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Maintaining the integrity of government online web continuity matters

Maintaining the integrity of government online web continuity matters
Amanda Spencer. Web Continuity Manager, National Archives

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Maintaining the integrity of government online web continuity matters

  1. 1. Maintaining the integrity ofgovernment onlineWeb Continuity MattersAmanda Spencer, WebContinuity Manager, TheNational Archives, June 2008
  2. 2. The Web Continuity projectPart of a package ofprojects that areaddressing the issue ofsustainable informationacross government
  3. 3. Sustainable information: The NationalArchives’ approach• Protecting ongoing business information• Permanently archiving digital information of historic value• Maintaining the integrity of government online
  4. 4. Sustainable information Current information Digital continuity Permanent preservation Can be easily updated Information is readable and changed and usable Information is static and cannot be changed Its work in  The work’s complete, I  In line with agreed progress dont refer to it retention schedules regularly, but I dont we need to dispose of I need to edit or want to lose it information update it regularly  I may need to refer to it  In line with agreed I refer to it or update it in the future retention schedules regularly we need to send  It has long-term information to The business value - National Archives for without it we would lose permanent archiving essential knowledge or information  Its something were required to keep Maintaining the integrity of government online: keeping web links working, archiving government websites
  5. 5. Web continuity matters• 50% + of all interaction between government and the public now happens online• Website links cited in everything from Hansard through to academic research and PR campaigns• Government websites are increasingly the first port of call for politicians, civil servants, business and professional communities, and the general public• Information increasingly only available electronically, not print• Integrity of Web links crucial to the business of government Broken Web links are increasingly common – and frustrating for us all
  6. 6. Web continuity matters: Power of informationreview• High profile Cabinet Office report June 2007 about innovation in online services• New task force announced April 2008 - where’s the original pdf?• Cabinet Office Web link to the full report broken• Author contacted The National Archives – help!• We take regular snapshots of the Cabinet Office website so had a copy we could redirect to• Web continuity matters
  7. 7. Web continuity matters: National Archives andRecords Administration• Headline article Computerworld 11 April, 2008• National Archives and Records Administration comes under fire for discontinuing its policy of taking a ‘digital snapshot’ of all federal agencies and congressional public Web sites• Millions of Web pages authored under Bush administration may be lost when leadership changes in January 2009• Considerable critical posts as a consequence
  8. 8. Web continuity matters• Integrity of Web links crucial to the business of government. Without it:• Public – impaired access• Westminster village – impaired access• The Press – impaired access• Academics – impaired analysis• Parliament – impaired scrutiny• Impacts on reputation of government – public and abroad
  9. 9. Government is taking action• April 2007 - Raised as a serious issue by Jack Straw, as Leader of the House of Commons• May 2007 – Hilary Armstrong commits government to a package of measures that will provide a long-lasting solution to the problem• Working Group established to investigate the problem and come up with a solution
  10. 10. What the working group found…• 60% of URLs quoted in Hansard between 1997-2006 are broken• Prevalence of e-only publication; issues with legal deposit in the electronic world• Varied practice - PDF vs HTML• Devolved system of web publication
  11. 11. The Options• Improvements to existing practices• Encourage government departments to take more responsibility• Use Digital Object Identifiers• None of the above….
  12. 12. The National Archives and the Web Continuityproject• Comprehensively archiving government’s websites• Greater capture of content• Single, centrally hosted registry to audit website crawls• Making sure Web links work in perpetuity• Improved presentation in Web Archive• Guidance for web and e-comms communities• Regular monitoring
  13. 13. Comprehensively archiving government’swebsites• In partnership with the European Archive• Whole of UK central government• Incorporating Transformational Government Website Rationalisation Programme• 3 x yearly• Website managers can request additional crawls
  14. 14. Greater capture of content• Sitemap implementation plan• Benefits of using XML sitemaps – easier to find information using search engines, also helps archiving process; ministerial backing• Market review• CESG Claims Tested Mark scheme• Installation of sitemap generation software on government web servers
  15. 15. Single, centrally hosted registry to auditwebsite crawls• All government stakeholders able to access relevant areas• Will provide an online, authoritative record of the archived government web estate• Provides admin and technical details – who, what, where, when, how often, how much, how long, how well
  16. 16. Making sure web links work in perpetuity• Configuration of open source software• Apache and Microsoft IIS Web Servers• Component behaviour• CESG Claims Tested Marks scheme• Will need to be installed on government web servers
  17. 17. Improved presentation in Web Archive• Will enhance presentation layer of the government web archive to make sure that re-directed users clearly understand they are looking at an archived, not a live, website
  18. 18. Dissemination and guidance• Discussions with devolved administrations to make sure system is inclusive• Brochures and briefings• Pilot• Guidance for web and e- comms communities – part of Transformational Government Web standards• Software and guidance available via Digital People• Regular monitoring
  19. 19. Timelines• November 2007 – April 2008 Feasibility studies and development work• March 2008 Brochure circulated• May 2008 Briefings to government• June – November 2008 Solution piloted, software and guidance available• November 2008 Solution delivered to government, monitoring in place
  20. 20. Any Questions?

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