charles@97: charles@97: charles@96: charles@97: charles@97: charles@96: charles@96: 6 Working Groups, Interest Groups, and Coordination Groups charles@97: charles@97: charles@97: charles@99: charles@99: charles@96: charles@96: charles@96:
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Editor's draft proposed new W3C Process Document

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6 Working Groups, Interest Groups, and charles@96: Coordination Groups

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This document defines three types of charles@96: groups:

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  1. Working Groups. Working Groups typically produce charles@96: deliverables (e.g., Recommendation Track charles@96: technical reports, software, test suites, and reviews of the deliverables charles@96: of other groups). There are Good Standing charles@96: requirements for Working Group participation as well as additional charles@96: participation requirements described in the W3C Patent Policy [PUB33].
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  3. Interest Groups. The primary goal of an Interest charles@96: Group is to bring together people who wish to evaluate potential Web charles@96: technologies and policies. An Interest Group is a forum for the exchange of charles@96: ideas.
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  5. Coordination Groups. A Coordination Group manages charles@96: dependencies and facilitates communication with other groups, within or outside charles@96: of W3C.
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Neither Interest Groups nor Coordination Groups publish Recommendation Track technical reports; see information charles@96: about maturity levels for Interest Groups and charles@96: Coordination Groups.

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6.1 Requirements for All charles@96: Working, Interest, and Coordination Groups

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Each group MUST have a charter. Requirements charles@96: for the charter depend on the group type. All group charters MUST be public (even if other proceedings of the group are charles@96: Member-only). Existing charters that are charles@96: not yet public MUST be made public when next charles@96: revised or extended (with attention to changing confidentiality level).

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Each group MUST have a Chair (or co-Chairs) to coordinate the group's tasks. charles@96: The Director appoints (and re-appoints) Chairs for all groups. The Chair is a charles@96: Member representative, a Team representative, or an Invited Expert (invited by the Director). The charles@96: requirements of this document that apply to those types of participants apply charles@96: to Chairs as well. The role of the Chair charles@96: [MEM14] is described in the Member charles@96: guide [MEM9].

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Each group MUST have a Team Contact, who acts as the interface between the Chair, charles@96: group participants, and the rest of the Team. The role of the Team Contact is described in the Member charles@96: guide. The Chair and the Team Contact of a group SHOULD charles@96: NOT be the same individual.

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Each group MUST have an archived mailing list charles@96: for formal group communication (e.g., for meeting announcements and minutes, charles@96: documentation of decisions, and Formal charles@96: Objections to decisions). It is the responsibility of the Chair and Team charles@96: Contact to ensure that new participants are subscribed to all relevant mailing charles@96: lists. Refer to the list of group charles@96: mailing lists [MEM2].

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A Chair MAY form task forces (composed of group charles@96: participants) to carry out assignments for the group. The scope of these charles@96: assignments MUST NOT exceed the scope of the charles@96: group's charter. A group SHOULD document the charles@96: process it uses to create task forces (e.g., each task force might have an charles@96: informal "charter"). Task forces do not publish technical reports; the Working Group MAY choose to publish their results as part of a technical charles@96: report.

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6.2 Working Groups and Interest Groups

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Although Working Groups and Interest Groups have different purposes, they charles@96: share some characteristics, and so are defined together in the following charles@96: sections.

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6.2.1 Working Group charles@96: and Interest Group Participation Requirements

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There are three types of individual participants in a Working Group: Member representatives, Invited Experts, and Team representatives (including the Team Contact).

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There are four types of individual participants in an Interest Group: the same three types as charles@96: for Working Groups plus, for an Interest Group where the only participation requirement is mailing list subscription, charles@96: public charles@96: participants.

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Except where noted in this document or in a group charter, all participants charles@96: share the same rights and responsibilities in a group; see also the individual participation charles@96: criteria.

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A participant MUST represent at most one charles@96: organization in a Working Group or Interest Group.

