CSO Recommendations

These recommendations were provided to the administration on 1 Dec 2011 and are expected to form the basis of the evaluation OTG is administering. Please add your comments to them below.

Black are the commitments from the US NAP.

  • Green are the CSO recommendations.

3.4 Reform Government Websites

More citizens seek government information through the internet than any other source. In addition to continuing to be accessible, government websites should be easy to find, use, and navigate. On April 27, 2011, the President issued Executive Order 13571, “Streaming Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service,” to begin sweeping reform of government websites. As part of this ongoing initiative, the U.S. will:

• Begin an Online National Dialogue With the American Public. We will solicit the American public’s input on how best to improve Federal agency use of the internet and online tools.

• Update Government-wide Policies for Websites. We will reform the seven-year-old policy that governs the management, look and feel, and structure of Federal Government websites to make them more useful and beneficial for the public.

  • Make analytical statistics about government websites publicly available.
  • Direct agencies to solicit feedback from users, including surveying visitors, analyzing usage data, analyzing search position, surveying agency constituents about their awareness of agency websites, and conducting focus groups with current or potential user communities.
  • Direct agencies to conduct regular reviews of website performance and utilize the feedback received from the public. This should include review of how well the agency is maximizing proactive disclosure, maximizing usability and outreach, and supporting the FOIA system. To increase accountability and facilitate a dialog with stakeholders, agencies should be encouraged to publish the results of their reviews. These agency reviews should be accompanied by more active government-wide oversight.
  • Establish a process under which the administration will review and update the web policy at least every 5 years. The policy should be updated if needed to stay current with technological changes.
  • Ensure proper preservation of online information. The taskforce charged with updating the policy should consult with the NARA to ensure agencies understand their responsibility to preserve government information regardless of venue (including social media).
  • Update the list of information agencies must post on their websites and expand to include items from the Openness Floor.  The current policy has a sparse list of information agencies must post on their website.
  • Place emphasis on making available information the public wants. Too much emphasis has been placed on cutting waste.