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Guiding Principles

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website exists to empower our Veterans and service members, our business and service partners, and our employees. It does so by providing information, services, and work processes. Furthermore, the website provides opportunities for effective, efficient, and timely involvement in their Government so they can improve their lives, solve their problems, and accomplish their objectives. The Department’s web presence plays an integral role in the overall VA communications and outreach strategy.

The VA website is the Department’s primary public interface. Its pages are a fundamental part of every Department program. Collectively, these pages lay the foundation for the Department’s communication and outreach programs. The site conveys and amplifies the Department’s mission, goals, and work. It provides both opportunity and obligation to present timely information, data, and interpretation to a globe-spanning audience. Increasingly, the VA website is the interactive tool-of-choice for the delivery of Department services to its many publics.

VA web governance principles maximize the creative use of people, policy, and processes to manage short- and long-range goals, provide clarity, and resolve conflict across the Department. These principles give a framework for seeing clear web management priorities and responsibilities. They also help to identify and allocate necessary resources, promote Department-wide standards for best practices, and recognize and support the Department’s web community.

VA Web Guiding Principles

  • The VA brand embodies the Department’s promise to the public.
  • The organizational structure of the Department is transparent to the site visitor.
  • The VA website is the Department's primary communications and educational outreach medium. The website communicates a full array of mission-centered information, including general information, program actions and activities, data, research, regulations, and educational materials.
  • The VA website is a holistic information resource that results from active collaboration across traditional intra- and inter-division boundaries. Such ongoing collaboration, facilitated by technology, takes place without regard to organizational or personal ego.
  • The core responsibility of all Operating and Staff Divisions is to uphold the integrity and quality of web content and communications to accomplish the overarching mission, work, and goals of the Department.
  • The Department is committed to meeting site visitors’ expectations that content is up-to-date. Outdated content and repetitive content is reduced and ultimately eliminated.
  • VA embraces the principles of eGovernment and encourages aggressive use of the web to allow and encourage the electronic conduct of Department business.
  • The VA website is committed to meeting and exceeding all applicable policy, regulatory, legal, ethical, accessibility (508 compliance, plain language, usability, etc.), privacy, records retention, and security standards.

Adopted June 2022