Government calls for volunteers to help manage its open IT standards

The government has called for volunteers to help run its IT open standards drive.

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The government has called for volunteers to help run its IT open standards drive.

The Cabinet Office wants to appoint unpaid volunteers who can help run the government's Open Standards Board, which sets core standards for government bodies to consistently apply, to make services better for users and to keep government IT costs down.

The Open Standards Board takes advice from groups of expert users who form a Technical Standards Panel and a Data Standards Panel. These panels consider proposed open standards profiles and advise the Open Standards Board on whether they meet user and functional needs.

The Technical Standards Panel focuses on challenges that relate to open interfaces and protocols for software interoperability, including document formats. The Data Standards Panel focuses on the semantic aspects of sharing and managing data and information.

The Cabinet Office said it was "seeking volunteers from business, not-for-profit, charity and academic organisations" to join government officials on the Data Standards Panel and the Technical Standards Panel, in an unpaid voluntary capacity.

There will be a maximum of 14 members on each panel, with around four to six voluntary positions available on each.

Volunteers will be appointed for a minimum period of six months. The volunteer positions will usually become vacant after the individual’s appointment period elapses to allow new volunteers to be selected.

The panels meet every six to eight weeks, with meetings likely to last around 90 minutes and will mainly be held in London. Remote connection facilities are available for telephone or videoconference users.

Volunteers will be expected to review proposals before meetings and to attend each meeting to discuss views. The first volunteers will be selected from applicants at the end of this month.

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