NFSDX State Engagement

On January 30, 2017, the National Food Safety Data Exchange (NFSDX) team kicked off a series of initial meetings with States that had expressed an interest in joining the project’s pilot implementation. During these initial meetings, the NFSDX State Outreach Coordinator presented the pilot, which included an overview of the NFSDX concept of operations, architecture, State Outreach approach, system Initial Operating Capabilities (IOC), use cases, a high-level timeline, and immediate next steps. 

Over the course of the pilot, the States will receive a group of documents that together become the State Engagement Package. This package is a series of documentation that provides valuable information to the States regarding their participation in the NFSDX pilot. Document distribution begins immediately after the initial meeting; the State Outreach Coordinator sends a follow-up email to all participants, which includes a technical Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) template for the States to review with their legal counsel, as well as a short questionnaire.
 
The MOU conveys FDA-related technical information, including information regarding necessary technical updates to State systems (with which the NFSDX team will provide assistance). The brief questionnaire is for internal informational purposes only; the data provided by the States will assist the NFSDX team in assessing a State’s readiness to participate in the pilot.

The following information is a sample of what is requested in the questionnaire:

  • State Points of Contact (POCs) for the pilot
  • Selection of one or more of the three IOC scenarios that interest the State
  • Confirmation of the State’s understanding of security and technical considerations, as well as the time commitment of the pilot
  • Confirmation of understanding of MOUs
  • Technical information regarding the State’s current system


The questionnaire is to be completed by the State and submitted within 15 business days of the initial meeting. After the NFSDX team receives the questionnaire and confirms a State’s readiness to participate in the pilot, the State will be provided with the NFSDX State Onboarding Handbook. This handbook describes the process for States to join the pilot, and includes a description of roles and responsibilities for all relevant POCs.  

Once the States have officially joined the pilot, they will meet with the NFSDX team and be provided a State Integration Plan, which identifies a comprehensive list of activities that the State will need to complete throughout the lifecycle of the pilot. Some of the activities include Integration Coordination, State-FDA Agreements, State Development Milestones, Test Data for Development and Testing, Integration, Production Release, and Close-out. The State will fill in their own timeline, as it will be tailored to their individual schedule. 

Once Integration Plans have been tailored for the State, the NFSDX team will provide the State with a State Integration Guide. This guide provides direction on the technical solutions and required implementation in order for the State to integrate with the NFSDX system. The guide includes details such as System Interfaces, Response Messages, Error Handling and Recovery, and System Interface Security.

The State Engagement Package is ever-changing as the NFSDX team moves forward with the State pilot; over time, some of the documentation may need to be updated, changed, or removed altogether. The State Outreach Coordinator will continue to work closely with the technical members of the NFSDX team to ensure that the most up-to-date information is included in documentation provided to the States.

Current Status: pilot State systems will begin integrating with the NFSDX in September 2017. Additionally, the NFSDX team is working on plans for the system’s Future Operating Capabilities.

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