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OMB Memorandum M1124 Next Steps 8/12/2011 Agency Instructions for Conducting Web Inventory and Web Improvement

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ThefollowingissentonbehalfofSteveVanRoekel,USChiefInformationOfficer,OMB. ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// PertheJune13,2011,OMBMemorandumM1124,ImplementingExecutiveOrder13571onStreamliningService DeliveryandImprovingCustomerService,Agenciesmusttakeactiontoimprovetheironlineservicesandeliminate wastefulspendingbydevelopingacomprehensiveandconsistentstrategyforefficientlymanagingwebresourcesand assuringthatvaluablecontentisreadilyaccessibleandavailableonline.Sincetheissuanceofthismemorandum,the followingactionshavebeentaken: Afreezehasbeenenactedontheissuanceofnew.govdomainnamesforthefederalexecutivebranch. The.govReformTaskForcewasestablishedandhasbeenmeetingregularlytosolicitanddevelop recommendationstoupdatepoliciesandguidelinesforfederalexecutivebranchwebsites. Alistofallregistered.govdomainnameshasbeenpostedonData.govandisupdatedweekly. Executivebranchagencieshavebegunreviewing.govdomainstoidentifythosethatcanbeeliminated, consolidated,andstreamlined. Basedonthelessonslearnedfromtheseactionstodate,thefollowingadditionalguidanceisprovidedtoAgencies: Thefreezeoncreatingnewfederalexecutivebranch.govdomainswillcontinueuntilDecember31,2011,to reinforcetheimportanceofcurtailingtheproliferationofstandalone.govsitesandinfrastructure.Should Agenciesneedtoestablishnewwebcontentduringthistimeframe,theyshouldleverageexisting.govsites andinfrastructure.Duringthisfreeze,anynew.govdomainrequiresawrittenwaiverfromtheFederalCIOor hisdesignee.The.govReformTaskForce,incollaborationwithGSA,isreviewingthe.govdomainapproval process,andfinalguidancewillbeprovidedonthelongtermproceduresrelatedtorequesting.govdomains. Aninterimtargethasbeensettoreduce(orredirecttoexistingdomains),thenumberoffederalexecutive branch.govdomainsby25%bySeptember2011.Thetargetgoalistoreduce/redirect.govdomainsby50% withinoneyear.Concurrently,eachAgencywilldevelopacomprehensiveWebImprovementPlantoaddress thebroaderobjectivesofstreamliningcontent,infrastructure,andultimatelyimprovingcustomerservice.

Agency Requirements
AgencyChiefInformationOfficersareresponsibleforthefollowingdeliverables: By September 6, 2011 Report Interim Progress BySeptember6,2011,AgenciesshallprovidetoOMBaninterimprogressreportonstreamliningAgencymanaged.gov domains.Thereportmustinclude: Listof.govdomainsshutdownsinceJune13,2011.Thisshouldincludeoutdated,redundantorpoorly performingdomains,oldredirectsthatnolongerprovidevalue,ordomainsthatarenonfunctioningandno longerinuse. Listof.govdomainsredirectedto,orconsolidatedinto,existingdomainssinceJune13,2011. Briefdescriptionofotherstreamliningplansunderwaybutnotyetcompleted. The.govReformTaskForcewillprovideatemplateforthisinterimreport. By October 11, 2011 Complete Web Inventory and Develop Web Improvement Plan 1. CompleteWebInventory:ByOctober11,Agenciesshallconductaninventoryandanalysisofallregistered

