Central government is committed to providing online information that is user-friendly, accessible, well designed and easy to find. The websites of public authorities need to be easy for the public to locate, view and use. To make sure that this happens, central government has adopted the Web Guidelines, which its website managers have to apply.

World Wide Web Consortium W3C

The Web Guidelines (external link) (in Dutch) are based on internationally recognised rules concerning accessibility, design and sustainability laid down by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Web Guidelines: ‘apply or explain’

The Web Guidelines (version 2) (external link) appear on the list of obligatory open standards (external link) (in Dutch) laid down by the Standardisation Forum. All the open standards listed by the Forum are subject to the ‘apply or explain’ principle. Public authorities must apply these standards in their entirety. If there are compelling reasons why they are unable to do so, they must clearly explain why.

The Web Guidelines (version 2) are also described in the Assessment Framework (external link) (in Dutch), which also serves as a guide on how best to apply them.

The procedures that public authorities must follow to account for their website management is also subject to requirements. They are described in the accessibility statement (external link) (in Dutch).