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eGovernment Interest Group Charter - Year 2

status: final draft

The mission of the eGovernment Interest Group, part of the eGovernment Activity, is to document, advocate, coordinate and communicate best practices, solutions and approaches for improving access to government, through education and effective standards-based use of the Web.

Recognizing that different governments will have varying levels of sophistication around web and technology standards and adoption, the Interest Group will focus on two major topic areas in its second phase: Open Government Data (OGD), and Education and Outreach.

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 30 September 2011

Proceedings are public

Initial Chairs Kevin Novak (American Institute of Architects)
John Sheridan (The [UK] National Archives)
Initial Team Contacts
(FTE %: 40)
José M. Alonso (W3C/CTIC)
Usual Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: Every two weeks
Chairs Teleconferences: Every two weeks
Face-to-face: up to 2 per year


The eGovernment Interest Group (eGov IG) is a forum to support researchers, developers, managers, solution providers and governments at all levels (local, state, national, and multi-national) to understand the complexities of electronic government, and share solutions and best practices. The IG is a bridge between policy and technology, acting as a connector, communicator, creator and collaborator. The group's efforts will help governments to better serve their customers and meet their needs.

The group, in its second phase, will identify issues and challenges related to electronic government - proposing, documenting, and communicating new and existing web standards, best practices, and example-based solutions. We will partner with related organizations and W3C groups to ensure work is efficient and complete.

The second phase scope of work has been narrowed to focus on two major topic areas: Open Government Data (OGD), and Education and Outreach. We will work with governments, end users, and other interests parties to develop best practices, standards, and approaches for OGD. Publishing data using open standards can help governments improve transparency and accountability, provide useful information to citizens, and increase internal and external efficiencies of sharing, combining, and exposing data.

The second topic area is Education and Outreach. Since many governments are at various stages of sophistication in moving towards electronic government, we will work with governments, end users, and other interested parties to build on the areas noted in the first year issues paper ensuring that best practices, standards, and approaches are made available for governments at all stages of electronic government.

Through communication, education and coordination the eGovernment Interest Group will attempt to bridge the gap between technologists and governments ensuring technical best practices, solutions, and approaches along with the potential business value are clearly understood.

Activity Plan and Tactics

The Interest Group intends to continue to build an International community of governments, experts, and groups that enable the most effective best practices, standards, and approaches to be demonstrated, understood or developed reflective of and accounting for the various requirements, restrictions, and boundaries shared or unique to individual governments.

The Interest Group will use email discussion, scheduled IRC topic chats and other collaborative tools as a forum to enable broader collaboration and communication across eGov practitioners as defined above.

Products produced by the group in its second phase will focus on the documentation, publication and communication of issue and best practice briefs (that could become Group Notes) that will seek to further educate and communicate value to eGovernment practitioners.

Additional work, depending on funding and partnership opportunities, will include overseeing and leading the development, testing, validation, documenting, and communicating prototype applications representative of the eGov IG's findings and the communities needs. Efforts will also include championing and evangelizing work of the group, the importance of open web standards as related to electronic government, and opportunities for achieving the promise of electronic government while acting as a @@consultant@@ to developed and developing countries.

Furthermore, the Interest Group expects to provide a venue where task forces and coordinating groups may be organized in order to facilitate and focus on the goals and work of the Interest Group. Consistent with W3C Process requirements on Task Forces, the eGov IG may form task forces composed of eGov IG participants or join other W3C task forces to carry out assignments when under the chartered scope of eGov IG. Any such task force must have a work statement (including objectives, communication, participation, and leadership) that has been announced on the eGov IG mailing list, approved by the eGov IG, and is available from the eGov IG home page. eGov IG task forces should produce requirements documents that outline the scope and expectations for work. Task forces may set up separate teleconferences and hold face-to-face meetings per the W3C process and with the approval of the eGov IG.