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An individual MAY become a Working or Interest charles@96: Group participant at any time during the group's existence. See also relevant charles@96: requirements in section 4.3 of the charles@96: W3C Patent Policy charles@96: [PUB33].

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On an exceptional basis, a Working or Interest Group participant charles@96: MAY designate a substitute to attend a meeting and SHOULD inform the Chair. The substitute MAY act on behalf of the participant, including for votes. For the substitute to vote, the participant charles@96: MUST inform the Chair in writing in advance. As a charles@96: courtesy to the group, if the substitute is not well-versed in the group's charles@96: discussions, the regular participant SHOULD charles@96: authorize another participant to act as proxy charles@96: for votes. For the purposes of Good Standing, the charles@96: regular representative and the substitute are considered the same charles@96: participant.

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To allow rapid progress, Working Groups are intended to be small (typically charles@96: fewer than 15 people) and composed of experts in the area defined by the charles@96: charter. In principle, Interest Groups have no limit on the number of charles@96: participants. When a Working Group grows too large to be effective, W3C charles@96: MAY split it into an Interest Group (a discussion charles@96: forum) and a much smaller Working Group (a core group of highly dedicated charles@96: participants).

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See also the licensing obligations on Working Group participants in section 3 of charles@96: the W3C Patent Policy charles@96: [PUB33], and the patent claim charles@96: exclusion process of section 4.

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6.2.1.1 Member charles@96: Representative in a Working Group
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An individual is a Member representative in a Working Group if all of the charles@96: following conditions are satisfied:

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To designate an individual as charles@96: a Member representative in a Working Group, an Advisory Committee charles@96: representative MUST provide the Chair and Team charles@96: Contact with all of the following information, in addition to any other charles@96: information required by the Call for Participation and charles@96: charter (including the participation requirements of the W3C Patent Policy [PUB33]):

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  1. The name of the W3C Member the individual represents and whether the charles@96: individual is an employee of that Member organization;
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  3. A statement that the individual accepts the participation terms set forth charles@96: in the charter (with an indication of charter date or version);
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  5. A statement that the Member will provide the necessary financial support charles@96: for participation (e.g., for travel, telephone calls, and conferences).
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A Member participates in a Working Group from the moment the first Member charles@96: representative joins the group until either of the following occurs:

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6.2.1.2 Member charles@96: Representative in an Interest Group
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When the participation requirements exceed Interest charles@96: Group mailing list subscription, an individual is a Member representative charles@96: in an Interest Group if all of the following conditions are satisfied:

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To designate an individual as a Member representative in an Interest Group, charles@96: the Advisory Committee representative MUST follow charles@96: the instructions in the Call for Participation and charles@96: charter.

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Member participation in an Interest Group ceases under the same conditions charles@96: as for a Working Group.

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6.2.1.3 Invited charles@96: Expert in a Working Group
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The Chair MAY invite an individual with a charles@96: particular expertise to participate in a Working Group. This individual charles@96: MAY represent an organization in the group (e.g., charles@96: if acting as a liaison with another organization).

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An individual is an Invited Expert in a Working Group if all of the charles@96: following conditions are satisfied:

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To designate an individual as an Invited Expert in a Working Group, the charles@96: Chair MUST inform the Team Contact and provide charles@96: rationale for the choice. When the Chair and the Team Contact disagree about a charles@96: designation, the Director charles@96: determines whether the individual will be invited to participate in the Working charles@96: Group.

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To be able to participate in charles@96: a Working Group as an Invited Expert, an individual MUST do all of the following:

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The Chair SHOULD NOT designate as an Invited charles@96: Expert in a Working Group an individual who is an employee of a W3C Member. The charles@96: Chair MUST NOT use Invited Expert status to charles@96: circumvent participation limits imposed by the charter.

