Re: Group Note FPWD is done

Dear Jose et. al,

Congratulations on a strong document that clarifies many important issues.

I have a few suggestions;
1) In the Background section, you say: "Governments are increasingly 
finding value in Web standards created at W3C, these standards currently 
enjoy broad use in eGovernment and some have been named in laws and put 
into practice in a variety of countries."
while this is true, it remains the case that in Europe, one cannot 
readily reference fora/consortia standards and specifications neither in 
policy nor in legislation because of the EU legislative framework, 
specifically Directive 98/34 and CD 87/95.

I feel our report should reflect that this while a unified IT industry 
has wanted a reform for several years now, and the fact that such a 
reform was hinted at in an informal Way Forward document by the European 
Commission last year, nothing has happened yet, and the reform must wait 
until the next Commission.

Meanwhile, it remains true, as our report says, that web standards are 
used and to some extent referenced in government documents. This shows 
the enormous importance of such standards.

2) In 
you say: "can it be improved by technologies...". Well, the improvement 
would only happen if these were open standards development efforts 
happening in transparent fora/consortia and/or standards organizations. 
Why do you call OpenID a "technology"? This is confusing.

3) In
a. you answer the question: "how can interoperability be achieved" 
without clearly stating that the best way to achieve interoperability is 
through standardization.
b. you mention GIFs, and could also mention the large UN work on the 
c. You might consider refering to CAMSS which is the emerging approach 
to the issue in Europe, i.e, a set of principles regarding standards 
that in effect constitute an assessment methodology. You might say, it 
is the logical next step from a GIF which is simply a passive document 
that needs constant updating. see my blog entry on CAMSS 
more details.
d. About Open Standards, you say "It is of paramount importance to use 
open standards where available -- for instance, use the X.509 technology 
stack when digital certificates are required.". I would suggest to refer 
to something more generic than a standard few government officials might 
have heard of. A good summary of the characteristics of open standards 
was given by
The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School's 
/Roadmap for Open Ecosystems, /which included government experts, came 
up with the following^^1 

"/This ROADMAP considers a standard to be open when it complies with all 
these elements:/

/  Cannot be controlled by any single person or entity with any vested 

/  Evolution and management in a transparent process open to all 
interested parties;/

/  Platform independent, vendor neutral and usable for multiple 

/  Openly published (including availability of specifications and 
supporting material);/

/  Available royalty free or at minimal cost, with other restrictions 
(such as field of use and defensive suspension) offered on reasonable 
and non-discriminatory terms; and/

/  Approved through due process by rough consensus among participants."/

for Open Ecosystems, see: _

In addition, it is essential that open standards be compatible with a 
variety of licensing and development models, including open source.

I also attach the two recent policy briefs from the Openforum Europe 
Standards Special Interest Group (they can also be found on the web at

e. You say "What Are the Main Issues and Limitations?". I would suggest 
to take out the word "limitations". Indeed open standards are enablers. 
Indeed, what you are talking about is components of interoperability.

    * I would suggest to add an executive summary written for
      journalists, C-level executives in public and private sectors, and
      non-experts. It would greatly enhance the impact of the document
      and help all who want to quickly paraphrase its content.
    * I think we have some work to do regarding abbreviations. API, PSI
      etc. needs to be esplained the first time and the abbreviation put
      in parenthesis. Sometimes that is not enough either, and the full
      term is better used throughout to avoid confusion.
    * The way you use links is not conducive to easy comprehension. Why
      are they doubled up?
    * I feel the abstract is quite weak. If we cannot deliver stronger
      conclusions, we should re-work the document and re-think.
    * Could we include a few more examples? I would suggest at least
      pointing to a few governments who are doing certain aspects quite
      well, such as the Dutch government on open standards, link to a
      few GIFs, etc.

Finally, I agree that the spelling should be "e-government", not "eGov" 
or "eGovernment".


Trond Arne Undheim | Director Standards Strategy and Policy EMEA
Phone: +44.207.816.7952 | Mobile: +44.782.730.8841
Oracle Corporate Architecture Group
One South Place | London | EC2M 2RB | United Kingdom

ORACLE Corporation UK Ltd is a company incorporated in England & Wales | 
Company Reg. No. 1782505 | Reg. office: Oracle Parkway, Thames Valley 
Park, Reading RG6 1RA

Jose M. Alonso wrote:
> All,
> It has been a very intense weekend. Some of us, namely Kevin, John and 
> me have been working until the very last minute on developing the 
> final draft. We have worked on the document until yesterday night, 
> then called it done.
> Final document is a snapshot of the current Editor's Draft [1] and we 
> are requesting publication on March 10; comments will be welcomed 
> until April 26.
> Thanks John, Oscar, Daniel and Owen for providing content for the 
> document. Very special thanks to Kevin for bearing with me over the 
> last couple days and a great editorial work.
> I think the document is quite solid but no doubt that with the help of 
> others it could be greatly improved, so do not hesitate to send 
> comments or offering authoring help.
> Cheers,
> Jose.
> [1]
> -- 
> Jose M. Alonso <>    W3C/CTIC
> eGovernment Lead        

Received on Friday, 6 March 2009 14:32:42 UTC