.govdomainnamesandanassessmentofAgencywebgovernance.Thegoalsofthisinventoryareto: Collectkeymanagementdataabouteach.govdomaintodeterminewhichwillbemaintained,merged,or eliminated. Identifywebsitesthatprovidehighvaluetothepublicandcanserveasmodelstobereplicatedbyothers. Gatherbaselinedataonthestateofwebgovernanceandoperationsacrosstheagency. Identifyopportunitiesforimprovingefficienciesinwebmanagementandoperationswithinandacross agencies(includingsharedservices)andimprovingthecustomerexperiencewithfederalonlineservices. Instructions,guidance,andaccesstotheonlineinventoryareprovidedintheattachmenttothisemail. 2. DevelopWebImprovementPlan:ByOctober11,AgenciesshalldevelopaWebImprovementPlanthat communicatestheirstrategyformanagingwebresourcesmoreefficiently,improvingonlinecontent,and enhancingthecustomerexperienceofAgencywebsites.AgenciesmustpostthisWebImprovementPlanon theirOpenGovernmentpagebyOctober11,2011.The.govReformTaskForcewillprovideatemplateforthis plan. Next Steps The.govReformTaskForcewillcontinueimplementingtheactionsaboveandwillfocusonthefollowingpriorities: Conductanonlinenationaldialoguetogetpublicinputonimprovingfederalwebsites. Outlinetheoptimumapproachforestablishingandmaintaining.govdomains. WorkwithOMBandGSAtoupgradefederalwebpoliciesandthecriteriaandprocessforgrantingnew.gov domains. Developafederalwebstrategythatestablishesthelongtermvisionofwhattheuser/citizenexperienceshould bewithfederalwebsites. Developcommontoolsandbestpracticestomakefederalweboperationsmoreeffectiveandcostefficient. Formoreinformationaboutthe.govReformInitiative,gotohttp://www.usa.gov/webreform.Ifyouhavequestions, pleasecontactJaniceNall,OMBEGovOffice,atjnall@omb.eop.gov.1

Attachment: InstructionsandGuidanceforCompletingtheWebInventory August12,2011 Instructions AgencyCIOsmustincludekeyinternalstakeholders,includingtheAgencyWebDirector,NewMediaDirector(where applicable),DirectorofPublicAffairs,andotherstaffresponsibleformanagingAgencywebresources,incompletingthe webinventory. AlthoughtheinventorysurveysarenotdueuntilOctober11,Agenciesareencouragedtocompletethemsoonertoallow timetoanalyzeresults.TheseresultsshouldbeincorporatedintotheWebImprovementPlanthatmustbepostedon AgencyOpenGovernmentpagesbyOctober11,2011. Ahighlevelsummaryoftheinventoryresultswillbemadepubliclyavailableonthe.govReformInitiativewebsiteat http://www.usa.gov/webreform. TheWebInventoryincludestwosurveys: Survey1:IndividualDomainSurvey:(dueOct.11,2011butrecommendcompletionearlier) Accessthesurveyviathe.govReformInitiativepageontheMAXwebsite. AgencyCIOsareresponsibleforensuringthesurveyiscompletedforEACHdomaintheagencyowns,aslistedon the.govdatasetonData.govasofAugust12,2011.Forexample,ifyouragencyowns70domains,youmust completeaseparatesurveyforeachdomain(70total). Thesurveyincludes20questionsandisexpectedtotakeapproximately1520minutestocompleteforeach domain. AgenciescanviewresultsoftheirindividualdomainsurveysontheMAXwebsitebeginningAugust19.

Survey2:AgencyWebGovernanceSurvey:(dueOct.11,2011butrecommendcompletionearlier) AgenciesshouldcompletetheWebGovernanceSurveyAFTERcompletingtheindividualdomainsurveyaboveas theseresultswillbeneededtoanswerquestionsabouttheAgencysoverallwebgovernance.

Definitions Domain:AdomainisaregisterednameontheInternet.Itallowsanagencywiththatdomaintohaveexclusive rightstothatnamesoitcantbeusedbyanotherentity.IntheDomainNameSystemhierarchy,.govis consideredatopleveldomain(alongwith.com,.org,etc)Asecondleveldomainisadomainthatisdirectlybelow atopleveldomain.Forexample,inepa.gov,epaisthesecondleveldomainofthe.govtopleveldomain.A