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An Invited Expert participates in a Working Group from the moment the charles@96: individual joins the group until any of the following occurs:

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6.2.1.4 Invited charles@96: Expert in an Interest Group
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When the participation requirements exceed Interest charles@96: Group mailing list subscription, the participation requirements for an charles@96: Invited Expert in an Interest Group are the same as those for an Invited Expert in a Working Group.

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6.2.1.5 Team Representative in a charles@96: Working Group
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An individual is a Team representative in a Working Group when so designated charles@96: by W3C management.

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An Team representative participates in a Working Group from the moment the charles@96: individual joins the group until any of the following occurs:

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The Team participates in a Working Group from the moment the Director charles@96: announces the creation of the group until the group closes.

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6.2.1.6 Team Representative in an charles@96: Interest Group
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When the participation requirements exceed Interest charles@96: Group mailing list subscription, an individual is a Team representative in charles@96: an Interest Group when so designated by W3C management.

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6.2.1.7 Good Standing in a charles@96: Working Group
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Participation by an individual in a Working Group on an ongoing basis charles@96: implies a serious commitment to the charter, including all of the charles@96: following:

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At the first Working Group meeting that follows any Call for charles@96: Participation, all participants are in Good Standing. If a Member or charles@96: Invited Expert joins the Working Group after the end of that meeting, the charles@96: Member Representative or Invited Expert does not attain Good Standing until the charles@96: start of the second consecutive meeting that individual attends.

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When the Chair and the Team Contact agree, the charles@96: Chair MAY declare that a participant is no longer charles@96: in Good Standing (henceforth called "Bad Standing"). If there is disagreement charles@96: between the Chair and the Team Contact about standing, the Director determines charles@96: the participant's standing. The Chair MAY declare charles@96: a Team participant to be in Bad Standing, but it is clearly preferable for the charles@96: Chair, Team participant, and W3C management to resolve issues internally.

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A participant MAY be declared in Bad Standing charles@96: in any of the following circumstances:

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Although all participants representing an organization SHOULD attend all meetings, attendance by one representative charles@96: of an organization satisfies the meeting attendance requirement for all charles@96: representatives of the organization.

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The above criteria MAY be relaxed if the Chair charles@96: and Team Contact agree that doing so will not set back the Working Group. For charles@96: example, the attendance requirement can be relaxed for reasons of expense charles@96: (e.g., cost of travel) or scheduling (for example, an exceptional charles@96: teleconference is scheduled at 3:00 a.m. local time for the participant). It is charles@96: the responsibility of the Chair and Team Contact to apply criteria for Good charles@96: Standing consistently.

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When a participant risks losing Good Standing, the Chair and Team Contact charles@96: are expected to discuss the matter with the participant and the participant's charles@96: Advisory Committee representative (or W3C management for the Team) before charles@96: declaring the participant in Bad Standing.

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The Chair declares a participant in Bad Standing by informing the charles@96: participant's Advisory Committee representative and the participant of the charles@96: decision. If the Advisory Committee representative and Chair differ in opinion, charles@96: the Advisory Committee representative MAY ask the charles@96: Director to confirm or deny the charles@96: decision. Invited Experts declared in Bad charles@96: Standing MAY appeal to the Director.

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The Chair and Team Contact restore Good Standing and SHOULD do so when the individual in Bad Standing satisfies the charles@96: above criteria. The Chair MUST inform the charles@96: individual's Advisory Committee representative of any change in standing.

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When a Member representative permanently replaces another (i.e., is not charles@96: simply a temporary substitute), the new charles@96: participant inherits the standing of the departing participant.

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Changes in an individual's standing in a Working Group have no effect on the charles@96: obligations associated with Working Group participation that are described in charles@96: the W3C Patent Policy charles@96: [PUB33].

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Note: In general, the time commitment for participating in charles@96: an Interest Group is less than that for a Working Group; see the section on charles@96: participation provisions in an Interest charles@96: Group charter.

