Our Services

By: E-gov Watch  06-Dec-2011

The services of e-Gov Watch are concerned with the quality assessment of government websites. They comprise:

Our Assessment Process:

The Full Best Practices Assessment includes a Government Web Standards assessment to which is added assessment of the 'core business' of a government site: information and services delivery and site usability as well as the stretching elements: e-consultation, personalisation, feedback and cross organisation integration.  Information and e-services expectations are specific to the organisation's outcomes.  This assessment provides an excellent measure of overall site quality.  Results for each criteria area are graphed against comparative government sites' results showing in an executive view the site's relative strengths and weaknesses.

This assessment combines structural elements (usability and Government Web Standards) and content elements (information and e-services delivery) and is a more economical option than the full best practices assessment. Information and e-services expectations are specific to the organisation's outcomes.

Review of the structural elements of a website for Accessibility and Usability conducted once a site's HTML framework and sample web pages are developed. This assessment allows more time in a redevelopment process to address any issues found.

Review of the information areas and e-services of a site each across a range of criteria related to findability, context and presentation. This assessment is often useful to allow early signals of content editing priorities while structural aspects are being configured.

Some organisations may wish to be assessed against only the minimum standard - the user-facing aspects of the Government Web Standards & Recommendations, version 2.0.

An advisory report prioritising issues found during a Full Best Practices, Structure & Content, Structural, Content or Government Web Standards & Recommendations assessment, describing implications of each issue to users and advising remedial actions to fix the problem.

The Summary Best Practices Assessment covers the key aspects of each of the full criteria areas including elements of the Government Web Standards, information and services delivery and site usability as well as the stretching elements: e-consultation, personalisation, feedback and cross organisation integration.  This assessment provides a good measure of overall site quality. This assessment gives an indication of the site's strengths and weaknesses and areas to address for improvement.

For smaller sites or with modest user volumes, this low budget review focuses on just the key possibilities in a summary report. It is not a criteria-based assessment like our others but is experience-based, highlighting 20 'low-hanging fruit' opportunities for quick wins for your website's evolution.


Supplementary Website Assessment

If an agency wants to make changes following a Website Assessment and has tracked the changes against the original Assessment we can re-review the site against the changes made.  This is a low cost service offered to existing clients to enable them to review and refine their site and reflect these changes in their ratings.

This chart shows the criteria areas and depths covered by each of our services.

E-Gov Watch's main offering is the quality assessment of government websites against its comprehensive set of best government online practices criteria.  The assessment criteria are wide ranging and apply to all government sites. 

The criteria are grouped into the following nine criteria areas;

Criteria Areas
No. of Criteria Elements
Source of Criteria
Required Government Content
32 criteria
Government Web Standards & Recommendations, version 2.0
Accessibility
55 criteria Government Web Standards & Recommendations, version 2.0
Usability
136 criteria
Best  practices in website usability applicable to e-government
Information Delivery
13 criteria for each Information Item (typically 5 to 15 Information Items
per website)
Information Items from planning documents, websites of comparable organisations,  Estimates of Appropriations plus website content
e-Services Delivery
16 criteria for each e-Service (typically 0 to 12 e-Services per website)
Service Items from planning documents, websites of comparable organisations,  Estimates of Appropriations plus website content
Personalisation
20 criteria
Best  practices in  personalisation applicable to e-government
Cross-Organisation Integration
14 criteria
Best practices in cross-organisation integration applicable to e-government
Feedback
6 criteria
Best practices in feedback applicable to e-government 
e-Consultation
31 criteria for each consultation offered in the last year
Best e-government practices in e-consultation
 

Expert assessors evaluate the website assessed, rate the site on a 0 to 10 scale against each of the criteria and add comments and links to examples of issues where relevant.  Each of the criteria is weighted for importance.  The combination of ratings and weightings are summed up to a score out of 100 for each criteria area.  

Each criteria area is also weighted for importance relative to the type of government organisation.  For example, policy agencies may not have significant scope for e-services delivery but a greater need for e-consultation. 

Government organisations with multiple websites can get each site assessed individually as well as an aggregate overall rating for comparison with other organisations.

The criteria, ratings, comments and weightings are delivered in the form of an Excel workbook with separate worksheets for each criteria area and a summary page.  This digital format allows clients to see the calculations clearly and to follow the example web links back to the source of issues found.  Each worksheet is also formatted for printing.

Full assessments typically take five working days to complete with faster reviews available upon discussion.


An e-Gov Watch assessment generally takes 5 working days depending on the complexity of the site.  The steps in the assessment process are:

  1. You approve the assessment.
  2. We ask you to provide temporary guest access for any secure areas you want included.
  3. We carry out the review against the relevant criteria and send the results to you.
  4. You have an agreed time period (usually 2 weeks) to review our findings and come back to us to clarify any findings, discuss any items you disagree with and to finalise the results
  5. We take any remedial action required to finalise the results.  We will inform you of your ranking against other agencies and best in criteria rankings.
  6. We ask permission to publish your summary result if you are in the top 10 of rankings.

The benefits of an e-Gov Watch website assessment are;

  • Clear and specific guidance of where potential problems are to be found in your website
  • Support in justification of bids for resources to expand online capabilities
  • Ability to compare website quality with other government organisations and gauge relative performance
  • Expert assessment independent from development interests
  • Assessment  against both the minimum standards (Government Web Standards & Recommendations) and best e-government practices
  • Cost effective way of reviewing and identifying key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in your website

The best times to get an e-Gov Watch website assessment are;

  • To justify the redevelopment of a website, in the sense of an independent review supporting the case for change
  • During a major redevelopment to check the quality of the site and allowing the opportunity to remedy any issues found (especially during an external developer's warrantee period)
  • At any time to establish a benchmark for further improvement

We are beginning to offer our services internationally.  We tailor our criteria to the local government criteria available in each country and to suit different types of government agencies be they federal, state or local organisation.  We also tailor our criteria to the type of organisation for example whether they are policy or service delivery organisations.  We will tailor our criteria to meet your type of organisation while at the same time maintaining integrity within our criteria to enable cross organisational comparison.

The prices for assessments and related services for individual websites are;

e-Gov Watch Services

Price per site*

(excl GST)

Full Best Practices Assessment $3,800
Compliance Advice Report - Full Best Practices Assessment $1,800
Structure & Content Assessment $2,900
Compliance Advice Report - Structure & Content Assessment $1,500
Structural Assessment $1,800
Compliance Advice Report - Structural Assessment $900
Content Assessment $2,000
Compliance Advice Report - Content Assessment $900
Government Web Standards & Recommendations Assessment

$1,800

Compliance Advice Report - Government Web Standards & Recommendations Assessment $900
Summary Best Practices Assessment $1,200
Mini Review $600
Supplementary Website Assessment Depends upon the
extent of changes made

The information in this article was current at 02 Dec 2011