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Open Standards Board Terms of Reference

What the Board will do

1. The Open Standards Board will consider open standards recommendations that relate to software interoperability, data and document formats for use within government and that are within the scope defined in the Open Standards Principles.

2. The Board will be constituted of expert users and will make decisions on whether standards recommendations reached through the Standards Hub process:

  • demonstrate that they meet user need and business outcomes
  • enable a level playing field for open source and proprietary software
  • are implementable, mature and supported by the market
  • have been adequately researched and that the impact of adoption is understood
  • support open data and are aligned with the Open Standards Principles and the Government’s IT/digital strategies.

3. The Board will consider whether a recommended standard should be adopted and/or made compulsory across government. It will reach decisions by consensus. Its panels will advise and counsel the Board and its chair, the Government’s senior responsible owner for open standards who is the Government Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

4. Board Members are expected to influence the work of standards developers to avoid the creation of government or sector-specific standards (e.g. justice, health, education etc) where there is no unique need.

How the Board will operate

The Board will meet face to face once every 6 months to review and challenge the recommendations made by panels and working groups which make submissions to the Board.  Other meetings scheduled during the year will be dependant on business needs, and will be via correspondance.

The meeting will be face-to-face or via tele/video-conference and will last no more than 2 hours.

The work of the Open Standards Board will be transparent. Notes of meetings and written advice will be accessible through the Standards Hub.

Meetings with over 60% attendance will be considered quorate.

Roles associated with the Board

Chair - the senior responsible owner for Open Standards in the Government. Decisions will be made by the chair and will be based on consensus of the Board.

Board members - external volunteers, government officials and people from not for profit bodies. They attend each meeting, counsel the chair and reach consensus based agreement on recommendations submitted to the Board from standards panels or working groups. Board Members are expert users.

Last updated 16 May 2013.