Steria improves website in line with e-Government and accessibility requirements accelerating the council's position from no303 to no6 in Local Government website league
As the official IT partner for Spelthorne Council, Steria, a leading European IT services provider, has been working with the Council to improve its website ensuring that it complies with e-Government and accessibility requirements. The work was undertaken by Steria's Content Solutions Practice who undertook a thorough review of the website and within one month delivered dramatic improvements. An analysis by SiteMorse, the automated website testing service this autumn, showed that Spelthorne's website had moved up 297 places, from 303rd to 6th in a national league of 467 Local Government websites.
The improvements to the Council website were made as part of Spelthorne’s commitment to providing more services electronically and include:
* A detailed review of the website and its programming in relation to SiteMorse requirements
* Improvements to eGMS (Metadata) to comply with the version 3 e-Government standard. The site is fully compliant now
* Updates to the website to comply with e-Government Accessibility standards which gave the council website Level A and AA compliance for the first time. This included the provision of :
- Printer friendly pages to ensure that all text on pages can be printed clearly and easily
- Text only and improved contrast pages. There are now text alternatives to all web pages other than documents in Word and Portable Document Format (PDF), to help those with visual impairments. Both of the latter two are now available at the click of a button from the Council’s home page
- Access keys enabling visitors to navigate the website with a keyboard. This is a key benefit for those who experience problems using a mouse
* A very powerful search capacity
* Website content updates to ensure regulatory and legislative compliance which requires content to be of a certain standard
* Performance improvements - changes to site structure and information on what needs to be further improved for the Council
In addition, the site has had a number of recent additions including Planning on line. Details of all current and past planning applications as well as other information for any property in the Borough can easily be found from the address or even finding the relevant property on a map. Comments can also be made on applications by e-mail.
Chief Executive Karen Satterford of Spelthorne Council commented: “This survey is excellent news for Spelthorne and for all users of our website. Thanks are due to all concerned, particularly Steria, our IT partners, for the work they have done. The improvement to our site is, we believe, the most significant ever recorded. We are, however, determined to continually improve our delivery of e-services and need to work hard to ensure that we maintain this high standard”.
Guy Lambert, Director of Systems Integration at Steria, also said: "We are delighted with the results Spelthorne Council has achieved as a direct result of our work with them. Steria’s Content Solutions Practice has a lot to offer our Local Government customers trying to ensure that they meet the stringent requirements set by legislation, such as the Disability Discrimination Act, and e-government guidelines. This is yet another significant demonstration of the value that Steria can provide to the local government marketplace and builds on the excellent work we are already doing for local authority customers including Breckland Council and South Buckinghamshire District Council."
The latest test for the website was conducted by SiteMorse which is recognised for publishing league tables related to compliance and performance of 467 Local Government websites in the UK. The results from SiteMorse tests are used by SOCTIM – the industry organisation that assesses Local Government performance in total and produces the annual 'Better Connected' survey.
SiteMorse runs monthly tests against all local authority websites, measuring key indicators such as accessibility, errors, metadata (keywords that search engines use to find pages on the Internet) and performance – i.e. time taken to load the home page. Following the work Steria completed, Spelthorne made improvements in all of these areas, contributing to its jump in the rankings.
Steria’s Content Solutions Practice worked with Spelthorne Council using its web content management and search technology solutions designed specifically for Public Sector customers, especially in Local Government. The ‘Steria e-Gov Accelerator Pack’ has been designed to accelerate the implementation of e-Government orientated web projects and has two mandatory components called the ‘Accessibility Bundle’ and e-GMS, which address accessibility and e-Government metadata requirements for e-Government websites and SiteMorse testing.
Following the success of its work with Spelthorne Council SiteMorse recognised the ability Steria have to assist Local Government websites comply with the standards expected. As a result Steria will now be the first IT Services provider to partner with SiteMorse to assist more Council websites to comply with requirements for e-Government and Accessibility standards. Steria has a dedicated team focusing on this business area to provide such continuous improvement to its customers. Steria are the first systems integrator to include SiteMorse as part of their testing regime for their web solutions delivery.
Steria, an end-to-end IT services partner provider, has sound knowledge of the public sector and provides a comprehensive offering, combining its skills in consulting, systems integration and managed services. Steria's ability to manage large-scale IT projects with commitment to results makes it a trusted partner for the public sector. Over 50 ministries and 60 public bodies work with Steria in Europe, including Norwich City Council in the UK, Danish and Norwegian customs authorities, the Norwegian and Swedish police, the Spanish ministries of Labour, Economy and Health, the French Navy, the Belgian Ministry of the Interior and the French Ministry of Economy and Finance, to name a few.
About Steria Limited (www.steria.co.uk)
Steria in the UK delivers a full services portfolio, combining consulting, systems integration and managed services with a focus on major business areas including the public sector, finance and transport. Steria employs more than 1,500 people in the UK.
About Steria (www.steria.com)
Extensive expertise in its three core businesses of consulting, systems integration and managed services has made Steria a leading, end-to-end, IT services provider for companies and public authorities throughout Europe.
With a revenue of €1 billion and more than 8000 employees, Steria is one of the top ten European IT services companies.
Knowledge of its customers' business processes, understanding the challenges facing them and an exceptional ability to respond enables Steria to design innovative solutions, with a commitment to results and customer satisfaction. Steria is thus able to provide a portfolio of proven solutions, backed by more than 30 years' experience in managing large-scale projects.
Steria's employees, who hold 30% of the Group’s capital, have built a performance culture based on strong values – simplicity, creativity, independence, respect and openness – enabling Steria to help its customers make progress.
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