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Guiding Principles

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HHS Web governance principles maximize the creative use of people, policy, and processes to manage short- and long-range goals, provide clarity, and resolve conflict across the Department.  These principles give a framework for seeing clear Web management priorities and responsibilities.  They also help to identify and allocate necessary resources, promote Department-wide standards for best practices, and recognize and support the Department’s Web community.

HHS Web Guiding Principles
  • The HHS brands embody the Department’s promise to the public.  The HHS Web experience builds and connects those brands.
  • The organizational structure of the Department is transparent to the site visitor.
  • The HHS Web site is the Department's primary communications and educational outreach medium. The Web site communicates a full array of mission-centered information, including general information, program actions and activities, data, research, regulations, and educational materials.
  • The HHS Web site is a holistic information resource that results from active collaboration across traditional intra- and inter-division boundaries. Such ongoing collaboration, facilitated by technology, takes place without regard to organizational or personal ego.
  • The core responsibility of all Operating and Staff Divisions is to uphold the integrity and quality of Web content and communications to accomplish the overarching mission, work, and goals of the Department.
  • The Department is committed to meeting site visitors' expectations that content is up-to-date. Outdated content and repetitive content is reduced and ultimately eliminated.
  • HHS embraces the principles of e-government and encourages aggressive use of the Web to allow and encourage the electronic conduct of Department business.
  • The HHS Web site is committed to meeting and/or exceeding all applicable legal, ethical, accessibility, privacy, records retention, and security standards.

HHS Web Governance
  • HHS manages its Web activities through a representational, federated structure encompassing the Operating Divisions and the Office of the Secretary, with centralized guidance and support. This model will be mirrored at division levels.
  • The foundation of Web governance rests in a collegial environment, broad engagement, and the active exchange of ideas and best practices.
  • HHS recognizes that a supportive, creative working environment is vital to achieving and sustaining the goals established for the Department's Web site. Web governance supports and promotes visionary thinking, change, and innovation.
  • Ensuring quality content is a core responsibility of all Operating and Staff Divisions and is integral to the accomplishment and communication of both their and the Department's work and mission.
  • Consistency is a primary goal spanning the entire Departmental Web site, encompassing templates, navigation designs and terms, and content organization to the greatest extent possible.
  • The needs of the public drive Web design and content. Content is engaging, easy to find, up-to-date, and presented with sufficient context.
  • In meeting the public interest, the HHS Web site supports all major announcements, new initiatives, and topics in the public arena with relevant Web content.
  • The HHS Web site pledges to address the growing informational needs of a multi-lingual, multi-cultural population. The Web site also focuses on meeting the changing needs of an aging society.
  • HHS values visitor interaction and ensures timely and accurate responses to Department Web communications.

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