The purpose of the Infrastructure Functional Subcommittee is to maintain the software tools required to support the operation of TDWG.


Image by Thomas Kvistholt


Tim Robertson (elected term: 2020-2021) - Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Copenhagen, Denmark


The purpose of the Infrastructure Functional Subcommittee is to maintain the software tools required to support the operation of TDWG.

TDWG is an open community and participants require the means to discuss, coordinate, document, vote on, and version the development of biodiversity data standards. The TDWG organization needs the means to present and communicate its work, manage financial matters and run the annual conference. The Functional Subcommittee exists to advise the Executive Committee and membership on software solutions to achieve these goals, to assist in developing and documenting information processes, and to oversee implementation and maintenance of the selected tools.



To oversee the operation and coordinate the development of the software tools in use by TDWG including:

  1. TDWG website development, hosting, DNS, operating system upgrades, intrusion detection, etc.
  2. Versioning, collaborative development, archival and distribution mechanism for standards (i.e. the use of GitHub)
  3. Tools to support collaborative documentation authoring
  4. Communication and discussion tools such as mailing lists, wikis,, etc.

The Functional Subcommittee will coordinate and lead the technical helpdesk which supports the TDWG committees, interest- and working groups in the full lifecycle of their work. This includes advice on establishing communication channels, guidelines for documenting and discussing results, preparation for community voting, archival and publication of results, cleanup.

Oversight of implementation

The Functional Subcommittee will evaluate potential software tools of interest to TDWG and provide recommendations to the community and for decision by the Executive Committee. Once approved, the infrastructure Functional Subcommittee will be tasked with overseeing the implementation of these software tools, including the management of related sub-contracted work.



According to TDWG Constitution, the charter may be revised by the the TDWG Executive Committee according to the strategic priorities of the organization. Changes to the charter will be put up for open membership consultation for 30 days prior to approval.

Membership, structure, and quorum

The chair shall be elected by the TDWG membership. The chair is responsible for appointing sub-committee members and a deputy chair. The Functional Subcommittee shall contain between 3 and 7 members. The Functional Subcommittee members should have experience in system administration, running content management systems, developing websites, collaborative version control systems for documents and software or in providing technical helpdesk tasks.


The Functional Subcommittee shall convene by teleconference (e.g. over Skype) at least two times per year. A quorum of any meeting of the infrastructure Functional Subcommittee shall consist of a majority of its current members.

Agenda, minutes, and reports

The Functional Subcommittee chair, in collaboration with the deputy, shall be responsible for establishing the agendas for meetings. An open issue tracking system will be used (e.g. GitHub issues) to ensure transparency of work and for assignment of tasks.