Mandatory Requirements

This page provides a listing of all the topics for which there are mandatory requirements for Australian Government agencies to consider when developing and maintaining their online presence.

This listing supplements any agency-specific guidelines relating to websites, it does not replace them.

It is recommended that all agencies, when procuring website development and design services (or similar), should include the following words to ensure that all potential service providers are fully informed of the agency’s legal and policy obligations:

All Australian Government websites and other web-based content must comply with any relevant Mandatory Requirements identified in the Web Guide ( Service providers should be familiar with the Mandatory Requirements and the other guidance provided by the Web Guide when responding to Australian Government tender processes for relevant services.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0 have been endorsed for all Government websites.
Agencies need to be aware of their responsibilities regards government campaigns and online advertising.
Archiving websites
Under the Archives Act 1983 Government agencies must retain records of their websites and website content for designated periods.
The Web Guide provides guidance on implementation of the Australian Government Brand in the online environment.
Caretaker conventions
In the period preceding an election, the Australian Government assumes a caretaker role. During this time there are a number of restrictions on what the Australian Government may do.
Contract reporting requirements
Under Senate Continuing Order No.9, agencies are required to list a range of contracts on their agency website.
Copyright & copyright notices
Agencies must include appropriate copyright notices on their websites.
Agencies need to limit any liability from subsequent use of information by including a disclaimer on their websites.
Documents tabled in Parliament
All documents that have been tabled in Parliament are to be published online.
Domain names
The Australian Government Domain Name Policy provides criteria to be met when applying for, managing and decommissioning domain names.
File lists
Under Senate Continuing Order No.8 agencies must publish an indexed list of relevant files every six months on their agency website.
Providing forms online can provide benefits to the public and to Government agencies
Freedom of Information
Reforms to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) in 2010 introduced fundamental changes to the way information held by government is managed and accessed by members of the public.
Metadata (AGLS)
Metadata is a set of descriptive elements that government agencies use to improve the visibility and accessibility of their services and information.
Online Content Requirements
Agencies are required to publish a range of public accountability information on their agency website.
Privacy & privacy statements
Australian Government agencies must comply with the Privacy Act 1988, particularly the Australian Privacy Principles, and include a privacy statement on their websites.
References to the Australian Government
Reference should be made to the ‘Australian Government’ and not the ‘Commonwealth Government’ or the ‘Federal Government’.
The Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework directs Australian Government agencies to consider the security implications of their electronic information systems and to devise policy and plans to ensure the systems are appropriately protected.