Release of the Standard on Optimizing Websites and Applications for Mobile Devices and the update of four existing Web policy instruments

The new Standard on Optimizing Websites and Applications for Mobile Devices, the updated Standard on Web Usability, and the updated Technical Specifications for the Web and Mobile Presence came into effect on and apply to all institutions listed in schedules I, I.1, and II of the Financial Administration Act. The Standard on Optimizing Websites and Applications for Mobile Devices is to be implemented by .

The Standard on Optimizing Websites and Applications for Mobile Devices ensures that websites and Web applications are optimized for mobile devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets, etc.) to ensure that the widest possible audience can access GC information and services. It also ensures that websites, Web applications and device-based mobile applications have a consistent layout and design and comply with appropriate Treasury Board policy requirements including official languages, privacy, and security.

Starting April 1, 2013, the senior departmental official is responsible for approving device-based mobile application projects before they are commissioned or funded and approving publication of each device-based mobile application. Also, the senior departmental official is responsible for encouraging staff to collaborate, share expertise and build reusable components and tools, both departmentally and interdepartmentally.

The Standard on Web Usability has been updated to align with the new Standard on Optimizing Websites and Applications for Mobile Devices. The implementation timeline for the requirements outlined in the Standard on Web Usability has been extended to , with the exception of notices, which must be met by . New websites and Web applications must comply when they are published.. Requirements have been added concerning the display of social media icons, and new notices have been added – one regarding accessibility and one regarding the Government of Canada’s use of social media. Timelines regarding notices are unchanged.

The mandatory Technical Specifications for the Web and Mobile Presence is a companion document to the Standard on Web Usability and to the Standard on Optimizing Websites and Applications for Mobile Devices. The technical specifications provide layout and design requirements for both websites and mobile devices and facilitate implementation of the new Standard. It replaces the existing requirements of the mandatory Federal Identity Program Technical Specifications for the Standard on Web Usability.

To ensure alignment with the Standard on Optimizing Websites and Applications for Mobile Devices, the Standard on Web Accessibility and the Standard on Web Interoperability received minor updates. The requirements are unchanged.

By applying these policy instruments, the government will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of government websites and will modernize the government’s Web presence so that Canadians can more easily find and use the Government’s online information and services.

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