This charter has expired. See the new October 2009 Charter.

eGovernment Interest Group Charter

The mission of the eGovernment Interest Group, part of the eGovernment Activity, is to explore how to improve access to government through better use of the Web and achieve better government transparency using open Web standards at any government level (local, state, national and multi-national).

Information about joining the Interest Group is available on the group's participation page and more information on the group's home page.

End date 31 May 2009
Confidentiality Proceedings are public
Initial Chairs Kevin Novak (American Institute of Architects)
José M. Alonso (W3C/CTIC)
Initial Team Contacts
(FTE %: 40)
José M. Alonso (W3C/CTIC)
Usual Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: Every two weeks
Face-to-face: up to 2 per year


The eGovernment Interest Group (eGov IG) is designed as a forum to support researchers, developers, solution providers, and users of government services that use the Web as the delivery channel. The Interest Group will use email discussion, scheduled IRC topic chats and other collaborative tools as a forum to enable broader collaboration across eGov practitioners.

The following activities are in the scope of the eGovernment Interest Group and three tasks forces will be formed to achieve the Group's mission:

Usage of Web Standards
  • Gather information about the areas where best practice guidelines are needed: best practices will be drawn from the successes (and failures) of efforts at opening, sharing, and re-using knowledge about the use of standards and specifications by government applications that could be collected into a set of best practices with the intent of identifying productive technical paths toward better public services.
  • Provide input on how to ease standards compliance: use previous successful experiences in terms of broad government use (such as the Web Accessibility Initiative work) to identify ways for standard bodies to better speak in terms of government needs; for example, additional effort to package, promote, and train on best practices and existing material and tools.
Transparency and Participation
  • Identify ways to improve government transparency and openness: identify any gaps to be filled in creating a complete suite of standards to enable open government information and ease the goal of linkable Public Sector Information.
  • Identify ways to increase citizenship participation: recognize new channels, ways to get the information to the citizens where the citizens are looking for it, and make better use of tools as means to increase citizenry awareness and participation while supporting champions, i.e. acknowledge and help active citizens and public servants.
  • Identify ways to increase citizens and businesses use of eGovernment services: get information on benefits of Web use for government services, identify main factors that are important for people and businesses to use eGovernment services such as time and money savings, simplicity, etc. and identify ways to improve them.
Seamless Integration of Data
  • Identify how to advance the state-of-the-art in data integration strategies: identify ways for governments and computer science researchers to continue working together to advance the state-of-the-art in data integration and build useful, deployable proof-of-concept demos that use actual government information and demonstrate real benefit from linked data integration. These proof-of-concept tools ought to be targeted to applications that will show real improvement in areas that elected officials, government officers and citizens actually need. This area would include addressing the needs of business cases through the use of XML, SOA, and Semantic Web technologies.

Success Criteria

The eGovernment Interest Group should be considered successful if the following conditions are fulfilled:


The major goal of the Interest Group will be the development of Interest Group Notes. Each task force will produce a Note, according to the scope, describing at an appropriate level of generality the challenges that were identified, the technical and administrative approaches used, and the needs of best practices, guidelines or new technologies to be developed (roadmap) in order to tackle the most relevant issues in the task forces' area of expertise.

The Interest Group may also propose holding more public workshops to explore new and emerging approaches.



W3C Groups

Mobile Web For Development Interest Group (MW4D)
Deploying eGovernment services to citizens of Developing Countries is a major challenge due to the lack of infrastructure and computers. The current penetration rate of mobile phones makes them the most promising option for this deployment. On another side, the availability of government services may leverage the adoption of Mobile Web technologies. Therefore, close relationships between the eGovernment IG and the potential future MW4D IG are essential.
Policy Languages Interest Group (PLING)
Improving data annotation (for example, by means of a policy language) in government systems could help government improve the information about the data collected and distribute it for the purpose it was collected, filtering unnecessary or not legally redistributable information, not protecting more data than necessary, and improving transparency. PLING is a forum for W3C Members and the public to discuss interoperability issues - along with related requirements and needs - that arise when using a variety of policy languages where there is a need to compute results across these multiple languages, so coordination among both groups is needed.
Security Activity
eGovernment services are known to lead to specific security requirements. Reaching out to governments about security relevant work in other parts of W3C, and reaching out to the Web security community about government specific requirements will benefit both communities.
Semantic Web Activity
Facilities to put machine-understandable data on the Web are quickly becoming a high priority for many organizations, individuals and communities including eGovernment uses. Many government bodies have already started to look into the Semantic Web as the next step towards interoperability and data integration.
Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG) work has broad adoption in government policies all over the World and has codified Best Practices and Guidelines to achieve such the goal of universal access to the Web; relationship with WAI could leverage the eGovernment IG activity by learning and building on its success.
Web Services Activity
Web services provide a standard means of interoperating between different software applications, running on a variety of platforms and/or frameworks. Web services are characterized by their interoperability and extensibility, as well as their use of XML for machine-processable descriptions. They can be combined in a loosely coupled way to achieve complex operations. Programs providing simple services can interact with each other in order to deliver sophisticated added-value services. Technologies developed by the Web Services Activity are usually found in the core of the eGovernment architectures and frameworks.

