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Subject: [legalxml-ms] OASIS TC Call For Participation: LegalXML Legislative TC

A new OASIS technical committee is being formed. The OASIS LegalXML
Legislative Documents, Citations, and Messaging Technical Committee
(Legislative TC) has been proposed by the following members of OASIS:
Chet Ensign, Lexis-Nexis; Donald L. Bergeron, Lexis-Nexis; Grant
Vergottini, XCential; and the following Individual members: Daniel
Bennett, Daniel J. Greenwood, and James Keane.

The proposal for a new TC meets the requirements of the OASIS TC
Process (see http://oasis-open.org/committees/process.shtml), and is
appended to this message. The proposal, which includes a statement of
purpose, list of deliverables, and proposed schedule, will constitute
the TC's charter. The TC Process allows these items to be clarified
(revised) by the TC members; such clarifications (revisions), as well
as submissions of technology for consideration by the TC and the
beginning of technical discussions, may occur no sooner than the TC's
first meeting.

To become a member of this new TC you must 1) be an employee of an
OASIS member organization or an Individual member of OASIS; 2) notify
the TC co-chairs, Daniel Bennett (daniel@citizencontact.com) and Chet
Ensign (Chet.Ensign@lexisnexis.com) of your intent to participate at
least 15 days prior to the first meeting; and 3) attend the first
meeting on 15 October. You should also subscribe to the TC's mail
list. Note that membership in OASIS TCs is by individual, and not by
organization. You must be eligible for participation at the time you
time you notify the chair.

The private mail list legalxml-legislative@lists.oasis-open.org is for
committee discussions. TC members as well as any other interested
OASIS members should subscribe to the list by going to the mail list
web page at http://lists.oasis-open.org/ob/adm.pl, or by sending a
message to legalxml-legislative-request@lists.oasis-open.org with the
word "subscribe" as the body of the message. (Note that subscribing to
the mail list does not make you a member of the TC; to become a member
you must contact the TC chair and attend the first meeting as
described in the preceeding paragraph.)

A public comment list
legalxml-legislative-comment@lists.oasis-open.org will be available
for the public to make comments on the work of this TC; the public may
subscribe to this list by going to the mail list web page at
http://lists.oasis-open.org/ob/adm.pl, or by sending a message to
legalxml-legislative-comment-request@lists.oasis-open.org with the
word "subscribe" as the body of the message.

The archives of both of these mail lists are visible to the public at

Karl F. Best
OASIS - Director, Technical Operations
+1 978.667.5115 x206
karl.best@oasis-open.org  http://www.oasis-open.org

1. Name of Technical Committee

The name of the committee shall be the Legislative Documents,
Citations, and Messaging Technical Committee (Legislative TC) within
the LegalXML Member Section of OASIS.  The Technical Committee may
constitute the subcommittees or other groupings as shall appear
necessary and appropriate to carrying out the Technical Committee’s

2. Purpose of the Technical Committee

A. Mission

The Legislative Documents, Citations, and Messaging Technical
Committee exists to harmonize current DTD’s and further develop open
XML standards for the markup of legislative documents and a system of
simple citation capability for non-legislative documents (e.g.
newspaper articles). The primary goal is to allow the public to more
easily participate in the democratic process by creating a more open,
accessible, easier to parse, research and reference legislative
documents.  Secondary goals include the more efficient writing,
maintenance, cross referencing documents by government entities, value
added vendors, and law firms.

B. Language and Applicable Legal Domain

The scope of the Legislative TC will be focused upon legislation,
regulations, and related documents in the United States federal and
state legal domain and  other countries as they participate.  It is
expected that the TC will assume English and eventually Spanish and
French languages usage. The TC will observe the efforts of Canadian
European, Australian and other government entities and will enlarge
the scope of the TC to allow consideration of other countries and
international bodies requirements into any standards produced by the
Legislative TC.

C. Scope

  i. The core scope of this activity will be to the creation of a
standard DTD(s) / schema(s) that can be used by parties:
    a. Drafting and publishing legislation;
    b. Creating a simplified tagged database of legislation for
powerful search tools that allow deep and accurate results and
comprehensive returns across multiple jurisdictions;
    c. Allowing the easy citation capability for documents and
messages with accurate and stable links to official documents
(documents maintained as permanent and accurate representations of
officially published legislation, regulations and code/laws);
    d. To support the production of human readable output documents.

  ii. The TC shall also create resources that fosters communication
and an open repository by which all those who use, reuse or create
legislative documents with legislative can be keep informed. Another
aspect of fostering communication will to co-host meetings or
conferences with relevant governmental entities for stakeholders to
participate continuing the effort of LegalXML’s Congressional
Organizations Application of XML conference (COAX).

  iii. To support this scope, the TC shall seek to capture already
used XML DTD’s/schemas, the business requirements of end users of the
proposed standards, and the potential applications of a simplified
citations system for non-legislative organizations. The TC recognizes
the prior work of the U.S. Clerk of the House and U.S. Secretary of
Senates as a considerable resource and important use case. All efforts
will be made to integrate their experience and actual work into the
standard created. All states that have published an XML DTD or schema
will be used as resources as well.

  iv. To help achieve this scope, the Legislative TC will facilitate,
monitor, assess and publicize tests and demonstrations of TC data
models & and DTD(s)/Schema(s).

  v. To propose adoption of particular developed model(s) & and
DTD(s)/Schema(s) as LegalXML/OASIS-Legislative standards.

  vi. Due to the complications of creating an environment that
accommodates the governmental bodies, that can and do affect change
for their use of any standards unilaterally and decisively, the TC
will from time to time fine tune the charter in order to accommodate
these organizations.

