HHS Web standards are developed by the Web Communications Division in collaboration with the HHS Web Representatives and are given final approval by the Representatives. Standards and/or amendments may be proposed by any HHS organization through its Web Representative.
Approved Web standards apply enterprise-wide to all HHS managed or funded Web sites and attached files, including Internet, intranet, extranet (password protected) sites, and sites operating under a domain waiver, whether created in-house or by a contractor, and whether hosted by HHS or by another party. HHS in this context refers to all Operating Divisions and Staff Divisions (OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs).
HHS standards also apply, unless such a site has a governing board that specifies a different standard(s), to:
- Cross-agency Web sites created and/or managed by HHS.
- Cooperative agreement Web sites.
- Partnership Web sites.
Standards, upon approval, are forward-looking. This means that they are to be applied as new pages/sites are developed and as old pages/sites are redesigned or updated. It is not normally necessary to revise existing content solely for the purpose of applying new standards or amendments to standards.
Should it be necessary to apply a standard or amendment retroactively, that exception will be made clear, will be widely publicized, and a timeframe for compliance will be provided.
Offices or programs with Web sites in development at the time a standard or amendment is approved should make a best-faith effort, within the confines of any affected contract, to apply the new or revised standard.
All sites under development, no matter what stage of development they may be in, must meet standards or amendments that are to be applied retroactively.