The NSW Government is committed to the principle that information about the Government and the services it offers can be easily found.
To assist in implementing this principle, the Chief Executive Committee requested a plan for applying a common look and feel across all NSW Government websites accessible to the public. The NSW Government Website Style Directive, endorsed by the Chief Executive Committee in October 2006, aims to standardise key elements across all NSW Government web sites to create consistent and user-friendly sites that assist the public to access and search for NSW Government information. By assisting users to readily identify websites that belong to the NSW Government the standard style will also promote confidence and trust in the content of these sites.
The NSW Government Website Style Directive is available on the Government Chief Information Offices website. The Directive is supported by guidelines, tools and templates to assist agencies with the implementation of the policy including the standards for navigation and consistency in positioning features and common content across NSW Government websites.
Agencies should note that the selection of website colour schemes and agency specific content remains a matter for each agency. In addition, all other design elements, features and content remain subject to current internet and accessibility guidelines.
The Directive is effective immediately. It will apply to all NSW Government websites accessible by the public and operated by any entity subject to the control of, or direction from, a Minister. Agencies are expected to achieve compliance with the Style Directive by 30 June 2007.
Exemptions will only be approved in limited circumstances and on a case by case basis. A standing exemption is allowed for websites that are specifically directed at children and young people under the age of 18.
A Web Policy Committee comprising representatives of Premiers Department, the Department of Commerce and a number of agencies will be formed. This Committee will make recommendations to the Chief Executive Committee regarding requests for exemption. The committee may also recommend to the Chief Executive Committee variation of the policy.
Requests for exemption should be submitted in writing to the Government Chief Information Office for consideration by the Committee. Agencies requesting an exemption should provide the name of the agency, the contact officer, the URL of the website, a brief description of the agencys proposed variation from the policy and explanation of the reasons for the variation.
An inter-agency reference group, comprising NSW Government agency representatives with website design, technical and content development skills, worked with GCIO to develop the NSW Government Website Style Directive and supporting information.
This group will continue, in order to maintain the currency of the NSW Government Website Style Directive and consider further enhancements to web-based service delivery. NSW Government agencies wishing to participate in this reference group are encouraged to nominate in writing to the Government Chief Information Office.
Agencies must report their compliance to the Government Chief Information Office via the GCIO website.
The GCIO will provide the Chief Executive Committee with regular reports on agency compliance to the NSW Government Website Style Directive.
Agencies are expected to achieve compliance with the Style Directive by the target date of 30 June 2007. Where cost or other practical considerations may make it difficult to meet the target date, agencies are required to present plans for compliance with clear timeframes to the Web Policy Committee for approval.
Enquiries and Support
All policy and directive inquiries and support requests relating to this policy will be coordinated through the NSW Government Chief Information Office. The NSW Government Chief Information Offices website provides information and support documentation for all agencies implementing the NSW Government Website Style Directive. It has an email support feature, allowing agencies to lodge general enquiries and request technical support.
For further information, enquiries and support please email the Government Chief Information Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Director General, Premiers Department