New Zealand E-Government Standards, what and why?

30 03 2009

Today’s journey of discovery is about the topic of New Zealand’s E-Government Standards. Lian asked us to do a little research on them and then put up here what they are and if we think they are necessary.

So for the first point, here is a brief summary of my understanding of the standards.

The E-Government Web Standards set the standards of policy-compliance and accessibility  for web-sites in the public sector in New Zealand. This means that all the websites need to meet a level of compliance for all users. The main focus of the standards in on enhancing on-line access for all users, so that they are equally usable for everyone. This means that no matter how a user in New Zealand is accessing a site , due to either physical or technological constraints, they can view the site the same and use it as well as anyone else. The standards are made up of 4 main parts, which are Web Guidelines, Metadata, Interoperability and Federated Enterprise Architecture. So basically the standards are web equality for all.

Now onto if I think they are necessary. Well for starters anyone who knows me, knows I’m all about equality so I think it’s a great idea. But on a more practical level I think it is necessary because with these standards everyone has to have their website running at the same level, they all have to meet the same requirements. Which in the long run ensures quality for users but then also everyone can get a fair deal when using the web-site. No discrimination just because someone has slow, or substandard Internet. Or if they’re blind and need a screen reader, they are going to get exactly the same web-site. So I give it a 10/10

If you would like to read more about it, head over here and check it out. It gives lots of information and even has a how-to guide for developers. Let me know what you think.

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