Website Content Procedure

Purpose statement

The purpose of this procedure is to provide staff with guidelines for updating website content to ensure the Town of Oakville’s websites are accurate, up-to-date, accessible and easy to use, to protect the reputation and brand identity of the town, and to limit the liability of the town and its employees.

Scope

This procedure applies to the town’s corporate website, oakville.ca as well as to any other approved town website, social media site or applications.

Procedure

Criteria for publishing content to the website

Content must be approved by appropriate department and follow the recommendations in the town’s Web Publisher Guide including requirements for plain language and accessibility.

Content must be regularly reviewed by content owners and publishers to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date. Out-of-date information must be removed from the site. The website must not be used as a document archive.

If content is adapted from a third party, proper copyright permissions or acknowledgements must be documented.

Process for publishing material to the website

Departmental content owners create content, including graphics, and seek the necessary content approvals and advice from the Strategy, Policy and Communications department to ensure proposed content adheres to town corporate identity (cid) and web accessibility standards.

Departmental web publishers are responsible for ensuring content meets town editorial, web and accessibility standards before publishing to the website

The web coordinator or her/his delegate from the Strategy, Policy and Communications department is responsible for final review and approvals for publishing to the live site.

Website styles and design

Web styles, graphic design, and the look and feel of all town websites must align with the town’s approved corporate identity standards (cid).

Disclaimer

While the town will make every effort to ensure the accuracy and completeness of website content, the town does not guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information of this website. In the event of a discrepancy between content on the website and the information contained in official records of the town, the information contained in official records will be deemed as accurate.

External communications received through oakville.ca, other town web properties or any associated social media site shall in no way be deemed to constitute official legal notice to the town or any of its agencies, officers, employees or representatives.

Privacy policy

The town respects the privacy of its web visitors. The town will not sell, trade, rent or otherwise disclose to third parties the personal information provided by web visitors.

A Notice of Collection containing the following information will be provided whenever personal information of this type is collected:

  1. the legal authority for the collection;
  2. the principal purpose for which the personal information will be used; and
  3. the title, business address and business telephone number of the employee in your department who can answer questions about the collection.

Legal information

Information on any town web page is the property of the Corporation of the Town of Oakville and is protected by copyright.

The town makes no representation, warranty or guarantee as to the content, accuracy, currency or completeness of any information provided on any town website and is not responsible for any direct, indirect, incidental or consequential damages that may arise, or for the use of or the inability to use any web content or materials contained on any web page.

The town does not make any representation or warranty, expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy, quality, likely results or reliability of the information contained on externally linked websites.

Accessibility

The town will strive to create a consistently high level of usability for our entire audience across all of our websites. The town will work to ensure its content meets or exceeds Level AA compliance of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 and any other accessibility requirements as outlines by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

Translation

Translation of web content is available on the town’s website through Google Translate.

External linking

The town may at its sole discretion permit links from the town’s websites or other web properties.

The town will consider posting external links on its web properties if the link is directed to the website of:

  1. An official government website (municipal, regional, provincial, federal);
  2. A government-funded agency or board;
  3. A town-affiliated organization or local board (direct partnership by way of funding, staff resources or in-kind contributions);
  4. A major community tourist attraction or event that enhances the image of the town as determined solely by the town;
  5. An official town or event sponsor;
  6. A Member of Council external website.

External links will be removed by the town without notice if, but not limited to, any of the following conditions apply:

  1. The site no longer meets the conditions listed above for acceptable external links;
  2. The information on the site becomes inaccurate and/or not trustworthy;
  3. Page formatting, lengthy download items or intrusive ads make accessing information difficult;
  4. The link returns a "not found" error for more than 72 hours;
  5. The site promotes alcohol and other addictive substances, the sale of tobacco, pornography or the production, distribution, and sale of weapons and other life-threatening products;
  6. The site presents demeaning or derogatory portrayals of individuals or groups or contain any message that is likely to cause deep or widespread offence;
  7. The site and content does not comply with municipal, provincial or federal legislation or other town policies;
  8. It is a municipal election year and nomination papers are filed by a Member of Council.

Notwithstanding the above criteria, the town reserves the right to post, refuse to post or to delete links at any time, without notice.

Requests for external link

Requests to add an external link to the town’s website, according to the criteria listed above, should be submitted in writing to the town’s web coordinator for consideration.

Responsibilities

The Strategy, Policy and Communications department is responsible for:

  • Daily monitoring and management of publishing content to the town’s corporate websites, social media tools and applications to ensure its accuracy, accessibility, editorial style and citizen focus
  • Establishing guidelines and best practices
  • Developing operational guide for departmental web publishers

Departments and web publishers are responsible for:

  • Creating, reviewing and updating approved content on the town’s website within their areas of responsibility
  • Updating and maintaining other town web properties within their areas of responsibility

The Information Systems department is responsible for:

  • Technical support and maintenance of the town’s corporate websites, applications and online tools

Members of Council are responsible for:

  • Providing the town with content and links to personal social media sites for their official web page on oakville.ca

Definitions

Notice of collection – sets out the legal authority and purpose for the collection of personal information

Online communications – the exchange of information through the use of the Internet for any purpose (information sharing, marketing, public engagement)

Official record – has the meaning given to it by the MFIPPA, and includes any record of information however recorded including letters, policies, emails

Personal information – means recorded information about an identifiable person as defined by the MFIPPA

Social media – online communities that facilitate two-way sharing of information. Popular examples include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube

Details

Procedure Number: G-COM-002-001
Parent Policy: G-COM-002
Section: Governance
Sub-Section: Communications
Author: Strategy, Policy and Communications
Authority: CAO
Effective Date: 2006 Jul 04
Review by Date: 2023