The Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy that directs government agencies on conforming to the WCAG 2.0 is available now at: http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/wcag-2-implementation/index.html
However it also is a bit of a worry, with the option to Archive or Decommission. The temptation for many agencies confronted with upgrading their content to conform to the new requirements (even though they do not have to conform under Single A until end 2012) will be to decommission the website.
Before doing so they hopefully will abide by this AGIMO advice.
Options for retaining public access to out of date web content:
- preserving key electronic resources in the National Library of Australia’s Pandora Web Archive;
- creating a publicly accessible archive for out of date web content, on their websites (e.g. AGIMO Archive); or
- publishing information on how to obtain out of date content that is no longer available through their websites.
AFDA requirement that also states that:
Publications produced only in an electronic format on an agency’s public website – Retain as national archives
Agencies should understand that a publication is anything published, a publication is not just those types of electronic documents that conform to a print type (such as e-book, e-journal) but includes any public (therefore published) web content and therefore should be retained.
That retention is best served not just by the content being stored on a disk in the agency (and at the NAA) but also by retaining it in an online archive (whether institutional or PANDORA).
Too often web publications are deemed no longer relevant and decommissioned and removed from websites and thus lost from public access. Before decommissioning and removing content, web managers should make an effort to check whether the content is safely held elsewhere (IA, PANDORA) and if not, arrange for archival.