When we talk about “authority,” and trust, US government sites rank at the top. They stand well above all news sources. However, despite the informational authority, they might not be the best technically.
As per a report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), most of the sites belonging to the U.S. government might not be meeting the basic technological standards. This is specifically with the accessibility, speed, and security.
This is a serious concern because these three parameters are very crucial with government sites. If the accessibility is low, people might not be able to view official notices or register/login to their accounts to access government services. In some cases they would lose on critical policies. Furthermore, if the security of a U.S. government site is breached, we need not explain the level of the impact.
The report listed 297 of the most frequently visited U.S. government sites. Unfortunately, 92% of them failed the basic test of the technology. These results are even more embarrassing because private groups state their security requirements are well above the government figures. While these 92% sites could not match the basic parameters, they are nowhere near meeting the best-practice standards for private companies.
The lead author of the research Alan McQuinn said, “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 best performing sites as per the study were healthdata.gov, healthfinder.gov and consumerfinance.gov. Interestingly, Trump’s version of whitehouse.gov and usembassy.gov ranked among the top five. Obama’s version was ranked at 55. This is an indication that the new team in the White House has at least done one thing right. Maybe.
The worst performing site was ipcc-wg2.gov, which monitors the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Rather, the site does not load at user end usually. It failed all major security tests. It was the most neglected site, perhaps because of the American apathy with the environment.
McQuinn added, “These efforts will only come to fruition when federal CIOs identify problems with their domains and create plans to address them, tracking improvement in a transparent and accountable way. Only by taking stock of the gaps in federal website compliance can the White House push federal agencies to make their websites great again.”
Featured image via Pixabay.