External Groups

In order to provide input on how standards bodies could do better collective outreach and support better government data integration and sharing, the eGovernment Interest Group should establish liaisons with others standards and international bodies, including but not limited to:


The eGovernment Focus Group mapped the various activities in the field of eGovernment standardization, discussed a roadmap for the future in Europe and released its final report in February 2008. A liaison will be considered if other eGovernment initiatives start at CEN.

U.S. Semantic Interoperability Community of Practice (SICoP)
A community established by a group of individuals for the purpose of achieving semantic interoperability and semantic data integration focused on the government sector. Its main purpose is to support CoP members in their efforts to make the Semantic Web operational in their agencies.
European Commission
IDABC Unit; issues recommendations, develops solutions and provides services that enable national and European administrations to communicate electronically while offering modern public services to businesses and citizens in Europe.
eGovernment Unit; implements eGovernment policy, good practice exchange and innovation in Europe.
Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS)
A liaison will be considered with the OASIS eGovernment Member Section (eGov MS), which serves as a focal point for discussions of governmental and public administration requirements for e-business standardization.
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
The OECD E-Government Project explores how governments can best exploit information and communication technologies (ICTs) to embed good governance principles and achieve public policy goals. The Project produces reports on best practices and develops frameworks for addressing issues such as cost/benefit analysis, e-services and take-up. It also carries out country peer reviews on e-government. These reviews place e-government in a national context, and help identify the strengths and weaknesses of national eGovernment programmes.
Organization of American States (OAS)
The OAS objective is to support, facilitate and promote the integral development of the Latin American and Caribbean countries. RED GEALC is one of the instruments developed by OAS to achieve that goal, a network of eGovernment Leaders and a space to exchange expertise, knowledge and solutions in every area related to eGovernment with the aim of facilitating shared efforts and horizontal cooperation among member countries, through those in charge of the day-to-day of eGovernment.
The World Bank
eDevelopment Thematic Group; promotes the efficient use of ICT in development and World Bank operations by facilitating knowledge sharing on good practices in eDevelopment and eGovernment, and an ongoing dialogue amongst a large and diverse community of practitioners.
International Council for Information Technology in Government Administration (ICA)
ICA promotes the information exchange of knowledge, ideas and experiences between central government IT authorities on all aspects of the initiation, development and implementation of computer-based systems in and by government.

The group will actively seek contacts with similar organizations worldwide and decide on a case by case basis future liaisons as identified and needed to conduct its work.


Participation in the eGovernment Interest Group is open to the public. Any person interested in this topic is welcome to participate in this Interest Group. Individuals who wish to participate as Invited Experts (i.e., they do not represent a W3C Member) should refer to the policy for approval of Invited Experts. Invited Experts in this group are not granted access to Member-only information.

There are no minimum requirements for participation in this group. Participants are strongly encouraged to attend the bi-weekly teleconferences and take advantage of frequent opportunities to review and comment on deliverables from other groups.


This group primarily conducts its work on the public mailing list public-egov-ig@w3.org [archives].

Information about the group (deliverables, participants, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, etc.) is available from the eGovernment Interest Group home page.

Decision Policy

As explained in the Process Document (section 3.3), this group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus. When the Chair puts a question and observes dissent, after due consideration of different opinions, the Chair should record a decision (possibly after a formal vote) and any objections, and move on.

Patent Disclosures

The eGovernment Interest Group provides an opportunity to share perspectives on the topic addressed by this charter. W3C reminds Interest Group participants of their obligation to comply with patent disclosure obligations as set out in Section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy. While the Interest Group does not produce Recommendation-track documents, when Interest Group participants review Recommendation-track specifications from Working Groups, the patent disclosure obligations do apply.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

About this Charter

This charter for the eGovernment Interest Group has been created according to section 6.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

José M. Alonso (W3C/CTIC)

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