Government websites 'do not meet own criteria'

Most government websites do not conform to its own disability standards, despite Whitehall’s commitment to better web communications.

According to a survey by web-testing firm Sitemorse, only two out of 70 websites reviewed fully meet all e-government standards, set by the Cabinet Office’s e-government unit. These sites include the Government News Network (GNN) and the Child Support Agency.

And fewer than 25 per cent of central government websites conform to accessibility standards for disabled people, despite legislation that all websites must be compliant by the end of the year.

The Government has to ensure all websites are read by a screenreader by the end of the year, in line with the Disability Discrimination Act, so they can be navigated without a mouse.

The Cabinet Office responded in a statement: ‘The Government’s aim is that all its websites will comply with its guidelines. Automated testing can be unreliable and is only one type of analysis available for evaluating websites. This report was unsolicited, not commissioned by the Cabinet Office.’

Sitemorse tests websites by running an automated system over them to investigate download speed and technical errors.

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