NJ Web Content Requirements

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On January 5, 2012, Governor Christie signed a law requiring local authorities, boards and commissions to publish specific information on the web. It is intended to promote transparency and to provide citizens with easy access to government information.

The law applies to soil conservation districts, workforce investment boards, county park commissions, joint insurance funds, fire districts, regional health commissions, any authority subject to Chapter 5A of Title 40A, and any environmental authority, board or commission “authorized by law to provide water, sewer, or other utility services, or to engage in the zoning of facilities for, or the planning for, the provision of such services”.

Most information is due on the web by February 1, 2013. This is an overview of what's required and Morris County's recommendations for its affected agencies.

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  • http://www.morrisparks.net/pdfs/budget-08audit.pdf
  • NJ Web Content Requirements

    1. 1. NJ Web Content RequirementsA3908 MandatesCarol A Spencer October 11, 2012Digital & Social Media Manager Morris County Office of Public Information
    2. 2. Today, we’ll discuss Applicability Compliance Deadlines Content Requirements Information Architecture Web Content Formats Search Q&A
    3. 3. Applicability Soil Conservation Districts Workforce Investment Boards County Park Commissions Joint Insurance Funds Fire Districts Regional Health Commissions Authorities  Subject to the provisions of chapter 5A of NJSA Title 40A Municipal Zone Development Corporations
    4. 4. Applicability Any “environmental authority, board or commission […] owning real property assets or providing services in more than one county, including but not limited to, those subject to oversight pursuant to the “Local Authorities Fiscal Control Law” or appointed pursuant to R.S. 40: 62- 109 regarding joint water commissions.”  This includes any “authority, board, commission, or other public body authorized by law to provide water, sewer, or other utility service, or to engage in the zoning of facilities for, or the planning for, the provision of such services.
    5. 5. Morris County Applicability Morris County Soil Conservation District Workforce Investment Board Morris County Park Commission Authorities  Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA)  Improvement Authority  Morris County Housing Authority Planning Board
    6. 6. Compliance Deadlines Act was signed January 5, 2012 Requires each entity to post certain information on its website Sets two deadlines  Effective date of the Act: Feb 1, 2013  Fiscal year following Feb 1, 2013  July 1 – June 30 fiscal year: 7/1/2013  Jan 1 – December 31 fiscal year: 1/1/2014 Increasing content requirements over time
    7. 7. Content Requirements Mission and Responsibilities Budgets CAFR: Comprehensive Annual Financial Report Audits Rules, regulations and official policy statements deemed relevant to the interests of county residents Meeting Notices & Agendas Board & Committee minutes, including resolutions Contact information List of those paid $17,500 or more
    8. 8. Mission & Responsibilities Location: “About Us” section Due: February 1, 2013
    9. 9. Financials: Budgets, Audits Location: a “Financial” subsection of “About Us” Due: February 1, 2013  Initial requirement for budgets / CAFR / audits is current adopted and prior year  For next fiscal year, 3 consecutive years budgets / CAFR / audits are required Requirement for CAFR “or other similar financial information”  Contact your financial people for an opinion about content needed to meet this requirement
    10. 10. Financials: Budgets, Audits
    11. 11. Rules, Regulations, Policies Location: “About Us” section unless this is a significant amount of information Due: February 1, 2013 Rules, regulations and official policy statements deemed relevant by the Board to the interests of affected residents  This can’t be “nothing”…  Examples: application, use, eligibility policies
    12. 12. Rules, Regulations, Policies
    13. 13. Meeting Notices / Agendas Location: “About Us” or “Public Meetings” section Due: February 1, 2013 Decide if you want to keep agendas live after minutes are adopted.  No requirement to keep past agendas  Disk storage space issue Notice requirement is time, date, location and agenda  Ask your legal counsel about actual notice
    14. 14. Meeting Notices / Agendas
    15. 15. Minutes Location: “About Us” or “Public Meetings” section Due: February 1, 2013  Initial requirement is current fiscal year  For next fiscal year, 3 consecutive years Minutes from official board meetings Minutes from board committee meetings If Board meeting minutes include committee minutes, the webpage should so indicate Minutes must include verbiage of any adopted resolutions
    16. 16. Minutes
    17. 17. Contact Information Location: “Contact Us”  Contact Us typically includes physical address and GPS, mailing address, general email, phone, fax, standard hours of operation  Should also include a feedback form  Could include links to staff list and directions Location: “Staff”  Name, mail & email address, phone number of every person “with day to day supervision or management over some or all of the operations” Due: February 1, 2013
    18. 18. Contact Us
    19. 19. Staff
    20. 20. The $17.5 List Location: a “Financial” subsection of “About Us”  List of “attorneys, advisors, consultants, and any other person, firm, business, partnership, corporation, or other organization which received any remuneration of $17,500 or more during the preceding fiscal year for any service whatsoever rendered” to the agency Due: February 1, 2013
    21. 21. Information Architecture Web Standards  Public Expectation  About Us Consistent placement  Who you are of information  What you do Makes information  Goals & Objectives easy to find  Contact Us  How do I reach you Enhanced user  Phone, Email, Auto, experience Public Transportation, Mail, Packages “Don’t Make Me Think”  Public Meetings  When, where Transparency  Discussion items What happened Cost-effective design   My input
    22. 22. Web Content Formats Web documents must be handicapped accessible Do not use:  MS Word documents (doc/docx)  Scanned documents  Image format documents (jpg, tif, png) Use these: PDFs created from other originals, or HTML  Create a PDF using the full version of Adobe Acrobat or an equivalent program.
    23. 23. About Accessibility Federal government mandates Section 508 compliant handicapped accessibility on all its websites. USDOJ is considering a similar mandate for state and local government websites. Section 508 requires text alternatives to all graphics.  Scanned PDFs are typically images and are thus not handicapped accessible.
    24. 24. About Accessibility Adobe Acrobat includes a “read out loud” feature.
    25. 25. Handling Signatures Documents on the web are not official copies Signatures can be replaced in several ways  (Original Signed)  /s/ name  Create a graphic of the signature. Add to original prior to creating PDF. (not highly recommended) Replace signature in original; then create PDF Secure PDF prior to publishing if adding a graphic signature
    26. 26. Search 20% to 25% of web visitors use search to find the page or document they want Once they reach the document, they again use search to save time For long documents, search capability is a must. Minutes, audits, bill lists are very long documents. Images are not searchable, documents scanned to an image format are not searchable Image formatted documents frustrate visitors and defeat the purpose of transparency
    27. 27. In Summary A3908 takes effect February 1, 2013 Specific information is required on your websites If Morris County OPI maintains your website:  Provide this information before December 1  Provide it in PDF format that is searchable, accessible  We will create PDFs if you provide us the original If Morris County OPI does not maintain your site:  Remember Information Architecture principles  Comply with Section 508 Accessibility guidelines Use the checklist or email us if you have questions
    28. 28. NJ Web Content Requirements Questions?

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