A number of elements in the policy schema will eventually have an enumerated list of accepted values but don’t presently. As we use the schema in the course of analyzing existing policy, the team is developing these taxonomies. For example, the keywords field, which is meant to present a list of simple, intuitive topics that the policy touches on, is currently defined as an array but the permissable values to include in the array aren’t specified, as they are for the agenciesImpacted field, for example.

A summary of the nascent taxonomies for these fields follows.


As noted above, the keywords field is meant to provide an intuitive, user friendly set of tags for policies and requirements. Taken together the keywords are meant to be collectively exhaustive (meaning that most aspects of Federal IT policy can be addressed by at least one tag) but not necessarily mutually exclusive (meaning that overlaps between tags are expected). Currently, the list of keywords is:

  • Acquisition/Contracts
  • Human Capital
  • Cloud
  • Data Centers
  • Cybersecurity
  • Privacy
  • Shared Services
  • IT Project Management
  • Software
  • Digital Services
  • Mobile
  • Hardware/Government Furnished Equipment (GFE)
  • IT Transparency (Open Data, FOIA, Public Records, etc.)
  • Agency Statistics
  • Customer Services
  • Governance
  • Financial Systems
  • Budget
  • Governance - Org Structure
  • Data Management/Standards
  • Definitions
  • Reporting


The verbs field relates to specific requirements and captures the words used to convey the force of the requirement to agencies. For example, some requirements have the formulation “Agencies must..” but others have the a softer formulation such as “Agencies are encouraged to..” Because the verb chosen can create subtle but important differences in how agencies can comply, we’re cataloguing all the variations that have been used. To give an idea of the list of verbs as it stands, a subset is included below. Having completed the first pass analysis of policies, we plan to consolidate this list considerably to eliminate minor grammatical variations and to ensure that it focuses exclusively on imperative verbs (“shall, should, must”).

  • Address, provide
  • Adopt
  • Amends
  • Analyze; Identify; Oversee; Assess
  • Are
  • Are being
  • Are encouraged to
  • Are expected to
  • Are not
  • Are required
  • Are responsible
  • Are to
  • Are to be
  • Assist
  • Provide
  • Brief
  • Calls for
  • Can be
  • Classify
  • Complete and submit
  • Compliance
  • Conduct
  • Convene and recommend
  • Could
  • Create
  • Designate
  • Develop
  • Direct
  • Directs
  • Encourage
  • Engage
  • Ensure
  • Establish
  • Evaluate
  • Exclude
  • Expand
  • Expect
  • Identify
  • Implement
  • Include, Exclude
  • Is critical
  • Is expected
  • Is not
  • Is required
  • Is responsible
  • Issue
  • Launch
  • Make, Apply, Publish
  • May
  • May have

Impacted Entity

Similar to the verbs field, the specific wording that appears in a requirement as to who is required to perform an action can have a huge impact on how the requirement should be understood, and a similarly large number of variations have appeared in policy.