CIO Council
Architecture and Infrastructure Committee

Emerging Technology Subcommittee


 Charter Amendment and Renewal: XML Community of Practice
September 22, 2004
To Replace


(1) Authority. The XML Community of Practice (xmlCoP) is chartered by the Emerging Technology Subcommittee (ET S/C) of the Architecture and Infrastructure Committee (AIC) under the authority granted in the CIO Council's 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 AIC (formerly called the Enterprise Information and Emerging Information Technology Committee) received and reviewed a report submitted by a team that had been charged with researching the potential of Extensible Markup Language (XML) to improve the efficiency of Federal information management. XML is a standard recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It defines a general method for describing the semantics of data structures. The report identified an opportunity to accelerate and increase the effectiveness by which XML is implemented by Federal agencies, and recommended that the Committee charter a working group to implement the program of activities and projects outlined in the report.


The XML Working Group (xmlWG) was initially chartered to operate for a period of approximately two years, through September 30, 2002.  During that period, the xmlWG reserved and began populating the domain, conducted monthly meetings and informational briefings, developed a basic strategy, and identified several tasks and deliverables that are documented on the site. The initial charter expressly stated, "The XMLWG will not take on continuing operational or policy responsibilities." Subsequently, the AIC was directed to assume a more operational orientation. Thus, when the xmlWG was rechartered for two additional years, through September 30, 2004, it was charged with taking a more operational (as opposed to educational) focus, in the sense of proposing for consideration by the AIC specific product deliverables that will generate significant benefits to multiple government agencies, including not only Federal but also State and local agencies.


Tasks identified and pursued under the revised charter are documented at  Foremost among them was the XML registry pilot.  The status and history of the XML registry pilot are documented at   Other tasks for which leaders volunteered included a proposed XML namespace policy and enhancement/updating of the XML Developers Guide.  Those and other voluntary tasks are documented at


When the CIOC reorganized its committee structure in 2003, three subcommittees were formed under the auspices of the AIC – Governance, Components, and Emerging Technology.  The charter for the ET S/C is available at   The ET S/C was subsequently tasked with developing a process whereby the emerging technology life-cycle can be more efficiently and effectively managed on a Governmentwide basis.  In support of the ET S/C’s tasking, the xmlWG outlined an eight-stage process; proposed elements for the first three stages of the process, which are within the purview of the ET S/C; drafted an XML schema (XSD) for the first stage of the process; and participated in developing a proof-of-concept pilot that was demonstrated at the XML 2003 conference.


As previously chartered, the purpose of the xmlWG was to accelerate, facilitate and catalyze the effective and appropriate implementation of XML technology in the information systems and planning of the Federal Government. In coordination with other CIO Council committees and working groups, the xmlWG was authorized to: 1) Identify and, when necessary, develop XML best practices and recommended standards; 2) Foster partnerships with key industry and public interest groups developing and implementing XML standards and best practices; 3) Foster partnerships among communities of interest/practice involving agencies at all levels of government to capitalize as rapidly and effectively as possible on the potential benefits of XML to citizens and taxpayers; 4) Conduct "results-oriented" education and outreach; and 5) Propose for consideration by the AIC specific projects and products benefiting stakeholders of multiple Federal agencies.


The xmlWG is being rechartered as the xmlCoP in light of its new role to foster the formation of communities of practice around emerging information technology components and particularly those that are based on the W3C’s XML standard.


(3) Purpose.  The xmlCoP is hereby authorized to continue the activities for which the xmlWG was previously chartered while redirecting its focus to: a) assist with implementation of the ET process, and b) facilitate collaboration on and review of XML-based "components" within that process, which in some instances may involve the use of


(4) Participation and decision-making. With limited exceptions, participation in the xmlCoP is open, not only to employees and contractors of government agencies at all levels of government but also to vendors and individuals who wish to contribute to the efficient and effective use of XML by government agencies. Generally speaking, the xmlCoP will operate by consensus. However, taking into account the views of the participants, the Co-Chairs will determine the meeting agendas as well as which issues and potential ET components to bring to the attention of the ET S/C.  If funding or procurement issues are to be discussed, the Co-Chairs will limit participation appropriately. In addition, as may be appropriate, the Co-Chairs will seek to have government employees assigned to assist with specific project-oriented tasks that may be designated as priorities by the co-chairs of the ET S/C.


(5) Duration. The xmlCoP's Charter shall expire on September 30, 2006.


(6) Leadership.  The Co-Chairs of the xmlCoP are appointed by and may be replaced by the Co-Chairs of the ET S/C at anytime. The xmlCoP Co-Chairs shall report regularly to the ET S/C and shall ensure that a clear and complete record of the activities of the xmlCoP is maintained on  the site. As requested or approved by the ET S/C Co-Chairs, the xmlCoP Co-Chairs may designate ET component task team leaders.


(7) Publication of xmlCoP information. The schedule, agendas, presentations, and minutes of xmlCoP meetings, planned tasks and deliverables, and other pertinent documentation shall be posted in timely fashion on the site, along with listings of meeting and task participants.


(8) Meetings. Meetings of the xmlCoP shall be held monthly, or as otherwise determined by the Co-Chairs, and may be held in person, or through other conferencing approaches.  Meetings shall be announced at least 48 hours in advance via the xmlCoP 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.  Special meetings of the xmlCoP and meetings of any task teams that may be formed will be scheduled at the call of the Co-Chairs or task team leaders.


(9) Support. The CIO Council shall provide the xmlCoP financial support as necessary and approved for its activities (including any tasks that may be assigned to the xmlCoP) generally in connection with the annual budget cycle of Council. In addition, the ET S/C shall provide guidance on priorities and policies for its activities, particularly with respect to ET component-oriented tasks, and shall provide liaison with central policy organizations of the Federal Government.