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6.2.2 Working charles@96: Group and Interest Group Charter Development

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The Team MUST notify the Advisory Committee charles@96: when a charter for a new Working Group or Interest Group is in development. The charles@96: suggestions for building support around an Activity Proposal apply to charters charles@96: as well.

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W3C MAY begin work on a Working Group or charles@96: Interest Group charter at any time. A Working Group or Interest Group charles@96: MUST be part of an approved Activity.

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6.2.3 Advisory Committee charles@96: Review of a Working Group or Interest Group Charter

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The Director MUST solicit Advisory Committee review of every new or charles@96: substantively modified Working Group or Interest Group charter. The Director is charles@96: NOT REQUIRED to solicit Advisory Committee review charles@96: prior to a charter extension or for minor changes.

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The Director's Call for Review of a substantively modified charter charles@96: MUST highlight important changes (e.g., regarding charles@96: deliverables or resource allocation) and include rationale for the changes.

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6.2.4 Call for Participation in a Working Group or charles@96: Interest Group

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After Advisory Committee review of a Working Group or Interest Group charles@96: charter, the Director MAY issue a Call for charles@96: Participation to the Advisory Committee. For a new group, this announcement charles@96: officially creates the group. The announcement MUST include a reference to the charter, the name(s) of the group's Chair(s), and the name of the Team charles@96: Contact.

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After a Call for Participation, any Member representatives and Invited Experts MUST be charles@96: designated (or re-designated).

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Advisory Committee representatives MAY appeal creation or substantive modification of a charles@96: Working Group or Interest Group charter.

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6.2.5 Working Group and charles@96: Interest Group Charter Extension

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To extend a Working Group or Interest Group charter with no other charles@96: substantive modifications, the Director announces the extension to the Advisory charles@96: Committee. The announcement MUST indicate the new charles@96: duration, which MUST NOT exceed the duration of charles@96: the Activity to which the group belongs. The announcement MUST also include rationale for the extension, a reference to charles@96: the charter, the name(s) of the group's Chair(s), the name of the Team charles@96: Contact, and instructions for joining the group.

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After a charter extension, Advisory Committee representatives and the Chair charles@96: are NOT REQUIRED to re-designate Member representatives and Invited Experts.

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Advisory Committee representatives MAY appeal the extension of a Working Group or charles@96: Interest Group charter.

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6.2.6 Working Group and Interest Group charles@96: Charters

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A Working Group or Interest Group charter MUST charles@96: include all of the following information.

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See also the charter requirements of section 2 and charles@96: section charles@96: 3 of the W3C Patent charles@96: Policy [PUB33].

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An Interest Group charter MAY include provisions regarding participation, including charles@96: specifying that the only requirement charles@96: for participation (by anyone) in the Interest Group is subscription to the charles@96: Interest Group mailing list. This type of Interest Group MAY have public charles@96: participants.

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A charter MAY include additional voting charles@96: procedures, but those procedures MUST NOT conflict charles@96: with the voting requirements of the Process charles@96: Document.

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A charter MAY include provisions other than charles@96: those required by this document. The charter SHOULD highlight whether additional provisions impose charles@96: constraints beyond those of the W3C Process Document (e.g., limits on the charles@96: number of individuals in a Working Group who represent the same Member charles@96: organization or group of related charles@96: Members).

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6.2.7 Working Group charles@96: "Heartbeat" Requirement

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It is important that a Working Group keep the Membership and public informed charles@96: of its activity and progress. To this end, each Working Group SHOULD publish in the W3C charles@96: technical reports index a new draft of each active technical charles@96: report at least once every three months. An active technical report is a charles@96: Working Draft, Candidate Recommendation, Proposed Recommendation, or Proposed charles@96: Edited Recommendation. Each Working Group MUST charles@96: publish a new draft of at least one of its active technical reports on charles@96: the W3C technical reports index [PUB11] at least once every three months.

