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Subject: OASIS EM-TC clarification of the USAF CoT effort

To whom it may concern,

A DHS FEMA contractor is trying to foster the use of the United 
States Air Force (USAF) Cursor-on-Target (CoT) xml schema as the 
definitive solution to all data interoperability issues of the 
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice 
(DOJ). He claims this would be accomplished by putting the CoT into 
the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM).  At the same time he 
is using the name Emergency Data Exchange Language-Asset Tracking 
(EDXL-AT) which associates this effort with OASIS standards development.

This enthusiastic, but uncoordinated, set of actions is creating 
confusion and discord within and among the data exchange projects 
currently underway in OASIS and the above mentioned departments. 
First, it is our understanding that CoT is an implemented data 
structure that is in wide use within US Air Force (USAF) systems.  As 
such, change would have to be managed very carefully. Secondly, CoT 
is currently being considered by the OASIS Emergency Management TC 
Infrastructure Subcommittee (IF SC) but would require a sponsor to 
bring the proposed standard to the committee and that the standard be 
put through normal committee procedures.  Initial discussions with 
the USAF, USSTRATCOM, and the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of 
the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) to modify the CoT for use in the 
NIEM indicate broad support. The initiative will be officially named 
EDXL-Asset Tracker (AT) when approved by the OASIS EM TC. Until that 
time "EDXL-AT" should not be associated with or used in any data 
interoperability efforts external to the OASIS EM TC.  Finally the 
NIEM process belongs to NIEM.  It is not OASIS policy to interfere in 
any way with that process.

Repeated attempts to discuss with this contractor the actual fit of 
CoT into the OASIS Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) suite of 
work and NIEM have been ignored.  His actions have been hasty, very 
premature and uncoordinated with accepted standards bodies. 
Therefore, the OASIS EM TC must now state emphatically that this FEMA 
contractor does not speak on behalf of its Committee and subcommittees.

Elysa Jones, Chair OASIS
Emergency Management Technical Committee

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