Web pages must be navigable from home pages and organized logically with easy navigation pathways for website visitors.
Electronic Forms, Filing, and Signatures
Websites must, when practicable, use electronic forms, electronic filing, and electronic signatures to conduct official business with the public. Images of an original official signature will not be displayed. The proper way to indicate an official signature for a document on a website (when there is a requirement that a signature be displayed) is the electronic signature designator (/s/) inserted before the typed name.
VA will implement applicable policies and standards for public access to electronic information per Section 207(e) of the E-Government Act, Public Access to Electronic Information.
Copyright, Trademark, and Patent Laws
Any posted material such as documents, graphics, or audio files procured from the private sector will be reviewed to ensure compliance with copyright, trademark, and other patent laws.
Web records shall be managed per National Archives and Records Administration requirements that govern federal government record-keeping practices, the management and disposition of records, risk mitigation, and other issues related to the creation, accumulation, integrity, and disposition of web records.
Websites will secure information and information systems through the integration of appropriate risk mitigation strategies within the business operations/missions as well as within the systems.
Websites that provide material and data for downloading by the user for off-line analysis or manipulation will provide the data in open, industry-standard formats or in alternative formats that do not impose a burden on the intended audience and that permit the data to be manipulated and organized.
Session cookies are permitted on websites so that visitors can conduct business with the Department and do not require permission for use.
Also see the cookies webpage for more information.
HTTPS Everywhere Initiative
Content owners will ensure that all hard-coded hyperlinks to VA resources beginning with “http://” are validated and updated to “https://” once the conversion of VA sites occurs in accordance with the Presidential HTTPS Everywhere Initiative. If content has not been updated to support HTTPS only, pages may appear broken or images could be missing.
It is the responsibility of Site Owners, Developers, Content and Application Managers to ensure that approved custom sites have Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates in place, that they are tested and remediated immediately.
VA’s Enterprise Content Management System
Web content/technical leads and managers will use the designated Enterprise Content Management System unless approved by the appropriate Web Communication Office. Web content/technical leads and web managers should test pages to ensure the requirements of VA Directive 6102 and Handbook 6102, and the guidance on this website, are met.
Web pages will incorporate standardized metadata to ensure uniformity in method and presentation of VA web pages.
The following table provides an overview of metadata elements for website home pages.
|Title||Formal title on the webpage||Free Text|
|Subject||An abstract or short summary of the content of the webpage||Free Text|
|Author||Office responsible for the content||Free Text|
|Date Created||Original date the content was created||YYYYMMDD|
|Date Reviewed||Date on which the content was last reviewed||YYYYMMDD|
|Language||Language authority list|
The following table provides an overview of required/strongly recommended metadata elements non-HTML documents posted on websites.
|Title||Required||Formal title of resource||Free Text|
|Subject||Required||An abstract or short summary of the content of the resource||Free Text|
|Author||Strongly Recommended||Office responsible for the content||Free Text|
|Keywords||Strongly Recommended||Use words that describe the resource. Be specific.||Free Text|