The Federal Government has the unprecedented opportunity to open the doors of government to its people through the web. Today, data and information seem to be what the citizens of the United States want more of. Many types of information may be requested, desired, or needed by various audiences that interact with government. Therefore, it is difficult to address the question of how and what data should be made available. Time will answer this question through experimentation and the fulfillment of needs that citizens may not know they had.
In order for the government to be successful, it must interact and reach out to the web and technical communities, to gain insight and understanding to the variety of web and technical standards that are currently available and those coming in the future. Incorporating web and technical standards into the government's work and efforts will allow many purposes to be served. Citizens wanting to manipulate data, can gain access to data files; Citizens wanting to access data via a government provided website/application will be able to do so; Citizens wanting to find the data and information via commercial search engines will be able to do so given adoption of semantic and metadata standards, the data and information will be discoverable; Citizens accessing the government data via mobile devices or other multi-channel opportunities, will be able to retrieve information, data, or services from anywhere, and those who have a disability will be able to use tools and technologies to access web based information and pages. Lets start with the web and technical base needed and specifically adopting proven web and technology standards across all agencies to ensure the government has the ability to meet today's and tomorrow's needs of the citizens.
From the W3C EGOV IG: http://www.w3.org/2007/eGov/IG/wiki/Main_Page