Strategies and Goals

[@@Suggested new goals:

  1. Build community. The IG will provide new opportunities for discussion online and in person, and to build new relationships with government agences and other key contributors.
  2. Develop good practices. The IG will gather success stories for publishing OGD and foster discussion among participants that lead to a clear understanding of the issues and solutions for publishing government data.
  3. Publicize results. The IG will disseminate its results and community the importance of open web standards and technological solutions to achieving the promise of electronic government. -- IJ @@]

The eGov IG will seek to achieve, champion, and incorporate the followings strategies and related goals into its work and efforts:

  1. The W3C, through the eGov IG, will become the leading source and coordinator of information and best practices related to open web standards for governments of developed and developing countries.

    1. Publish issue briefs
    2. Gather and communicate validated example based solutions
    3. Continue to lead, facilitate and engage a community of W3C members and invited expert practitioners

  2. The eGov IG will be the champion of and will facilitate, outreach, educate, communicate and evangelize the importance of open web standards and technological solutions to achieving the promise of electronic government and become the predominant source of government related contextual information and documentation for open web standards serving electronic government practitioners.

    1. Reach out to the press and public on a regular basis and provide regular press briefings and press access to experts
    2. Create Electronic Government focused W3C website
    3. Gather references, papers, links, and related materials
    4. Publish @@newsletter@@ email updates to subscription list
    5. Consult with governments or groups
    6. Actively participate in a minimum of three government related activities (such us US Open Government Initiative, UK Power of Information Task Force, etc.)
    7. Form coordination and/or task forces focused on Open Government Data and Web Development
    8. leave room for more TFs@@see also Anne's proposal @@
    9. Chairs to post blog posts

  3. The eGov IG will seek out and take part in partnerships, conferences, and opportunities which further the work of the W3C and eGov IG ensuring knowledge dissemination and subject matter completeness.

    1. Develop liaisons with like-minded organizations or groups
    2. Speak at different conferences, meetings, events, or symposia.

  4. The W3C, through the eGov IG and W3C groups, will host and offer validated and documented solutions utilizing open web standards and practices.

    1. Collaborate with W3C Groups or other partners to @@host success stories@@ aiding open government, open government data, or data catalog utilities.
    2. Document and disseminate findings and approaches

Major Focus Areas

@@structure this better so people skim reading it could get an idea of what the IG is about@@

The eGov IG will focus a significant portion of its time and efforts to two focus areas. The first is Open Government Data or OGD. Movement in the electronic government space, including major governments, and the technical communities energy surrounding transparency of government data has created an opportunity for the eGov IG to take a leadership role for the W3C in communicating, documenting, and validating applicable standards and practices related to open government data to ensure those involved in the space in launching major initiatives @@including and have evaluated and incorporated web standards and practices into their efforts. @@add also here we expect to identify scenario and produce the OGD patterns --Jose@@

The second area of focus for the eGov IG will be @@web development@@. With the major new developments in web standards and browser technology, governments have new opportunities to advance their ability to better provide information and communicate with citizens. This area will focus on and how standards compliance can help overcome the complexity of delivering government information and services via the Web, the need for assistance with developing accessible and usable government websites, the importance of accounting for and understanding multi-channel delivery, and the significance of interoperability of data availability via web-based interfaces and applications. The group will provide education on the different approaches and standards and provide a forum for governments and stakeholders to publish use cases.

The eGov IG will formulate two task forces, one for each of the two focus areas @@and may form more if specific issues of interest to the community and in scope of this charter arise with clear goals and strategies@@. The Chairs and the overall group will monitor, guide, and facilitate the task forces while engaging the entire group in the ongoing maturation and education of all issues and potential solutions cited in the previously released Group Note ensuring the achievement of the group’s goals and strategies.

@@need to add something about the Editoral TF, importance of education and outreach -- Jose@@

Additionaly the eGov IG will continue to focus and explore the general Year 1 areas.

Success Criteria

The eGovernment Interest Group should be considered successful if the documented strategies are met through the achievement of stated goals and tactics.

