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REPORT ON GOVERNMENT WORKING GROUP BREAKOUT SESSIONS, TOKYO WORKSHOP & CONFERENCE, 22 & 23 OCTOBER 2001

The DC-Government Working Group (WG) met in two breakout session during the DC Workshop in Tokyo to review work accomplished to date, and to agree on the 2001-2002 work agenda. The first session was held in the afternoon of Monday 22 October 2001 with about 20 participants with the following agenda:

  1. Introduction and background
  2. DCGov extension proposal
  3. Further extension issues - records management elements, and describing services
  4. Searching for Government information on the Web - Maewyn Cumming (UK)

After a brief introduction and background from the chair, the session reviewed the work accomplished in the last year, ie. the survey of government implementations and projects using DC metadata; and the development of the Government application profile which was submitted to the DC Usage Board (UB) the week before the Workshop. The UB considered the application profile at its meeting on Sunday 21 October 2001 and Andy Powell from the UB attended the Government breakout session to explain the thinking behind the UB's comments. The main features of the application profile were outlined to the meeting and Andy then discussed the UB's views on the additional qualifiers proposed. The UB had rejected some of the proposals - primarily on the basis that they did not support resource discovery - and asked the WG to resubmit the others with fuller explanations and examples. In some cases, the UB encouraged the WG to consider the use of encoding schemes rather than additional qualifiers.

The meeting discussed the issues raised by Andy and the UB and decided that a second breakout session would be held on the following day to discuss what would be done. The discussion also considered what needed to be included in an application profile. This first session also discussed the possibility of holding another survey, since the response from the first survey had been so low. Maewyn Cumming mentioned that the MIReG group would be conducting their own survey in late 2001 or early 2002 and the Government WG could possibly make use of the information gathered in this process. The participants agreed that this offer should be accepted and discussed further with Maewyn. There was a brief discussion on the need for a records management metadata element set and whether the Government Working Group was the right forum for this. The need for such an element set was acknowledged, and there was discussion on the relationship between records management metadata, resource management metadata, and administrative metadata. There will need to be further discussions between the WG chairs and the Advisory Committee and the Executive to determine how or whether to proceed. The session finished before Item 4 could be discussed.

The second breakout session was held on Tuesday 23 October 2001 with about 8 participants. Stuart Sutton, the Usage Board shepherd for the Government application profile proposal, attended to discuss specific issues with individual proposals for additional qualifiers. The meeting discussed the UB comments and worked through the qualifiers which had been rejected and those asked to be resubmitted. Participants agreed on necessary actions to prepare the proposal for resubmission. This session also discussed the issue of describing government services using DC based metadata. It was noted that service discovery and description is central to most electronic government programmes, and yet there is little agreement on the definition of terms such as service, activity or function. The WG decided to prepare a paper setting out the functional requirements for the description of services. This should be ready by the end of the first quarter of 2002. A power point presentation summarising the results of the discussion is also available.

As a result of discussions at both breakout sessions the Working Group agreed to the following deliverables for the coming 12 months:

  1. Survey of Government implementations or projects using DC-based metadata
  2. Reworking and resubmission of the Government application profile
  3. Discussions with the AC concerning the proposal to develop a records management metadata set
  4. Drafting of a paper on requirements for describing government services using DC metadata

Andrew Wilson, Palle Aagaard
Chairs DC-Government Working Group