16. Ensure Access to Mandatory Content

Laws, regulations, or other policies will occasionally mandate that agencies place certain links on their website. Agencies must respect and adhere to these statutory or executive-level mandates and incorporate these requirements in a manner that does not reduce the usability or performance of the agency’s website and digital services.

At a minimum, agencies must post links to the following information on the agency’s principal website and on any known sub-agency or other major entry points to their site:

A. USA.gov;

B. the website’s privacy policy;

C. the agency’s Freedom of Information Act webpage;

D. a page about the agency with descriptions of the agency organization structure, mission, and statutory authority, and links to the following information.35

  1. the agency’s strategic plan and annual performance plans;
  2. the agency’s Privacy Program Page;
  3. the agency point of contact as required by the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002;36
  4. the agency’s Open Government Page;
  5. the agency’s Plain Writing Page; 36
  6. information as required under the No Fear Act of 2002;38 and
  7. information associated with the agency’s implementation of the Information Quality Act. 39

For other required links, Federal agencies should determine the best location on their website to place those links based on user needs and the underlying requirement from law or policy.


35: This refers to the webpage about the agency which is usually referred to as “About”, “About Us”, “About Agency,” or a similar variant.

36: 44 U.S.C. § 3506(i)

37: The agency’s Plain Writing Page should also continue to be accessible from their Open Government Page per OMB Memorandum, M-11-15, Final Guidance on Implementing the Plain Writing Act of 2010.

38: 5 U.S.C. § 2301 note

39: This refers to OMB’s Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/assets/omb/fedreg/reproducible2.pdf, and OMB’s Information Quality Guidelines for Peer Review at https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/omb/memoranda/fy2005/m05-03.pdf.