The Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) has potentially breached mandatory obligations set out in its own web publishing guide around government branding.
AGIMO released a revised version of the web publishing guide this week which left unchanged 17 mandatory requirements from the old version of the guide.
Of the mandatory requirements, one called on agencies to replace all references to the 'Commonwealth Government' or 'Federal Government' with the term 'Australian Government' on their websites.
The directive did not apply to content published before 2003 or where a change to the wording would alter the official record, such as in an annual report that had been tabled to parliament.
An iTnews investigation revealed several agencies, including AGIMO itself, may be in breach of the common branding requirement.
AGIMO administrates the australia.gov.au website, which housed a page that referred to the Commonwealth Government in its URL, title and main headline.
The web publishing guide revision dealt with topics including accessibility, Government 2.0, copyright, freedom of information and PDF readers.
Other newly revised sections covered spatial data, advertising and the Gov 2.0 primer.
While the guide supported the use of RSS, net researchers may be disappointed to learn that it failed to achieve a "mandatory" classification in the guide revision.
However, AGIMO's Assistant Secretary Peter Alexander predicted a "time not too far off when RSS and change alerts for all content types will be standard practice.
"We have not approached mandating it (and some other areas) yet because we need to focus on get[ting] all the existing mandated areas well implemented across government," he said.
Alexander said the revised guide would help agencies manage their online presence and understand their relevant legal and policy obligations.
It replaced the previous Web Publishing Guide, which was launched in May 2007.
"We worked closely with a range of agencies to form the site's new content and also tried to consult with you, the public, wherever we could - before its content was rolled into the blog you're reading now," Alexander said.