SEMIC

Core Public Organisation Vocabulary

Status
Working Draft
Published at
2021-04-01
This version
https://semiceu.github.io/CPOV/releases/2.00

Summary

The Core Public Organization Vocabulary (CPOV) is designed to support the exchange of basic information about individual public organizations. Using the vocabulary, almost certainly augmented with sector- or country-specific information, will facilitate the process for institutions publishing data about public organisations to

  • share information G2G (government to government), G2B (government to business) and G2C (government to citizen);
  • develop common information systems;
  • link data from public organizations to other data sets;
  • manage a cross-border repository of public services and organizations;
  • enable the creation of interoperable catalogues of public organisation in Europe and beyond;
  • browse public organizations by its function;
  • link public service provided, budgets, and other types of resources with certain public organisations;
  • keep track of the evolution of public organizations; and
  • increase efficiencies by spotting duplicated or overlapping functions.

The Core Public Organization Vocabulary is designed to describe the organization itself. Whilst the vocabulary may support links to descriptions of public services, members of staff or other resources such as relevant legislation, policies and jurisdictional coverage, it will not describe those resources in detail.

Public organizations involve elected representatives but these descriptions are out of scope for the current work but may be the focus of future work once the vocabulary is established and used.

The vocabulary is not concerned with features associated with commercial entities such as shareholdings and ownership.

Wherever possible, the CPOV will reuse existing vocabularies to avoid defining new terms. When reusing existing terms, it may define how they should be used.

In order to assure the reusability, neutrality and extensibility of the core vocabulary, specific code lists to be used as values for properties will not be included in the specification.

Status of this document

This Core Vocabulary has the status of Working Draft published on 2021-04-01.

Conformance

TBD

Overview

This document describes the usage of the following entities for a correct usage of the Core Vocabulary:
| Address | Administrative Territorial Units | Change Event | Concept | Contact Point | Document | Formal Framework | Foundation Event | Geometry | Identifier | Image Object | Opening Hours Specification | Organization | Organizational Unit | Public Organization |

Entities

Address

Description
A spatial object that in a human-readable way identifies a fixed location of a property.
Usage

An "address representation" as conceptually defined by the INSPIRE Address Representation data type: "Representation of an address spatial object for use in external application schemas that need to include the basic, address information in a readable way.".


The representation of Addresses varies widely from one country's postal system to another. Even within countries, there are almost always examples of Addresses that do not conform to the stated national standard. At the time of publication, work is progressing on ISO 19160-1 that defines a method through which different Addresses can be converted from one conceptual model to another.


This specification was heavily based on the INSPIRE Address Representation data type. It is noteworthy that if an Address is provided using the detailed breakdown suggested by the properties for this class, then it will be INSPIRE-conformant. To this very granular set of properties, we add two further properties:

  • - full address (the complete address as a formatted string)
  • - addressID (a unique identifier for the address)
The first of these allows publishers to simply provide the complete Address as one string, with or without formatting. This is analogous to vCard's label property.


The addressID is part of the INSPIRE guidelines and provides a hook that can be used to link the Address to an alternative representation, such as vCard or OASIS xAL.

Properties
For this entity the following properties are defined: address area, address ID, administrative unit level 1 (country), administrative unit level 2 (country/region/state), full address, locator designator, locator name, post code, post name (city), post office box, thoroughfare.
Property Expected Range Description Usage Codelist
address area Text The name or names of a geographic area or locality that groups a number of addressable objects for addressing purposes, without being an administrative unit. This would typically be part of a city, a neighbourhood or village, e.g. Montmartre.
address ID String A globally unique identifier for each instance of an Address.

The concept of adding a globally unique identifier for each instance of an address is a crucial part of the INSPIRE data spec. A number of EU countries have already implemented an ID (a UUID) in their Address Register/gazetteer, among them Denmark. OASIS xAL also includes an address identifier. It is the address Identifier that allows an address to be represented in a format other than INSPIRE whilst remaining conformant to the Core Vocabulary.


The INSPIRE method of representing addresses is very detailed, designed primarily for use in databases of addresses. Whilst data that is published in full conformance with the INSPIRE data structure can be made available using the Location Core Vocabulary the reverse is not true since the Core Vocabulary allows much greater flexibility.


