E-gov XML committee formed

OASIS e-Gov Technical Committee

A global standards consortium on Dec. 5 announced the creation of a new technical committee devoted to e-government XML standards, and its membership includes several U.S. federal experts and officials.

The e-Gov Technical Committee of the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) will bring together government officials from around the world to talk about common e-government needs.

The recommendations that the committee develops will be submitted to the OASIS working groups developing the standards.

The officials leading the U.S. E-Government Strategy and Federal Enterprise Architecture want to take full advantage of the possibilities that XML brings to online services. But the number of different XML standards, or schemas, is challenging.

The OASIS effort will help in several ways, and the U.S. government will fully support it, said Mark Forman, associate director for information technology and e-government at the Office of Management and Budget.

"Perhaps most important, setting global standards for e-government and e-business should enable significant reduction in government's burden on citizens, businesses, and government employees," he said in a statement. "Better standards should also improve security and cut the cost of government IT purchases."

OASIS formed the committee to help ensure that XML schemas and emerging technologies relying on XML, such as Web services, are not developed solely for private-sector needs, according to the organization.

The committee members will also help spread the best practices and standards identified by OASIS into government use.

The chairman of the committee is John Borras of the United Kingdom's Office of e-Envoy, and includes representatives from the U.S. General Services Administration and the Navy; the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation; the government of Ontario, Canada; and the U.K. Ministry of Defense.

It also includes software developers, such as BEA Systems Inc., Booz Allen Hamilton, Entrust Inc., Fujitsu Ltd., the Logistics Management Institute, Microsoft Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc., and webMethods Inc.

The committee is open to anyone, and the first meeting will be held next week at the IDEAlliance Inc. XML 2002 conference in Baltimore.

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