eGovernment Interest Group Charter

The mission of the eGovernment Interest Group is to build and strengthen the community of people who use or promote the use of W3C technologies to improve Government. As a part of the eGovernment Activity, the group will identify and discuss essential areas of technology and related policy issues. Such discussions will occur, amongst other places, on its mailing list, in teleconference seminars, and at face-to-face gatherings. On topics with sufficient interest and motivated participants, the group will form task forces to produce documents and otherwise reach out to relevant communities.

How to Join the eGovernment Interest Group

Start DateJune 2011
End date31 May 2013
ConfidentialityProceedings are public
ChairsJeanne Holm
Tomasz Janowski
Team Contacts
Sandro Hawke (0.1 FTE)
Phil Archer
Usual Meeting ScheduleTeleconferences are held on alternate weeks and at alternate times:
every fourth Friday at 0800–0930 Los Angeles time; and,
every fourth Monday at 0900–1030 London time.
Face-to-face: As needed (attendance optional)


This group is chartered to serve as a connector among people, especially government employees, looking for ways to use or promote the use of W3C technologies to improve government services and operations. We believe these technologies can provide significant benefit to governments of all sizes, including city, regional, and national governments (and between governments), in all parts of the world. We also recognize that with new technologies and a changing world, new policy concerns arise; this group will also facilitate discussion to focus understanding of policy and security matters related to W3C technologies.

In its activities, the group will generally focus on a small number of projects or areas of interest, selected by the chairs based on the evolving interests of the group participants and needs of the wider community. Current candidates for focus areas include:

Government Data

The proper release of data produced by governments, sometimes called Public Sector Information, has recently emerged as a powerful force for transparency and economic development.

While the Government Linked Data (GLD) Working Group is being chartered in parallel to facilitate this work in the direction of Tim Berners-Lee's Linked Data and Semantic Web visions, not all deployments will be in that direction or advance to that level.

This group may, therefore, broadly connect and facilitate government data efforts, coordinating with the GLD WG.


The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) produces strategies, guidelines, and resources to make the Web accessible to people with disabilities. This work has particular relevance to governments, both because there is often a responsibility for government services to be able to reach all citizens, and because governments often take the lead in raising the importance of this issue to the broader community. This interest group may work with WAI groups to help connect the appropriate government people with WAI resources.

Social Media

The use of "social media", or social software — computer systems in which the users are interacting with each other as part of completing their task — has become widespread in the computer industry, but raises special challenges for government users.

Issues include: Should government user applications use social platforms like Facebook and Twitter? How should government users present themselves in social media interactions? What responsibility does a government entity have to respond to public comments and engage in open discussion?

Community Directory

In order to help members of this diverse community find and collaborate with each other, the group may lead or assist in the construction and maintenance of a community directory.

The GLD Working Group has a similar deliverable, for its community, which overlaps this community. Ideally, the two projects can be coordinated and even interoperate, with the data being maintained separately but browsable together.

Education and Outreach

In general, the group may engage with the larger W3C and electronic government communities, educating and involving all the people who can benefit from the activities and expertise of others in the community. The group may produce material and publish it as an IG note or maintain it on a website.

Data Licensing

Complex legal and policy issues arise in providing "open" data. Any work here should be coordinated with Creative Commons and Open Data Commons, if possible. The use of licensing terminology and issues will be part of the discussion in this community.


Other suggested areas for discussion include:


The group has no required deliverables. From time to time, the group may publish Interest Group Notes, including updates of its earlier document, Improving Access to Government through Better Use of the Web.

The group may continue work on its draft, Publishing Open Government Data, in coordination with the Government Linked Data (GLD) Working Group.

The group may also develop and maintain websites, such as for the community directory or educational materials.

Dependencies and Liaisons

Specific dependencies and liaisons will depend on the areas in which the group participants decide to proceed and those organizations with which it is appropriate for the group to coordinate.

For any deliverabls the group develops, it will create and maintain on the group site a list of appropriate dependencies and liaisons. As a starting point for these lists, see the dependencies listed in the 2009 charter.


Participation in the eGovernment Interest Group is open to the public. Any person interested in this topic and abiding by the general policies for W3C groups is welcome to join.

There are no minimum requirements for participation in the eGovernment Interest Group. Participants are strongly encouraged to attend teleconferences and take advantage of opportunities to review and comment on deliverables from other groups within the W3C and associated with this Group.

Consistent with W3C Process requirements on Task Forces, the Chairs may form task forces to facilitate management of deliverables. Each task force will have a public statement of work (including objectives, communication, participation, and leadership). Task forces may hold meetings and conduct business consistent with the W3C Process. All task force deliverables are subject to IG approval.


This group primarily conducts its work on the mailing list public-egov-ig@w3.org (public archives). The mailing list public-egov-announce@w3.org (public archives) will be used for occasional announcements.

Information about the group (deliverables, participants, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, etc.) will be available from the group's 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.

Decisions may be made during telecons or online, given at least seven days notice that a decision is to occur and the scope of the decision.

Patent Policy

This Interest Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis.

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.

See the previous charter.

Sandro Hawke, sandro@w3.org, editor

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