Policies and Principles


What practices, policies, and principles should guide the federal web in the next 5 years?

Policies and Principles

Require agencies to consolidate hosting and management

There is a ton of waste in agencies that have deployed multiple management systems for web. Eliminate most of the waste by requiring them to consolidate it immediately. No reduction in service levels, reduced cost.

Submitted by (@cjguru)

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32 votes
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Policies and Principles

Surveys and the Paperwork Reduction Act

Please find a way to open use of simple surveys on federal websites. For example: If a survey is voluntary, allow for up to 15 structured questions to be asked of no more than 1000 respondents. Give people a chance to get feedback without the lengthy task of getting OMB approval.

Submitted by (@kreid0)

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32 votes
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Policies and Principles

Make all US Bills, Regulations, and Court Decisions searchable

Make all US Bills, Regulations, and Court Decisions searchable from one location, using one search form, searchable on title, content, and tags. Currently it seems that each dept implements their own bizarre little incompatible data base, with its own bizarre incompatible search form and criteria. And the court system is the worse offenders of all!

Submitted by

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31 votes
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Policies and Principles

Archive retired agency pages

There is a continuing need for access by scholars and other researchers to reports, policy documents, statistical data. In the past this material has been preserved in tangible formats

by Federal Depository Libraries. As government publishing has moved to the web the availability of this information for future generations becomes increasingly precarious.

Please preserve the materials.

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30 votes
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Policies and Principles

Establish a Customer Bill of Rights

I'd like to see the federal government - under the Customer Service Initiative - issue a "Customer Bill of Rights" or a "Promise to Customers" and use that as the core set of principles for improving websites, call centers, and other forms of service delivery. A good place to start is the 6 principles the Federal Web Managers Council laid out in its 2008 White Paper: Putting Citizens First - Transforming Online Government. ...more »

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30 votes
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Policies and Principles

WordPress, open source, and cloud hosting

Back in California, we used to deploy websites with similar content and functionality as many of those that I see under the .gov domain. Using WordPress and cloud hosting, we could build an entire website for $100k +/- and turn it over to the organization's public affairs office to run. But, the way the Federal Government does things, they pay $1,000,000/year to have contractors cut and past content into proprietary ...more »

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26 votes
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Policies and Principles

Make US data from US websites available for free to US citizens

As a public citizen I often find that information I would like to see is only available for free for people from colleges -- an Average Joe American like me has to pay real money -- and I mean I've paid $100+ to be allowed to see data that I've already paid for as a taxpayer -- and the same data can be seen for free by college students and professors. How is that fair? For example to private citizens NOAA only allows ...more »

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26 votes
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Policies and Principles

Accessibility Integration

Accessibility must be integrated into all aspects of online communication. From policy and training through design and implementation, the principle of equal access for people with disabilities must be recognized as a civil right that cannot be compromised.

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25 votes
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Policies and Principles

Fix the Policy Mess

You've got: Legislative... Privacy Act Federal Records Act FISMA Federal Information Policy eGovernment Act Regulatory... OMB Circular A-130 NARA Circulars DHS Guidance (esp. on Privacy) Far too many GAO reports with bad conclusions ... (DHS IS NOT A MODEL FOR PRIVACY! Privacy Policies for every individual social media site in use by the agency? Are you kidding?) Implementing Guidance... OMB Memo M-03-18 OMB Memo M-03-22 ...more »

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21 votes
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Policies and Principles

Require a content review process

We have a boatload of govt info on govt websites. How often do you review it to make sure it's still current and accurate? How do you know it's still current and accurate? When I was at HUD, we started a quarterly certification program. In a nutshell, the Deputy Secretary required every principal staff member (asst secys) to certify - in writing - that all the content for which his/her organization was responsible ...more »

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21 votes
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Policies and Principles

Put users first, institutional priorities second

Government websites are too complex because they focus more on "We have audiences, how do we want them to use our website?" and less on "We have audiences, how do they want us to use our website?" -There's too much unnecessary content and not enough high-quality content. -Information structures are based on institutional silos, not on user needs. -Language is not plain or fun. -There's not enough non-text content. -Visually, ...more »

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21 votes
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Policies and Principles

Make every website usable by "Average Joe Americans"

Many of the publically available websites are designed for "insider wonks" not for "Average Joe Americans" -- example being the query sites to access government documents where you need a PhD and read a 1000 page "how to" document before you can figure out how to query for what you need. Another example being trying to figure out how to download historical weather data from NOAA -- which appears to be set up to meet ...more »

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21 votes
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