3. Requirements Definition

A. The Legislative TC will conduct a formal and comprehensive process
to verify the initial requirements definition in this section.  That
process will include identification of relevant end-users and their
needs, including determining the extent to which downstream users such
as value added vendors, law firms, business users and the public at
large may impact requirements for the work of this TC.

B. The Legislative TC will include the requirements in any standard
actual DTD’s or Schemas necessary to include those in use by Congress
and other legislative, executive and judicial bodies as well as
proposed standards that any proposed DTD(s)/Schema(s) and data
model(s) must be able to represent, along with the information in
those legislative documents to be marked up.

C. It is initially believed that the Legislative TC has the following

  i. XML compliant syntax shall be used for representing legislative

  ii. W3C and OASIS specifications, as well as, ISO or other
appropriate standards shall be used except in those cases made
impossible by the legal and binding adoption of non-standard, but
legal requirements including and especially relating to laws that
protect the public (e.g. Section 508).

  iii. A set of XML Legislative Components shall be specified that can
be used universally by all Legislative DTD(s)/Schema(s).  These
component specifications may include elements and attributes (e.g.
unique identifiers, creation dates, etc.), as appropriate.

  iv. The solution will allow a Governing Entity to efficiently manage
the Life Cycle of legislative documents, from its bill state to final
statute state. The solution will provide means for search and
retrieval to locate legislative documents based on several criteria
including within tags by means of Boolean keyword searches. The search
criteria may be across different statutory domains. The search may be
executed across multiple legislative systems. The query results will
provide a direct link into appropriate legislation and to specific
section of the legislation if appropriate.

4. Deliverables

A. The Legislative TC shall define business requirements of all
stakeholders and reflect them in the TC’s scope of work. And
additionally will ensure that any standard be able to have real value
for the public in the form of better access, lower cost, and/or easier
referencing. The initial requirements definition above shall be the
starting point and shall be verified and amended as needed.

B. The Legislative TC shall complete one or more data models meeting
the requirements specified in this Charter to include the citations

C. The Legislative TC shall complete one or more DTD(s) and/or
Schema(s) meeting the requirements specified in this Charter and
deriving from the specified data model(s).

D. The TC shall create “data dictionaries” which provides the intended
meaning of each element, attribute or other component of the final
specification with the a means of simple translation to official
languages of participating government bodies.

E. The TC shall create documents using sample documents and citations,
marked up according to the DTD(s)/Schema(s) developed by this TC.

F. Beyond creating the legislative data model(s) and DTD(s)/Schema(s),
the TC may provide users various 'template stylesheets', CSS, XSLT,
XPATH, X-Query, XSL-FO to provide them with a 'starting point' to
modify and create their own.

5. Language in which the Technical Committee will conduct business

All business will be conducted in English.

6. Date and time of the first meeting for the year following formation
of the Technical Committee

It is proposed that the Legislative Technical Committee will hold face
to face meetings annually and also to hold quarterly telephone or web
meetings to be arranged.  Meeting times, when delivered to TC members
via the list, should be expressed in terms of GMT.  The dates and
times for the face to face meeting is proposed to be announced upon
agreements by the co-hosts.  Telephone or web meetings are:

October 15, 2002   Telephone Conference at 3pm EST
January 2002       To be determined
April 2003         To be determined
July 2003          To be determined

8. Names, electronic addresses and membership affiliations of persons
eligible for OASIS Technical Committee Participation and committed to
the stated meeting schedule

Daniel Bennett       Daniel@citizencontact.com      individual
Daniel J. Greenwood  dang@mit.edu                   individual
Chet Ensign          Chet.Ensign@lexisnexis.com     Lexis-Nexis
Donald L. Bergeron   Donald.Bergeron@lexisnexis.com Lexis-Nexis
James Keane          jik@jkeane.com                 individual
Grant Vergottini     grant.vergottini@xcential.com  XCential

9. Names of the Technical Committee Co-chairs and Vice-chairs

Co-Chair     Daniel Bennett    daniel@citizencontact.com
Co-Chair     Chet Ensign       Chet.Ensign@lexisnexis.com

10. Names of phone meeting sponsors

Daniel Bennett, Dot Gov Communications

11. Names of face-to-face meeting sponsors

U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on House Administration
Chairman Bob Mey, Ohio

12. Policies and procedures of the Legislative Technical Committee

A. The Legislative Technical Committee will follow the operating rules
of OASIS and any operating rules adopted by the LegalXML Member
Section Steering Committee with the approval of OASIS management and
the OASIS Board of Directors.

B. In addition, the Technical Committee will abide by the following

  i.  All decisions on a Committee specification of a standard will be
made by vote of 2/3 or higher.

  ii.  All decisions made subject to ratification or rejection by the
full membership of the Technical Committee on the list serve.

  iii.  All email discussions concerning the technical work of the
Technical Committee and its subcommittees will take place on OASIS
supported list serves.

  iv.  One member of the Technical Committee and of each subcommittee
will serve as ombudsman to monitor the public list for that entity and
provide input from the public list to the committee and subcommittee

  v.  In no event shall this Technical Committee finalize or approve
any technical specification if the use, distribution, or
implementation of such specification would necessarily require the
unauthorized infringement of any third party rights, and such third
party has not agreed to provide necessary license rights on perpetual,
royalty-free, non-discriminatory terms.

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