How to meet your agency's information needs

Thursday - 9/2/2010, 7:49pm EDT

Woody Talcove, CEO, government business, LexisNexis

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By Vyomika Jairam
Federal News Radio

There is constantly new technology and services to meet the information needs of agencies at the federal, state and local level. Combing public records is a newer, or at least not as established source for getting and sharing information, and Woody Talcove, CEO of government business for LexisNexis, says it can go a long way in quenching your agency's thirst for information.

Many people know what LexisNexis do in the legal sector, but their Risk sector uses public record to help in identity verification and fraud detection in four sectors. For law enforcement, they help to find, locate, identify, using the LexisNexis Investigator Network, linking law enforcement across the country. In the revenue discovery sector, LexisNexis helps to find fraud, waste and abuse. Another sector deals with verifying the identity of people seeking entitlements.

"And the last part, which is the most exciting part, the absolute best part is the intel stuff, but I can't tell you anything it!" Talcove said.

Talcove says that the market still hasn't realized the full value of using public records.

"I can find the needle in the haystack, then if I don't use public records," Talcove said.

Using a public records database isn't difficult--any information would work, from a cell phone number, a nickname, even the name of a person's boat, Talcove said.

"The part that differentiates LexisNexis, is our ability to take massive amounts of data, and connect it," Talcove said.

Talcove said that identity verification, especially related to benefits and entitlements, are one of the bigger needs their federal clients ask for. From making sure that prisoners to deceased claimants aren't getting money they don't deserve.

Another major is simple identity verification. Talcove cited an example of a state client which asked LexisNexis to go through and verify the identity and qualifications of their state-employed licensed doctors. The company, in using public records was able to find that about eight percent of the doctors weren't eligible to practice medicine. In fact, two out of that eight percent were felons.

So why isn't everyone using public records?

Talcove believes there are two impediments.

  • There isn't as much of an understanding of how the public records system is different from the traditional systems in place.
  • Many agencies, at the federal, state and local level don't have the capacity or resources in-house to go through and inspect the public records themselves.

For their clients, the work that LexisNexis does "is not a vendor-customer relationship, it's partnership relationship," Talcove said. "What we do is so integral, and baked into their workforce."