Web Property Approvals and Exemptions Process

Web Governance

The Core Policy and Process Manual Policy Chapter 22 contains policy on government communications and public engagement and includes greater integration of online development, citizen engagement and social media functions. This chapter also clarifies the role and objectives of Government Communications and Public Engagement (GCPE) and Government Digital Experience Division (GDX).

Online Web Properties

All B.C government web properties (a point of presence on government web platforms) must align with B.C. Government's corporate standards, including

The Internet Strategy implemented in 2014 designates that:

  • All core B.C. government public content must be in the corporate content management system, CMS Lite and resident on gov.bc.ca.
  • All core government new web properties or web properties being substantially updated including specialized or customized websites and applications must go through the Joint Working Group (JWG) for review.
  • Ensure early submission in the project planning process. This will:
    • allow you time to incorporate feedback;
    • avoid implementation delays of the intended business solution;
       
  • Risk: Any sites that implement a customized system/platform/solution prior to approval will be at risk of being shut down.

Types of web properties

  • Simple URLs
    • A shortened web address for promotional purposes that can be shared over the phone or in print (e.g.  gov.bc.ca/msp; gov.bc.ca/spectax; gov.bc.ca/roadsafetybc).

General guidelines for Simple URLs:

  • Simple URLs must reflect the web page title and content
  • Acronyms are not generally approved. However, well known government programs for citizens, businesses, government and stakeholders have been approved (MSP and BCTS)
  • Dashes (e.g. gov.bc.ca/word-otherword) are allowed but the JWG recommends against their use
  • CamelCase is the preference if the URL is for print or visual media
  • Custom Applications
    • Custom development is the designing of software applications to address specific needs within an organization
      Note: the purpose is to inform and obtain approval from the Joint Working Group for the application development by your organization
  • Custom Mobile Applications
    • Customized mobile development is the designing of software applications to address specific needs within an organization.
      Note: the purpose is to inform and obtain approval from the Joint Working Group for the application development by your organization
  • Domains (new, transfer or renewal)
    • New Custom Domain
    • Single domains only; Multiple domains are not allowed due to cost of maintenance and hosting
    • Must reflect the website purpose
    • Acronyms are not allowed.  May be approved if it is a long standing
      program/service known to citizens, businesses, government and stakeholders
    • Hyphens are not allowed
  • Sub-domains:
    • A sub-domain is an additional part to your main domain name (e.g. gov.bc.ca).
    • Sub-domains are created to organize and navigate to different sections of your website. You can create multiple sub-domains or child domains on your main domain.
    • Naming standard:  app.gov.bc.ca
    • Sub-domain must reflect the website purpose
    • Acronyms are not allowed.  May be approved if it is a long standing program/service known to citizens, businesses, government and stakeholders
  • Hyphens are not allowed
  • Domain Renewals
  • Exemptions to CMS Lite:
    • A website that exists outside of the corporate content management system (CMS Lite).
      • It has its own unique registered domain name; and,
      • It has unique requirements that are not available within CMS Lite; or,
      • A new planned website. There are evidence-based reasons as to why it should remain separate (technical, specific audience-based requirements etc.).
      • Arms-length organization
      • Independent regulatory agency
  • WordPress sites:
    • Flexible and adaptable software used for:
      • Exemptions from CMS Lite
      • Citizen engagement:
        1. Citizen engagement that uses commenting and moderation services within a specific timeframe. Moderated by GCPE or ministry staff.  For example:  http://tranbc.ca
      • GCPE Marketing or promotion sites
        1. The GCPE marketing and advertising team manages all marketing and advertising materials prepared for public consumption and handles advertising policy and procedures for government.
      • Non-core government websites
        1. Agencies, Boards and Commissions
  • Intranets
    • CMS Lite intranets are exempted from going through the JWG; simply submit a service ticket to our GDX Service Desk and request this service
    • All others are required to go through the Joint Working Group (e.g. Kentico, Drupal, etc.) for review and decision
  • Graphics / Branding including establishment of a BC Brand
    • Endorsed Marks of B.C. government (e.g.  HealthLinkBC, ServiceBC, DriveBC)
    • Custom branding of independent or arms length organizations; (e.g. Office of the Seniors Advocate),
    • GCPE experts create print and online publications, event displays, visual presentations, web graphics, motion graphics, and photography. They are also the source of graphic standards in the B.C. government and authorize use of the provincial identity (B.C. logo).
      Note: Unauthorized use of Province of BC branding is an infringement of copyright laws according to the Copyright Act.