Measurement of success will be completed against documented achievements related to @@numeric and objective@@ results.
@@we can have other sorts of measurements as well -- Jose@@


The major goal of the Interest Group, in this phase 2, will be the development of Interest Group Notes, issue briefs published throughout the charter duration focused on the documentation and communication of open web standards development, applicable best practices and approaches, and including example based solutions (for more detail see goals above)

@@add something else about community building here??@@

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


  • September 2009: Group formation - First teleconference
  • October 2009 - September 2011: Issue Briefs or Group Notes to be published on regular basis
  • September 2011: eGovernment IG ends


@@review all and update as appropriate, we might want to have coordination groups with other W3C groups, also liaisons should be reviewed just to setup those that can add value to our mission -- Jose@@

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.
Social Web Incubator Group
The mission of the Social Web Incubator Group is to understand the systems and technologies that permit the description and identification of people, groups, organizations, and user-generated content in extensible and privacy-respecting ways.
Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
WAI 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.
Open Web Education Alliance Incubator Group
The mission of the Open Web Education Alliance Incubator Group (OWEA XG) is to help enhance and standardize the architecture of the World Wide Web by facilitating the highest quality standards and best practice based education for future generations of Web professionals.

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 other groups and 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 join. 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 the eGovernment Interest 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 [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 primarily make decisions through consensus. On occasion, 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 for interested parties to share perspectives on the topics 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, patent disclosure obligations do apply when Interest Group participants review Recommendation-track specifications from Working Groups.

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

About this Charter

The original, June 2008 charter for the W3C eGovernment Interest Group recognized that governments the world over need assistance and guidance in the use of technology and the Web to implement the full promise of electronic government.

The eGovernment Interest Group fills a void in the Web and technology standards community by focusing on the unique and diverse issues faced by governments throughout the developed and developing world. These include enabling electronic service & information delivery and providing opportunities for discovery, interaction and participation.

@@we might want to remove these areas from here and also pointer from "Major Focus Areas" section if we think s much context is not needed@@
@@I think this much detail isn't necessary, but I'll edit it anyway :) -AdamHarvey@@
The work in the first year of the Interest Group focused on the following areas:

  • Web Standards Usage
    • Gathering information about the areas in need of best practice guidelines.: Best practices were determined by examining the successes and failures of opening, sharing, and re-using knowledge through the use of standards and specifications by government applications. These best practices will assist the Interest Group in identifying productive technical paths toward better public services.
    • Providing input on standards compliance: Previously successful experiences in terms of broad government use (such as the Web Accessibility Initiative work) were used to identify ways in which standard bodies can improve communication in terms of government needs. For example, additional efforts to package, promote, and train on best practices, existing material, and tools.
  • Transparency and Participation
    • Identifying ways to improve government transparency and openness: The eGovernment Interest Group identified gaps in knowledge that, when filled, will enable the creation of a complete standards suite for open government data and linkable public sector information.
    • Identifying ways to increase citizenship participation: The Interest Group recognized new methods for delivering information to citizens where the citizens are looking for it. Better use of these tools will both acknowledge and help active citizens and public servants in participatory activities.
    • Identifying ways to increase citizen and business use of eGovernment services: The Interest Group obtained information on the benefits of Web use for government services, identified important selling points to get people and businesses to use eGovernment services, and identified areas for improvement. These selling points include time savings, money savings, and simplicity.
  • Seamless Data Integration
    • Identifying how to advance the state-of-the-art in data integration strategies: The eGovernment Interest group identified methods for governments and computer science researchers to continue working together to advance the state-of-the-art in data integration. This continuing collaboration will assist in the construction of useful, deployable proof-of-concept demos that use 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. These areas would include addressing the needs of business cases through the use of XML, SOA, and Semantic Web technologies.

The eGovernment Interest Group recently completed its first year charter. This culminated in the release of a comprehensive issues paper on May 12, 2009. The group is now in the final phase of the charter and is actively communicating with the eGovernment community about the results of our first year of work.

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.

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