Many datasets that include address data as one piece of information about something else are likely to have that data in simpler formats. These might be tailored to the specific need of the dataset, follow a national norm, or make use of a standard like vCard.


To provide maximum flexibility in the Core Vocabulary, whilst remaining interoperable with INSPIRE Address Guidelines (which EU Member States are obliged to use), the Location Core Vocabulary provides the extra property of full address and makes use of INSPIRE's addressID.

administrative unit level 1 (country) The name or names of a unit of administration where a Member State has and/or exercises jurisdictional rights, for local, regional and national governance. Level 1 refers to the uppermost administrative unit for the address, almost always a country. Best practice is to use the ISO 3166-1 code but if this is inappropriate for the context, country names should be provided in a consistent manner to reduce ambiguity. For example, either write 'France' or 'FRA' consistently throughout the dataset and avoid mixing the two. The Country controlled vocabulary from the Publications Office can be reused for this.
administrative unit level 2 (country/region/state) Text The name or names of a unit of administration where a Member State has and/or exercises jurisdictional rights, for local, regional and national governance. Level 2 referst to the region of the address, usually a county, state or other such area that typically encompasses several localities. Some recommended codelists from the EU Publications Office include: Administrative Territorial Units (ATU), NUTS and Local Administrative Units (LAU). The first arrondissement of Paris is for example expressed as "http://publications.europa.eu/resource/authority/atu/FRA_AR_PAR01" in the ATU controlled vocabulary.
full address Text The complete address written as a formatted string. Use of this property is recommended as it will not suffer any misunderstandings that might arise through the breaking up of an address into its component parts. This property is analogous to vCard's label property but with two important differences: (1) formatting is not assumed so that, unlike vCard label, it may not be suitable to print this on an address label, (2) vCard's label property has a domain of vCard Address; the fullAddress property has no such restriction. An example of a full address is "Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France".
locator designator String A number or a sequence of characters which allows a user or an application to interpret, parse and format the locator within the relevant scope. A locator may include more locator designators. In simpler terms, this is the building number, apartment number, etc. For an address such as "Flat 3, 17 Bridge Street", the locator is "flat 3, 17".
locator name Text Proper noun(s) applied to the real world entity identified by the locator.

The locator name could be the name of the property or complex, of the building or part of the building, or it could be the name of a room inside a building.


The key difference between a locator and a locator name is that the latter is a proper name and is unlikely to include digits. For example, "Shumann, Berlaymont" is a meeting room within the European Commission headquarters for which locator name is more appropriate than locator.

post code String The post/zip code of an address. (INSPIRE's definition is "A code created and maintained for postal purposes to identify a subdivision of addresses and postal delivery points.") Post codes are common elements in many countries' postal address systems. One of the many post codes of Paris is for example "75000".
post name (city) Text The key postal division of the address, usually the city. (INSPIRE's definition is "One or more names created and maintained for postal purposes to identify a subdivision of addresses and postal delivery points.) For example, "Paris".
post office box String The Post Office Box number. INSPIRE's name for this is "postalDeliveryIdentifier" for which it uses the locator designator property with a type attribute of that name. This vocabulary separates out the Post Office Box for greater independence of technology. An example post office box number is "9383".
thoroughfare Text An address component that represents the name or names of a passage or way through from one location to another. A thoroughfare is not necessarily a road, it might be a waterway or some other feature. For example, "Avenue des Champs-Élysées".

Administrative Territorial Units

Description
Lists of codes that represent the administrative territorial units of the EU Member States, based on national official / legal information and the ISO 3166-2 standard.
Properties
For this entity the following properties are defined: geometry.
Property Expected Range Description Usage Codelist
geometry Geometry The geometry relationship associates a Administrative Territorial Unit with the Geometry class.

