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U.S. Government Websites ‘Fail to Meet Basic Standards,’ New Report Says

Thursday, March 9, 2017 10:49
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Government is bad websites we all build togetherThe U.S. government’s most-used websites almost universally “fail to meet basic standards for security, speed, mobile friendliness, or accessibility,” according to a new report issued by the nonprofit public policy organization Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) — a group which the University of Pennsylvania ranks as the top science and technology think tank in the United States (and second in the world).

ITIF’s report is built on thorough analysis of 297 of the federal governement’s most popular websites (out of the more than 6,000 sites currently operated by the feds).

The report’s lead author Alan McQuinn said in a statement, “Despite years of progress in digital government, a striking number of federal websites do not even meet many of the U.S. government’s own requirements, let alone private-sector best practices.” McQuinn added, “Considering that many constituents rely on federal websites to interact with government, it is incumbent upon the new administration, supported by Congress, to make websites more convenient, accessible, and secure.”

The report makes a number of recommendations of action for the Trump administration, including that government agencies be required to maintain websites which — at the very least — meet the government’s own “standards and best practices;” for the Office of Budget Management (OMB) to “launch a website consolidation initiative” to get rid of “duplicative or unnecessary websites;” and for the White House to “launch a series of website modernization ‘sprints’ to fix known problems with the most popular government websites.”

Read ITIF’s entire report here, and check out Ira Stoll’s great Reason column, “Why Government Websites Cost More and Perform Worse Than Private Sector Websites.”


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