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Public progress reports are also important when a Working Group does not charles@96: update a technical report within three months (for example, when the delay is charles@96: due to a challenging technical issue) or when a Working Group has no active charles@96: technical reports (for example, because it is developing a test suite).

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In exceptional cases, the Chair MAY ask the charles@96: Director to be excused from this publication requirement. However, in this charles@96: case, the Working Group MUST issue a public status charles@96: report with rationale why a new draft has not been published.

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There are several reasons for this Working Group "heartbeat" charles@96: requirement:

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As an example, suppose a Working Group has one technical report as a charles@96: deliverable, which it publishes as a Proposed Recommendation. Per the heartbeat charles@96: requirement, the Working Group is required to publish a new draft of the charles@96: Proposed Recommendation at least once every three months, even if it is only to charles@96: revise the status of the Proposed Recommendation document (e.g., to provide an charles@96: update on the status of the decision to advance). The heartbeat requirement charles@96: stops when the document becomes a Recommendation (or a Working Group Note).

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6.2.8 Working Group charles@96: and Interest Group Closure

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A Working Group or Interest Group charter specifies a duration for the charles@96: group. The Director, subject to appeal by charles@96: Advisory Committee representatives, MAY close a charles@96: group prior to the date specified in the charter in any of the following charles@96: circumstances:

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The Director closes a Working Group or Interest Group by announcement to the charles@96: Advisory Committee.

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Closing a Working Group has implications with respect to the W3C Patent Policy [PUB33].

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6.3 Coordination Groups

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W3C Activities interact in many ways. There are dependencies between groups charles@96: within the same Activity or in different Activities. There are also charles@96: dependencies between W3C Activities and the activities of other organizations. charles@96: Examples of dependencies include the use by one technology of another being charles@96: developed elsewhere, scheduling constraints between groups, and the charles@96: synchronization of publicity for the announcement of deliverables. Coordination charles@96: Groups are created to manage dependencies so that issues are resolved fairly charles@96: and the solutions are consistent with W3C's mission and results.

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Where a Coordination Group's scope covers two groups with unresolved charles@96: disputes or tensions, it is the first locus of resolution of these charles@96: disputes.

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6.3.1 Coordination Group charles@96: Participation Requirements

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There are four types participants charles@96: in a Coordination Group: the Chair, the Chair charles@96: of each coordinated group (to promote effective communication among the charles@96: groups), Invited Experts (e.g., liaisons to groups inside or outside W3C), and charles@96: Team representatives (including the Team Contact). charles@96: The requirements for Invited Expert participation are the same as for an charles@96: Invited Expert in a Working Group.

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Coordination Group participants MUST follow the charles@96: conflict of interest policy by disclosing charles@96: information to the rest of the group.

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There are no Good Standing requirements for Coordination Group charles@96: participation; regular participation in a relevant Coordination Group is one of charles@96: the roles of a group Chair [MEM14].

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6.3.2 Coordination Group Creation and charles@96: Closure

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The Director creates or modifies a Coordination Group by sending the charles@96: Coordination Group charter to the Advisory Committee. charles@96: A Coordination Group MAY be created as part of an charles@96: Activity Proposal (for example charles@96: to coordinate other groups in the Activity or to draw up charters of future charles@96: groups), or during the life of an Activity when dependencies arise. A charles@96: Coordination Group MAY operate as part of several charles@96: W3C Activities.

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A Coordination Group SHOULD close when there is charles@96: no longer a perceived need for coordination.

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6.3.3 Coordination Group charles@96: Charters

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A Coordination Group charter MUST include all charles@96: of the following information:

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A charter MAY include additional voting charles@96: procedures, but those procedures MUST NOT conflict charles@96: with the voting requirements of the Process charles@96: Document.

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A charter MAY include provisions other than charles@96: those required by this document. The charter SHOULD highlight whether additional provisions impose charles@96: constraints beyond those of the W3C Process Document.

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