singledomainmaycontain2multiple,subdomainsaspartofitshierarchy(forexample,jpl.nasa.govand nssc.nasa.govaresubdomainsofnasa.gov).Thesesubdomainsaresometimesalsoreferredtoasmicrosites. Website:Awebsiteisthedomainnameplusthehostedcontent.Awebsiteisconsidereduniqueifitsmanaged independentlyandhasitsowndesign,navigation,orinfrastructure.Forexample,www.justice.govisitsown website,butitalsocontainsmultiplewebsitesunderneath,suchasojp.justice.govandjustice.gov/dea. Asnotedabove,agenciesareonlyrequiredtocompletetheindividualdomainsurveyforsecondlevel.govdomainslisted onData.gov(suchashhs.gov,state.gov).However,sinceonedomaincancontainmultiplewebsites,wewanttocapture thatinformationintheinventory,withoutposinganundueburden.Assuch,Agenciesshouldprovidealistofallunique websitestheyown.Wemayaskfordetailedinformationabouttheseindividualwebsitesaspartofalatersurvey. Guidance ThisinventoryisdesignedtobeanAgencyselfassessmentofthevalueofeach.govdomaintheAgencymanages.This selfassessment/reviewshouldhelpAgenciesdecidewhatactiontotakewhethertomaintainthedomain/siteinits currentstate,mergeitwithanothersite,orarchiveandeliminateit. AsAgenciesassesseachdomainandopportunitiesforconsolidatingresources,theyshouldconsiderthefollowingfactors developedbythe.govReformTaskForce: A)Understandthecostandimpactofhavingseparate.govdomains Overtheyears,federalagencieshaveincreasinglybuiltnew,standalonewebsitesforspecific,priorityinitiatives. However,thisisnotefficientforthefollowingreasons: Upfrontcosts:Separatedomainswhenindependentlymanagedincursignificantcoststhatcaninclude: o Webpublishingorothersoftware,suchascontentmanagementsystems o Designcosts,ifthedomainhasitsowndesign o Developers o Webhostinganddisasterrecovery o Cybersecurity o Searchandwebanalytictools o Section508testingandcompliance(toensureaccessforpeoplewithdisabilities) o Stafftimetomaintainandupdateseparatewebpoliciesandprocedures o Trainingpeopleonseparatesystems MaintenancecostsOncethesitelaunches,maintenancecosts,suchascontentmanagementsystemlicense fees,serverhostingfees,designupgrades,etc.willbeincurred.Standalonedomainscancosthundredsof thousandsormillionsofdollarstomaintain.Althoughmigratingastandalonewebsitetoanotherdomain requiresaninitialinvestment,consolidatinginfrastructureandoperationscanprovidesignificantlongtermcost savings. FederalWebsiteRequirements:Maintainingmultiple.govdomainsrequiresthateachdomaincomplywith federalrequirementsandbestpractices.Seethefulllistoffederalwebrequirementsandbestpracticesat: www.howto.gov/webcontent/requirementsandbestpractices/checklists/long

Customerexperience:Spreadingcontentspreadacrossdozensorhundredsofwebsitesmakesitmoredifficult forusersandsearchenginestofindtheauthoritativesourceorthemostrecentlyupdatedcontent. Searchrankings:Asignificantportionoftraffictomostwebsitesnowcomesdirectlyfromsearchengines.To leveragebeingfoundonsearchengines,Agenciesshouldhousecontentonexistingwebsites,especiallythose sitesthatalreadyhaveahighvolumeofvisitorsandhighsearchranking,totakeadvantageofthattraffic.Setting upanewdomainmayactuallyhinderthefindabilityofseparatecontentbecauseitcantakeweeksormonthsto buildupstatusonsearchengines.

B)Usemetricstodeterminethevalueofeach.govdomain Agenciesshouldreferencewebmetricswhencompletingtheirreviews: Howmuchvisitortrafficisthesitegenerating?Couldmorepeopleaccessthecontentifitwashousedon anothersitethatisalreadygeneratingahighvolumeoftraffic? Whatistheuserperformance?Howwellcanpeopleaccomplishtheirtoptasksonthissite(notjuststartingat yoursite,butalsofromacommercialsearchengine)?Isuserperformanceimproving,declining,orstaying steady?Areyoumeasuringtaskcompletionrates,timetocompletetasks,otheruserperformancemetrics? Isthesitefulfillingitsintendedpurposeandreachingitsintendedaudience?Whatmetricsdoyouhaveto demonstratethat? Whatisthelevelofcustomersatisfactionwiththesite?Issatisfactionincreasingordecreasing? Doesthevalueofdeliveringthecontent(volumeofvisitors+performance)exceedthecostofmaintainingthe site?

