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Dialogue Between SDOs and Governments

From: Owen Ambur <Owen.Ambur@verizon.net>
Date: Sat, 07 Feb 2009 11:27:40 -0500
To: <transactions@iispartners.com>, "'eGov IG'" <public-egov-ig@w3.org>
Cc: "'Jim'" <jdisbrow22701@earthlink.net>, "'Susan Turnbull'" <susan.turnbull@gsa.gov>, "'Richard Spivak'" <Richard.Spivack@nist.gov>, "'Betsy Fanning'" <BFANNING@AIIM.ORG>
Message-id: <000001c98940$ffb31b10$ff195130$@Ambur@verizon.net>

With reference to Malcolm's excellent observations, the U.S. federal
government does not lack for policy guidance on engagement with standards
development organizations (SDOs).  Relevant policy documents include OMB
Circular A-119 and the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act
(NTTAA): http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/a119/a119.html &

What is lacking is effective measurement and reporting of the performance of
agencies in complying with that guidance.  The annual A-119 reporting
process is not sufficient and the data that it compiles is not in readily
shareable (XML) format (so that it can be made salient to stakeholders):

The ET.gov site could be enhanced to enable ongoing, real-time reporting of
agency involvement in SDOs.  See desirable enhancement 6.4 (toward the
bottom of the "page") at http://et.gov/history/enhancementrequirements.htm
Unfortunately, resources have not been provided to accomplish those
enhancements.  However, if the will to do so exists, there is no reason the
SDOs themselves could not form a consortium to measure and report such
information on the Web (in open, standard XML format) for the benefit of the
stakeholders (citizens and taxpayers) of all governments worldwide.

With respect to "overlap in goals," helping those who share common
objectives identify each other and work more effectively together is among
the purposes of AIIM's emerging Strategy Markup Language (StratML) standard:
http://xml.gov/stratml/index.htm#DefinitionPurposes  Another of StratML's
purposes is to enable more efficient and effective feedback from

Owen Ambur
Co-Chair Emeritus, xmlCoP  
Co-Chair, AIIM StratML Committee
Member, AIIM iECM Committee 
Invited Expert, W3C eGov IG
Membership Director, FIRM Board  
Former Project Manager, ET.gov 

-----Original Message-----
From: public-egov-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:public-egov-ig-request@w3.org]
On Behalf Of Malcolm Crompton
Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2009 2:39 AM
To: 'eGov IG'
Subject: RE: W3C Input to the United Nations "Enhanced Cooperation" Study

Apologies to all for both this & the previous the re-send.  I am trying to
use a send address that is suitable for adding to the W3C archives because
it is expendable.


I am not in a position to comment either about the UN Document or most of
Robin's email, but there is one sentence in Robin's email that is a gem &
should not be lost.

It is this:

"There is currently a lack of dialogue between OSSO and other
policy-intensive organisations (mainly governments) about what those
policies are or should be, which is a shame as I believe that there is in
many cases a strong overlap in goals."

This is a very important point.  For 2 reasons at least:

1.  This is a new way of describing the common interest between OSSO &
governments but not one I have seen put this way before.  And it has a very
strong resonance to it.  It is also the basis for the relationship between
government & more traditional professions (read >50 years old, eg
engineering or motor car design or accounting etc).  Indeed in those other
industries, government keys off the policy intent of those professions by
relying on them to the point of mandating some of their processes in law
(sometimes at the expense of modifying them), for example the mandated use
of standards set by experts in motor car design or the interaction between
accounting standards & legal requirements for stock traded companies etc.

2.  For whatever reason, too much of government does not place ICT OSSOs in
that category.  Winning over government is going to be essential, eg in
terms of being able to describe the ulterior motive convincingly;
demonstrate the gains of working with OSSOs in terms that convince
governments not OSSOs etc.  Some in government (both at the political level
and policy making/bureaucratic level) are but there is a very, very long way
to go.  Interestingly, the recent change of guard in the US may produce a
quantum step forward in this regard & the corresponding change of guard here
in Australia a year earlier has the same potential.  Both involve a potent
combination of different political philosophy & a distinct move on to the
next generation).  Certainly, the impact of the changes President Obama has
made already in his early signals about government use of ICT / Govt 2.0 /
eGov / ... are already reverberating in the corridors of power in other
nations.  Believe it or not, OSSOs are still likely to be perceived too
often as do gooders / activists / industry lobbies in disguise (all at once)
which acts against their credibility.

Some thought as to how to get Robin's message widely heard & then acted upon
might be part of this W3C group's agenda.  If it isn't, we may end up only
convincing ourselves.

My apologies to all for being silent over the last months, but as an Invited
Expert, to date my 'expertise' has not strongly matched the directions of
discussion to a point where I thought I could make a useful contribution.
But the discussion has been fascinating to follow.

I will see some of you in DC at the face to face in March.  I am a board
director of the International Association of Privacy Professionals as well
as a panel convenor for their 2009 Annual Privacy Summit which means I won't
be able to attend all of the face to face but I do want to meet those
attending.  I will be in a position to report developments back to key
elements of the Federal Government which may be a minor contribution to the
second point made above.

Malcolm Crompton

Managing Director
Information Integrity Solutions Pty Ltd
ABN 78 107 611 898

T:  +61 407 014 450


Received on Saturday, 7 February 2009 16:28:26 UTC

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