The State Services Commission’s e-government unit is taking its own lessons of public accessibility to heart and launching a website.
The site is intended to keep the “e-citizen” informed about progress of the various e-government initiatives undertaken by government departments in association with the unit.
“We hope the site will be ready early next year,” says unit spokesman Russell Craig. “We’re still working on the content, bearing in mind that it will have to cater for a range of audiences from the very clued-in to people who have no idea what e-government is about.”
It will outline the government’s e-government strategy – still being worked on at present – and indicate to members of the public and other stakeholders how they might have input to the evolution of that strategy. More direct plans are in train for involving major stakeholders such as industry and voluntary groups, Craig says.
As an example to others in e-government practice, the website will have to take particular care to adhere to website design guidelines issued by the Government Information System Managers’ Forum (Govis), he says. These cover such matters as accessibility for users with low-bandwidth lines and basic equipment, and users with disabilities, adequate identification of the content as government information and proper linking to other sites.
“Very good progress” is being made on the formal statement of an e-government strategy, Craig says. The advisory board to the e-government unit should sign the document off about mid-December; then it will be put before State Services minister Trevor Mallard and Commerce and IT minister Paul Swain for their approval.