C)Consolidateprogramspecificcontentintobroaderdomains IfAgencieshaveaspecializedprogramorinitiative,useanexistingdomainthathasabroaderscopetohousethat content,ratherthansetupastandalonedomain. D)Followpreliminaryguidanceoninteragencycontentandredirects The.govReformTaskForceisdevelopingcriteriaforinteragencywebcontentandforredirectstodetermineunderwhich circumstancesseparate.govdomainsshouldbeused.Intheinterim,Agenciesshouldfollowthispreliminaryguidance: Interagencycontent: Inmostcases,aprimaryagencyshouldbedesignatedtohostinteragencycontent(i.e.www.ed.gov/early learning)andshoulduseclearlanguageonthesitetoindicatethatitisapartnershipamongmultipleagencies. Agenciesthatmanageaninteragencydomainnameareresponsibleforbeingthedefinitive,authoritativesource forthattopicacrossgovernment.TheAgencymanagingthesitemusthavethecapacitytobroadlycoverthat entiretopic(i.e.volunteerorjobs)andcollaboratewithAgenciesacrossgovernmenttoensuretheircontent andservicesarerepresentedontheinteragencysite. AgenciesshouldcoordinatewebeffortsnotjustwithintheirAgencybutalsoacrossAgencies.

Tofacilitatethisprocess,Agenciesshouldreviewallfederalexecutivebranch.govdomainsthatrelatetoyouragencys missionarea,searchfortopicsonsearchengines,andidentifysimilarcontentonotherexistingsites.DootherAgencies

managesitesthatdelivercontentsimilartooneofyoursite(s)?Ifso,coordinatewiththewebmanagerfromthatagency todiscusshowtoconsolidateresourcesandeliminateduplication. Redirects:Redirectsaredomainsthatpointtoanotherdomain.Theyaretypicallyusedto: o Pointusersfromanolddomaintoanewdomainwhentherehasbeenanamechange(i.e.redirecting usersfromfirstgov.govtousa.gov) o MarketaprogrambyusinganeasytoremembervanityURL(i.e.earthday.govredirectsto epa.gov/earthday) o Pointuserstothecorrectsiteiftheytypeinamisspellingorvariation(i.e.chewsmyplate.govredirectsto choosemyplate.gov). Todeterminewhethertokeepacurrent.govredirect,AgenciesshouldreviewtheirlogfilestoseeiftheURLis generatingsufficienttraffictotheintendedsite.Forexample,GSArecentlydeletedredirectsfor.govdomainsthat producedlessthan300referralsannually.However,GSAkeptredirectssuchasfirstgov.gov,alegacydomain thatrefershundredsofthousandsofusersannuallytothecurrentdomain,USA.gov. Whenusingaredirecttomarketanindividualprogram,considerthescopeandvisibilityoftheprogram,the investmentyouremakinginpromotingthatbrand,andtheimpactitwillhaveonthelarger,parentbrand(s). Multipleredirectdomainsmaydilutetheprimarybrandyouretryingtopromote,andmarketingmultiple domainscansometimesconfuseyourmessage.

E)Archivedomainsbeforetheyareeliminated Duringtheinventory,Agencieswillidentifydomainsthatshouldbeeliminatedbecausetheyareoutdated,obsolete,or redundantwithanexistingsite. Agenciesshouldarchiveanysitebeforeitistakenofflinesothatitcanbedigitallypreservedandmeetfederal recordsrequirements. The.govReformTaskForceiscollaboratingwiththeNationalArchivesandRecordsAdministrationandtheLibrary ofCongresstodevelopguidelinesandacentralprocessforarchivingsitestoensureconsistencyacrossagencies andwillprovidemoredetailssoon.