OMB Policy 3: Establish and Enforce Agencywide Linking Policies
Per OMB M-05-04, "Policies for Federal Agency Public Websites" (PDF, 48 KB, 5 pages, December 2004):
- Agencies must establish and enforce explicit agency-wide linking policies that describe management controls for linking within and beyond the agency. These policies must appropriately limit external linking to information or services necessary for the proper performance of agency functions.
- Agency linking policies must include reasonable management controls to assure external links remain active or otherwise continue to provide the level of quality (including objectivity, utility, and integrity) as intended by the agency and expected by users.
- OMB's Information Quality guidelines exclude hyperlinks from the definition of information, but this does not remove agency responsibility to exercise due diligence when determining whether to link externally. If your agency determines external links enhance the presentation of agency information, or improve service delivery, you must take reasonable steps to ensure the presentation is accurate, relevant, timely, and complete.
- Agencies must reasonably assure suitable information and service quality, consistent with the level of importance of the information. Reasonable steps include: 1) clearly identify the limitations inherent in the information dissemination product (e.g., possibility of errors, degree of reliability, and validity) so users are fully aware of the quality and integrity of the information or service; 2) take reasonable steps to remove the limitations inherent in the information; and 3) reconsider linking to the information or service. Agency links to commercial organizations or interest groups present special challenges with respect to maintaining agency objectivity, and should be used judiciously.
- Specific website privacy policies
- Information made available under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
- Information about your agency's organizational structure, mission and statutory authority, including budget and performance documents such as strategic and annual performance plans, and a point of contact for small business
- Inspector General audits and investigative reports and a method for reporting evidence of waste, fraud, or abuse
- Summary statistical data about equal employment opportunity complaints filed with the agency and written notification of "Whistleblower" rights and protections as required by the No Fear Act of 2002
- A link to "USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal"
- Other cross–government portals or links required by law or policy