Change Event

Description
Represents an event which resulted in a major change to an Organization such as a merger or complete restructuring. It is intended for situations where the resulting Organization is sufficiently distinct from the original Organizations that it has a distinct identity and distinct URI.
Properties
For this entity the following properties are defined: description, ended at time, has formal framework, original organization, resulting organization, started at time.
Property Expected Range Description Usage Codelist
description Text A textual description of the event.
ended at time DateTime The time at which the Change Event ended.
has formal framework Formal Framework The property hasFormalFramework links a Change Event or Foundation Event to a piece of legislation or a policy document that prompted the change.
original organization Public Organization The original organization property links a Change Event to the Organization that existed before the change. Although the Foundation Event class is defined as a subclass of Change Event, it is inappropriate to use the original organization property with the Foundation Event class.
resulting organization Public Organization This property links a Change Event or a Foundation Event to the Organization that resulted from it.
started at time DateTime The time at which the Change Event started.

Concept

Description
A SKOS Concept can be viewed as an idea or notion; a unit of thought. However,what constitutes a unit of thought is subjective,and this definition is meant to be suggestive,rather than restrictive.
Properties
No properties have been defined for this entity.

Contact Point

Description
A class representing a point of contact.
Usage
The Core Public Organization Vocabulary defines properties for telephone number, e-mail address and opening hours although it is noteworthy that the class is based on schema.org's ContactPoint class (http://schema.org/ContactPoint) that has additional properties that some implementations may find useful.
Properties
For this entity the following properties are defined: availability restriction, has email, has telephone, opening hours.
Property Expected Range Description Usage Codelist
availability restriction Opening Hours Specification The availability restriction property links a Contact Point to details of specific details of its opening hours that override the general case.
has email Literal A property through which an e-mail address for the Public Organisation, or a representative of it, can be contacted.
has telephone Literal A property through which a phone number for the Public Organization, or a representative of it, can be contacted.
opening hours Literal The value of this property is structured text that gives the hours at which the contact point is normally available. Days are specified using two-letter combinations: Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr, Sa, Su. For example, if the contact point is open Monday-Friday, 9 -5, the value of the openingHours property would be Mo-Fr 09:00-17:00. If the Contact Point is only available on Tuesday and Thursday between 6 and 8pm, the value would be Tu,Th 16:00-20:00.

Document

Description
Properties
No properties have been defined for this entity.

Formal Framework

Description
This class may represent legislation or official policy that leads to a change event, including the establishment of the Organization.
Properties
For this entity the following properties are defined: identifier, implements, name.
Property Expected Range Description Usage Codelist
identifier Identifier This property represents an Identifier for the Formal Framework.
implements Change Event The implements property links a Change Event to relevant legislation or policy documents i.e. the formal framework under which the Change Event is defined.
name Literal This property contains a name given to the Formal Framework.

Foundation Event

Description
Public Organizations are formed and changed in response to events. This may be the result of new legislation, new policies, taking on new obligations etc. The CPOV captures this in its Change Event class but recognises the specific case of an Organization's foundation as being sufficiently distinct to require a subclass of Change Event.
Subclass of
Change Event
Properties
No properties have been defined for this entity.

Geometry

Description
The Geometry class provides the means to identify a Location as a point, line, polygon, etc. expressed using coordinates in some coordinate reference system.
Usage
This class defines the notion of "geometry" at the conceptual level, and it shall be encoded by using different formats (see usage note of the locn:geometry property). We also refer to the Examples section of this specification for a number of different geometry examples expressed in different formats.
Properties
For this entity the following properties are defined: coordinates, crs, geometry type, gml, latitude, longitude, wkt.
Property Expected Range Description Usage Codelist
coordinates String The coordinate list.
crs URI An identifier for the coordinate reference system.
geometry type Code The geometry type, e.g. point, line or polygon.
gml Literal The geometry written in Geography Markup Language.
latitude String The latitude.
longitude String The longitude.
wkt Literal The well-known text representation string describing the point, line or polygon.

