respective agencies.
  • Five members are selected by the FBI Director, one member each representing the prosecutorial, judicial, and correctional sectors of the criminal justice community, a national security agency, and a tribal community representative.
  • One member is selected to represent the Federal Working Group.
  • One member is selected by the chairperson of the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact Council to serve as its representative.
  • One member is a representative of the courts or court administrators, selected by the Conference of Chief Justices.
  • One member is selected to represent each of the following criminal justice professional associations:
    • American Probation and Parole Association
    • International Association of Chiefs of Police
    • Major Cities Chiefs’ Association
    • Major County Sheriffs’ of America
    • National District Attorneys’ Association
    • National Security Agency
    • American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors, Inc.

CJIS Advisory Policy Board: Meetings

The APB meets at least twice during each calendar year.

A notice of these meetings is published in the Federal Register.

The meetings are open unless the DFO determines otherwise.

Administrative Responsibilities

The Advisory Process Management Office (APMO) supports the administration of the CJIS Advisory Process and the DFO.

The APMO

  • maintains the schedules for all advisory process related meetings
  • develops meeting agendas
  • coordinates meeting topic solicitation
  • formats and distributes topic papers
  • prepares meeting announcements for publication in the Federal Register in accordance with legal
  • secures government-rate lodging and transportation for meeting attendees/coordinates attendee reimbursement
  • ensures that members file proxy notices as required by the Bylaws
  • prepares meeting minutes
  • maintains membership lists for the APB, the APB’s subcommittees, the CJIS working groups, and other ad hoc committees and task forces
  • maintains budget information for CJIS Division budget planning purposes and reporting requirements
  • prepares appropriate correspondence to the Director

How You Can Use the Advisory Process

Submit Your Ideas or Proposals through the Advisory Process

1. Topics for consideration of the CJIS Advisory Process may be submitted at any time.

The APMO sends a solicitation for agenda items biannually. This solicitation is sent to all Advisory Process Members with a 30-day deadline for submission of topics.

2. The topic should be submitted in writing and should include:

  • Clear statement of request
  • How the subject of the topic is handled now (or description of problem being solved)
  • Suggested solution
  • Scenario/example
  • Benefit(s) to the criminal justice community
  • Impact on state or local agencies, users and systems if known
  • Importance
  • Contact person

When submitting a proposal, explain the severity of the problem to set a priority for getting a change made.

3. Submit a proposal in one of the following ways:

  • State and local agencies can submit proposals to the CSO for their state or the CSA.
  • State identification agencies can submit topic proposals to the CSO or directly to the CJIS Division.
  • Professional organizations submit topic proposals directly to the CJIS Division.


After You Submit Your Proposal

1. Proposals are forwarded to the APMO.

2. The FBI analyzes each proposal and decides whether it will be a topic for the next round of meetings. The agenda and topic papers are distributed at least 21 days prior to each meeting.

3. Accepted topics are reviewed by working groups and are then forwarded to appropriate subcommittees. Or they can be directly forwarded to the APB for final review and recommendation for the FBI Director.

4. If the FBI Director agrees to APB recommendation, CJIS Division staff will implement the change and notify advisory process members.