Index of Government Guidelines for Web Sites

This is a collection of links to guidelines regulating government web sites in various countries. These guidelines mainly deal with web accessibility and technical standards.  Please send an email to if you have more links to share.

You can also search these guidelines with the Google co-op custom search engine below.


The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat hosts the Common Look and Feel Standard for the Internet. Part 2 of that document conatins the Standard on the Accessibility, Interoperability and Usability of Web Sites.


The Minsitry of Science, Technology and Innovation is responsible for the Guidelines for Internet Publishing. These guidelines provide instructions and technical recommendations for document publishing, accessibility and web forms.

European Union

The EU is active with the following initiatives in web accessibility: The EU Web Accessibility Benchmarking Cluster, Evaluation and benchmarking of Accessibility and Support-EAM. The objective of Support-EAM was to propose a strategy for creating a Web Accessibility Quality Mark for Web services, as part of the Action Plan eEurope 2005: An information society for all. Support-EAM ended in july 2006.


The Finnish government has published quality criteria for designing web services in the public administration. The recommendation provides public authorities with guidance on how to plan, implement and purchase online services. The recommendation describes the process for producing online services, with main emphasis on providing good services and implementing a user interface designed especially for end users. Particular account has been taken of ensuring the usability and accessibility of online services.


Accessiweb hosts the 95 criteras for an accessible web site published in 2008. As of 2008 there is also a suggestion for a law that would require public websites to comply with WCAG.


The Federal Ministry of the Interior, together with the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs maintains the Federal Ordinance on Barrier-Free Information Technology. (Barrierefreie Informationstechnik-Verordnung).


The Irish National Disability Authority provides guidelines for accessible products and services including websites. The website guidelines cover all information and services delivered via the World Wide Web or using HTML, including web sites and online applications.


The National Center for Informatics in Public Administration is responsible for the Italian guidelines for web accessibility. These stem from the “Law 4 of January 9, 2004 containing provisions to promote access by disabled people to information technology instruments”. The guidelines/requirements are based on WCAG 1.0. A translation of the guidelines is available from The translation does not have official status and the document itself is to be considered a draft version.


The Guidelines for accessibility and sustainability of government web sites contains 125 guiding principles for public web site construction. The Dutch Ministry of Home Affairs is responsible for the guidelines. They also developed a tool to test some of the guidelines.

New Zealand

The E-government Unit of the State Services Commission publish the Guidelines for the management and design of New Zealand public sector websites. Guidelines are based on core values of the public service: equity, integrity, trust and economy.


Verva – the Swedish Administrative Development Agency was responsible for coordinating the development of central government in Sweden and was one of the Government’s central advisory agencies. It was shut down at the end of 2008. Verva published the 24 hour agency web guidelines that provides recommendations for public web sites. The guidelines promote best practices in web standards usage, usability, accessibility and content production. Since the Verva website no longer exists I made the guidelines available at


In Switzerland government web sites are regulated by P028 – Richtlinien des Bundes für die Gestaltung von barrierefreien Internetangeboten (Guidlines for the Federal Departments). These guidelines reference WCAG 1.0 and stipulate that all new web sites must conform to AA checkpoints. They also say that by 2006-12-31, all government websites (including existing sites) must comply to WCAG AA.

For more onformation see the Bureau for Equality of People with Disabilities, Federal Department of Home Affairs

United Kingdom

The Guidelines for UK government websites provide a comprehensive blueprint of best practices for building and managing well designed usable and accessible websites. The guidelines are published by the e-Government unit at the Cabinet Office. Section 2.4 (Building in universal accessibility) contains advice on creating accessible web sites.

Related to this is the PAS 78, a guide to “good practice in commissioning accessible websites”, created by the British Standards Institution. This specification provides practical advice on how to commission accessible web sites. Fore more details see What is PAS 78?

United States

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, they shall ensure that this technology allows individuals with disabilities to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to the public who are not individuals with disabilities. The General Services Administration (GSA) maintains a website devoted to Section 508 at