Identifier

Description
The Identifier class represents any identifier issued by any authority, whether a government agency or not. It captures the identifier itself, the type of identifier, and details of the issuing authority, the date on which the identifier was issued.
Usage
The Identifier class is based on the UN/CEFACT class of the same name and is defined under the ADMS namespace.
Properties
For this entity the following properties are defined: date of issue, identifier, issuing authority, issuing authority URI.
Property Expected Range Description Usage Codelist
date of issue DateTime The date on which the Identifier was assigned.
identifier Literal The value of this property is the Identifier itself. Example: "abc-12345-de"^^<https://belgium.be/scheme/nationalIDnumber>.
issuing authority Literal The name of the agency responsible for issuing the Identifier. Example: "Federal Public Service Interior"@en.
issuing authority URI URI The URI of the issuing authority. Example: "https://belgium.be/id/organizations/1233".

Image Object

Description
An image object can be used as logo to describe / represent a public organization.
Properties
No properties have been defined for this entity.

Opening Hours Specification

Description
The Opening Hours Specification class can be used to provide details of exceptional circumstances, such as being closed on public holidays.
Usage
The Core Public Organization Vocabulary makes full use of schema.org's openingHours property to provide details of regular operations. The Opening Hours Specification class can be used to provide details of exceptional circumstances, such as being closed on public holidays. Note that the property schema:opens is not used, therefore the contact point is closed. More specific closures can be indicated by including the schema:validFrom and schema:validThrough properties.
Properties
For this entity the following properties are defined: day of week, valid from, valid through.
Property Expected Range Description Usage Codelist
day of week URI The day of the week for which these opening hours are valid.
valid from DateTime The date when the Opening Hours Specification becomes valid.
valid through DateTime The date after when the Opening Hours Specification is not valid.

Organization

Description
Represents a collection of people organized together into a community or other social, commercial or political structure. The group has some common purpose or reason for existence which goes beyond the set of people belonging to it and can act as an Agent. Organizations are often decomposable into hierarchical structures.
Subclass of
Agent
Properties
No properties have been defined for this entity.

Organizational Unit

Description
An Organizational Unit is a subclass of Organization but conceptually does not exist in its own right.
Usage
This is in contrast to a sub Organization that, although part of the larger Organization, may be legally distinct or otherwise enjoy a degree of autonomy.
Subclass of
Organization
Properties
For this entity the following properties are defined: unit of.
Property Expected Range Description Usage Codelist
unit of Public Organization The properties hasUnit and unitOf are used to link to operational departments within an Organization that may not generally exist in their own right. Organizations typically comprise many departments, units, teams etc. Each of these is modelled in the CPOV as a unit that is linked from the parent Organization with hasUnit and to the parent with unitOf.

Public Organization

Description
Any Organization that is defined as being part of the public sector by a legal framework at any level.
Usage

The Public Organization class represents the organization. One organization may comprise several sub-organizations and any organization may have one or more organizational units. Each of these is described using the same properties and relationships.


This definition is consistent with the more detailed definition of a "public sector body" as given in the PSI Directive: "the State, regional or local authorities, bodies governed by public law and associations formed by one or several such authorities or one or several such bodies governed by public law". It further defines a body governed by public law as any body "(a) established for the specific purpose of meeting needs in the general interest, not having an industrial or commercial character; and (b) having legal personality; and (c) financed, for the most part by the State, or regional or local authorities, or other bodies governed by public law; or subject to management supervision by those bodies; or having an administrative, managerial or supervisory board, more than half of whose members are appointed by the State, regional or local authorities or by other bodies governed by public law".

