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CIO Council
Enterprise Interoperability and Emerging Information Technology (EIEIT) Committee

Charter: XML Working Group (XMLWG)

          (1) Authority. This working group is established by the EIEIT Committee under the authority granted to the CIO Council in the Council Charter, "to establish standing committees and working groups as necessary to consider items of concern to the Council."

          (2) Background. On May 18, 2000, the EIEIT Committee received and reviewed a report submitted by a team that had been charged with researching the potential of Extensible Markup Language (XML) technology to improve the efficiency of Federal information management. XML is a proposed standard of the W3C Consortium. It defines a general method for describing the semantics (abstracted from the format) of data structures. The report identified a short-term opportunity to accelerate and increase the effectiveness of implementing XML in Federal agencies, and recommended that the Committee charter a Working Group to implement the program of activities and projects outlined in the report.

          (3) Purpose. The purpose of the XMLWG is to accelerate, facilitate and catalyze the effective and appropriate implementation of XML technology in the information systems and planning of the Federal Government. Wherever possible, the Working Group will seek to achieve the highest impact from resources by building on initiatives and projects that are underway in the Federal Government, or elsewhere in the public or private sectors. The XMLWG will not take on continuing operational or policy responsibilities.

The Working Group will focus on the highest-payoff opportunities for application of XML technologies, which now appear to be that:

XML offers a non-proprietary and inexpensive way to achieve a high degree of interoperability among heterogeneous systems; XML is especially well adapted to a networked environment where there is a requirement to work with a rapidly changing set of partner and customer systems with unknown and diverse architectures.

XML offers a non-proprietary and inexpensive way to promote reuse of data by providing a way to locate it (semantic search), and by providing a standard way to transform and move it between applications.

With this focus, the XMLWG will execute, in close coordination and cooperation with existing Council and other committees and project teams, a program of specific activities and projects in the areas listed below.

  1. Develop XML Best practices and Recommended Standards

  2. Develop Partnerships with Key Industry and Public Groups Developing XML Standards and Specifications

  3. Develop Partnerships with Existing Federal "Vertical" Communities to Accelerate the Delivery of XML Benefits, and

  4. Conduct "Results-Oriented" Education and Outreach

          (4) Membership and voting. Membership in the Working Group shall be comprised of representatives from any Federal Department, Agency, or other organization that is a voting member of the Federal CIO Council, or a non-member agency with the written concurrence of one of the Council's Small Agency Council representatives. For purposes of voting, Members must be designated in writing by the CIO or Deputy CIO of the relevant department, bureau, agency or other organization to represent each such organization. Each CIO may designate a primary and an alternate representative from his or her organization. Decisions of the XMLWG shall generally be made by consensus, except where a consensus is not possible and in the opinion of the chair, a formal decision is required. In this latter event, the decision shall be made by a majority vote of Voting Members present, with one vote accorded to each organization that has designated a representative and cast by the person designated by the relevant CIO to represent that organization (or the alternate.)
         Participation by other representatives of Federal agencies or partner organizations, particularly those in a position to contribute technical knowledge, is encouraged in XMLWG meetings and other activities, subject to decisions of the Chair(s) to restrict participation if appropriate.

          (5) Duration. The XMLWG's Charter shall expire on September 30, 2002.

          (6) Leadership. The initial Chair or Co-Chairs of the XMLWG will be appointed by the Co-Chairs of the EIEIT Committee. These appointments may be changed at anytime. The Chair(s) shall appoint a Secretary to maintain a record of the decisions, actions and progress of the XMLWG, and to report them regularly to the EIEIT Committee.

          (7) Publication of XMLWG information. The schedule of XMLWG meetings,
membership, meeting agendas and minutes, planned deliverables, and other pertinent information and documents shall be posted in timely fashion to the CIO Council's web site or a sub-site (or otherwise communicated to the CIO Council support staff for their use in updating the CIO Council's web site).

          (8) Meetings. Meetings of the XMLWG shall be held monthly, or as otherwise agreed by the membership, and may be held in person, or through other conferencing approaches. Meetings shall be announced at least 48 hours in advance via the EIEIT mailing list and shall be open to all Federal officials representing their agencies. Meetings shall also be open to the interested public unless confidential information or procurement-related matters are to be discussed.

          (9) Support. The CIO Council shall provide the XMLWG financial support approved as necessary for its activities, generally in connection with the annual budget cycle of Council. In addition, the Council and EIEIT Committee shall provide guidance on priorities and policies for its activities, and liaison with central policy organizations of the Federal Government.




Contact: The CIO Council

Last Updated: November 24, 2000