The UK Office of the e-Envoy has released the e-GIF framework specification version 4. This UK e-Government Interoperability Framework "prescribes the policies and technical specifications that will act as the foundation of the e-Government strategy and help get the UK online. e-GIF version 4 utilises market driven open standards to enable the seamless flow of information from back end systems to citizen and business, and between government organisations." Through the UK GovTalk website, the XML Schemas project is defining common data definitions as XML schemas for use throughout the public sector; the website contains a number of draft and approved XML schemas. The v4 specification is published in two parts: Part 1 (Framework) "contains the high level policy statements, management, implementation and compliance regimes; Part 2 contains the technical policies and tables of specifications, and a glossary and abbreviations list. The main thrust of the framework is to adopt the Internet and World Wide Web specifications for all government systems. Throughout this section use of the term 'system' is taken to include its interfaces. There is a strategic decision to adopt XML and XSL as the core standards for data integration and management of presentational data. This includes the definition and central provision of XML schemas for use throughout the public sector. The e-GIF also adopts specifications that are well supported in the market place."
- e-Government Interoperability Framework. Part One: Framework Version 4.0. April 25, 2002. 24 pages. Foreword by Rt. Hon. The Lord Macdonald of Tradeston CBE, Minister for the Cabinet Office. Part 1: Framework contains the high level policy statements, management, implementation and compliance regimes.
- e-Government Interoperability Framework. Part Two: Technical Policies and Specifications. Version 4.0. April 25, 2002. 32 pages. Part 2: Technical policies and specifications. Contains the technical policies and tables of specifications, and a glossary and abbreviations list.
e-GIF relationships with other initiatives: "The e-GIF is one of the policy frameworks for the e-Government strategy of which it is an integral part. For the other frameworks, including those covering security, confidentiality and channels, see www.govtalk.gov.uk or http://www.eenvoy.gov.uk/publications/frameworks_index.htm. On the international scene the e-GIF and e-GMS have attracted considerable attention, and are being considered by the EU IDA (Interchange of Data between Administrations) programme as bases for European standards. For instance, the MIReG (Managing Information Resources for e-Government) project aims to develop a metadata standard and toolkits. See http://europa.eu.int/ISPO/ida for more information. [Part 1]
XML Schemas production [Part 1]:
A primary role of the Interoperability Working Group is to promote the production and management of the XML schemas necessary to support data interoperability requirements of the e-Government strategy.
XML schemas will be developed by specialist groups, or by open submission to the GovTalk web. The Government Schemas Group will manage the acceptance, publication, and any subsequent change requests for the schema. XML schemas that have been accepted by the group will be published at http://www.govtalk.gov.uk/interoperability/agreedschema.asp and are open for anyone to make comments.
The Government Schemas Group sets the design rules to be used by the XML schema developers and will use these to validate schemas proposed for publication. These rules can be found at http://www.govtalk.gov.uk/interoperability/xmlschemadesign.asp. The rules include compliance with W3C specifications as described in Part 2.
The Government Schemas Group will track international XML specifications development through links with standards organisations such as W3C and OASIS. These links will provide provisional schemas, which will be taken as one of the inputs for government-wide consultation and adoption if appropriate.
The primary roles of the Government Schemas Group are to set the specifications for, and co-ordinate the production of, XML schemas for use across the public sector. This group, which reports to the Interoperability Working Group, draws together representatives from across the public and private sectors to develop schemas requested by the Government Processes Group, and endorse schemas produced elsewhere in the public sector. Schemas produced and endorsed by this group pass through the e-GIF approval process and are published on GovTalk, where they are available for use by other projects throughout the public sector.
All draft policies, specifications and XML schemas will be posted on GovTalk with a Request for Comments on the proposed draft or change. Registered stakeholders will be notified by e-mail of the RFC but the web site offers an invitation to anyone to comment on the draft document. All comments received will be acknowledged and the outcome of the RFC will be published on the site. The consultation process does not preclude unsolicited comments on currently agreed policies and decisions, which are also encouraged.
Systems are expected to use agreed XML schemas and agreed data standards listed in the Government Data Standards Catalogue, both of which are available on GovTalk. Should suitable schemas or data standards not be available, or those available deemed inadequate in some way, the system purchaser/sponsor should invoke the RFP/RFC processes immediately.
Part 2 of the v4 specification "covers the areas of interconnectivity, data integration, content management and information access via multiple channels. Each area is presented in two parts, in the first the key technical policies are defined for technical standards to meet, the second comprises a table containing the specification and includes version numbers and notes. Government is, however, committed to ensuring that these technical policies and specifications are kept aligned to the changing requirements of the public sector and to the evolution of the market and technology."
Overview: "The main thrust of the framework is to adopt the Internet and World Wide Web specifications for all government systems. Throughout this section use of the term "system" is taken to include its interfaces. There is a strategic decision to adopt XML and XSL as the core standards for data integration and management of presentational data. This includes the definition and central provision of XML schemas for use throughout the public sector. The e-GIF also adopts specifications that are well supported in the market place. It is a pragmatic strategy that aims to reduce cost and risk for government systems whilst aligning them to the global Internet revolution. The Framework also sets out policies for establishing and implementing metadata across the public sector. The e-Government Metadata Standard will help citizens find government information and resources more easily. Adherence to the e-GIF specifications and policies is mandatory. They set the underlying infrastructure, freeing up public sector organisations so that they can concentrate on serving the customer through building value added information and services. It will be for the organisations themselves to consider how their business processes can be changed to be more effective by taking advantage of the opportunities provided by increased interoperability."
- e-Government Interoperability Framework. Part One: Framework Version 4.0. See also the cover page. [cache]
- e-Government Interoperability Framework. Part Two: Technical Policies and Specifications. See also the cover page. [cache]
- e-GIF website
- XML Schemas project
- "e-Government Interoperability Framework (e-GIF)" - Main reference page.