Subclass of
Organization
Properties
For this entity the following properties are defined: address, alternative label, changed by, classification, contact point, description, has member, has sub organization, has unit, homepage, identifier, logo, member of, next, preferred label, prev, purpose, resulted from, spatial, sub organization of.
Property Expected Range Description Usage Codelist
address Address A property to link a public organization to its address. For consistency with INSPIRE, the Location Core Vocabulary's Address class should be used.
alternative label Text In line with ORG and SKOS itself, an organization may have any number of alternative or informal names, irrespective of language.
changed by Change Event The changed by organization property links an Organization to the Change Event that changed the Organization.
classification Concept This property links an organization to a SKOS Concept that provides a classification. As an example, the Publications Office of the European Union provides a Named Authority list of Organization Types which is appropriate for European institutions. Other classification schemes should be used at other levels of Public Organization.
contact point Contact Point The contact point property links to a Contact Point that provides contact information, in particular a phone number and e-mail address. Other contact methods may be included, including online contact information, but this is conceptually distinct from the organization's homepage that may or may not provide contact information.
description Text This property provides a textual description of the organization.
has member Public Organization One Organization may be a member of another without being a sub organization, i.e. they are independent entities. The memberOf and hasMember properties are very simple and don't support statements describing the nature of the membership. The W3C Organization Ontology provides both this simple method and a more sophisticated model25 that does make it possible to, for example, provide information about the period of time in which one Organization was a member of another, the level of membership etc. That more sophisticated model should be used where necessary and may be used in addition to the simple memberOf/hasMember properties.
has sub organization Public Organization Public Organizations are often large and complex and may be a collection of smaller Organizations, each of which has a specific identity that may be legally defined. The hasSubOrganization and subOrganizationOf properties express the relationships between Organizations in a hierarchical structure.
has unit Organizational Unit The properties hasUnit and unitOf are used to link to operational departments within an Organization that may not generally exist in their own right. Organizations typically comprise many departments, units, teams etc. Each of these is modelled in the CPOV as a unit that is linked from the parent Organization with hasUnit and to the parent with unitOf.
homepage Document A property to link an Organization to its logo. The value of this property is a URL irrespective of the serialisation of the data.
identifier Identifier Many organizations are referred to by an acronym or some other identifier. For example, among the EU institutions, the ECB is the identifier for the European Central Bank, OLAF for the European Anti-Fraud Office, and so on. These are formally recognised by the European Commission which provides a list of such acronyms.
member of Public Organization One Organization may be a member of another without being a sub organization, i.e. they are independent entities. The memberOf and hasMember properties are very simple and don't support statements describing the nature of the membership. The W3C Organization Ontology provides both this simple method and a more sophisticated model25 that does make it possible to, for example, provide information about the period of time in which one Organization was a member of another, the level of membership etc. That more sophisticated model should be used where necessary and may be used in addition to the simple memberOf/hasMember properties.
next Public Organization In some cases, it is necessary to be able to create an ordered sequence of organizations that precede and succeed each other. To support this, the CPOV includes the well-known relationships of previous and next to allow such sequences to be captured and computed.
preferred label Text As defined in the ORG Ontology, a preferred label is used to provide the primary, legally recognised name of the organization An organization may only have one such name in any given language. Primary names may be provided in multiple languages with multiple instances of the preferred label property.
prev Public Organization In some cases, it is necessary to be able to create an ordered sequence of organizations that precede and succeed each other. To support this, the CPOV includes the well-known relationships of previous and next to allow such sequences to be captured and computed.
purpose Concept This property links an organization to its function(s) which are expressed as a SKOS Concept Scheme. The ORG ontology suggests that this property can also be thought of as meaning 'remit' or 'responsibility.' Ideally this will link to a COFOG code but where this isn't possible or appropriate, other controlled vocabularies may be used.
resulted from Change Event This property link an Organization to the Change Event it resulted from.
spatial Administrative Territorial Units This property links an Organization to the Administrative Region(s) that it covers.

The value of the properly should be the URI of the region as defined in an authoritative list of regions. In Europe, this is likely to be the Administrative Territorial Units Named Authority List maintained by the Publications Office's Metadata Registry.


The ATU list does not include a geometry. That is, the territory is only identified by its name not its spatial coordinates. This is likely to be the case for similar lists. If geometries are available for the Public Organization's territory, they can be linked from the territorial unit using the Core Location Vocabulary's locn:geometry property.

sub organization of Public Organization Public Organizations are often large and complex and may be a collection of smaller Organizations, each of which has a specific identity that may be legally defined. The hasSubOrganization and subOrganizationOf properties express the relationships between Organizations in a hierarchical structure.

Changelog w.r.t. previous version

(non-normative)

A changelog describing the (major) changes to the previous version (1.0.0) of the Core Public Organization Vocabulary and the new version that is being proposed in this specification (2.0.0), can be found here.

JSON-LD context

(non-normative)

A reusable JSON-LD context definition for this Core Vocabulary is retrievable at: /context/core_public_organisation.jsonld