Improving EPA's Website (Web Governance)

MEMORANDUM

To: Assistant Administrators, Regional Administrators, General Counsel, Chief Financial Officer, Associate Administrators, Inspector General and Stage Office Directors

From: Administrator Mike Leavitt

Subject: Improving EPA's Public Website

Date: December 6, 2004

EPA's Web site is the Agency's most effective communications medium. It is the primary source of Agency information for the general public, members of Congress, journalists, our sister agencies, and the regulated community. On average, people download nearly one million pages a day, and that spikes whenever EPA is making news.

To date, management of our Web site has largely been ad hoc. Over the past decade, people and programs have posted information about their work until today we boast half a million pages of content covering virtually every aspect of Agency business. It was a start-up model, and it served us well.

Now, with the Web maturing, and our site a more critical part of doing business, it is time to bring structure to the management of epa.gov. Last January, I challenged the Agency to create Governance for our Web. Through a collaborative effort that involved managers and staff, programs and regions, we have accomplished just that.

The Governance documents that I am sending you today include a set of principles designed as a constitution to guide us today and long into tomorrow. These principles challenge us to better serve ourselves by best serving our publics. They encourage us to lead the e-government effort and to set the gold standard for the federal Web community.

Governance also sets forth a management structure. We are establishing a National Content Manager in the Office of Public Affairs and a National Infrastructure Manager in the Office of Environmental Information. I am asking that each region and each program office appoint corresponding Content and Infrastructure Coordinators. These people, working together, will constitute a Web Council charged with establishing standards and guidance, coordinating Web efforts across the Agency, and fostering cross-Agency content reorganization. The Web Council shall operate using an agreed-upon model for consensus decision-making.

I will ask that National Managers, in consultation with the Web Council, draft a management plan that will establish goals and priorities for the next year and that will include quantifiable benchmarks by which we can measure success.

Creating and maintaining a comprehensive, cohesive and communicative Web site is everyone’s responsibility. The Web Governance principles and management structure put in place today will make all of our jobs easier and our work better. I extend my thanks to those who have worked so hard to improve EPA’s Web Site and pledge my continued support to make it even better.

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