NSW 2021 emphasises the need to communicate with customers, particularly online. With digital communication forming a major channel between government and the community, it’s vital that each cluster has a strategy that includes the efficient and effective use of online channels.
To improve the quality of NSW Government websites, agencies are required to review their existing website portfolio. Sites identified as being superfluous to agency core business should be consolidated or removed. It is anticipated that a reduction in the number of websites will deliver significant long-term cost savings to agencies; and most importantly, allow more effective communication between government and the community.
As part of the review process, agencies are reminded that all NSW Government websites are required to conform to the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
WCAG 2.0 Level A compliance is required by 31 December 2012; and Level AA by 31 December 2014.
Directors General and Chief Executives are responsible for ensuring that websites meet these new accessibility standards. It is likely that agencies will incur a cost to bring sites up to the required accessibility level. This provides further incentive to evaluate the number and purpose of agency websites, and consolidate where possible.
As part of providing more direct control over digital strategy, from 1 May 2012, Department clusters shall now be responsible for the approval, administration and cost of nsw.gov.au domain name registration and renewal – currently $55 per domain name every two years. New websites must also not be registered as .com, .info, .org or .net without Cluster approval, including short term marketing websites. Education sites that have an .edu domain will continue to operate separately.
Who needs to know about this Circular?
Directors General, Chief Executive Officers, Chief Information Officers, Communications Directors.