U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service  115 FW 8, Information Published on the World Wide Web

FWM#:         341 (new)
Date:             July 28, 1999
Series:           Public Information
Part 115:       Information and Expression
Originating Office:  Office of Public Affairs  

8.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter establishes policy and procedures for publishing information on the World Wide Web (Internet).

8.2 To whom does this chapter apply? This chapter applies to all Service employees and offices that publish information on the Internet, whether it is on a Service-managed computer or a system owned by another organization or contractor.

8.3 What is the policy on the content of Internet pages? All pages published on the Internet must be related to the mission, activities, and functions of the Service and will be kept up to date. You cannot publish any information that compromises Service policy, that could be embarrassing to the Service, or that is detrimental to our conservation mission. Publish on the Service Internal Internet (SII), draft or sensitive information appropriate for viewing by Service employees only.

8.4 Who is responsible for information published on the Internet?

A. Members of the Service Directorate are responsible for all material published on the Internet/SII and will designate individuals who are accountable for approval and maintenance of the information. In addition, they will establish procedures to ensure that:

(1) All material published on the Fish and Wildlife Service pages are relevant to the functions and mission of the Service.

(2) Information is coordinated with appropriate offices and approved at the appropriate level prior to publishing on the Internet.

(3) Material is accurate and kept up to date.

B. The Web Manager, appointed by the Director, has primary responsibility for administration of the Fish and Wildlife Service Home Page and coordination of the Service's Internet presence. The Web Manager will chair the Web Publishing Council.

C. The Web Publishing Council consists of members appointed by each Regional and Assistant Director and will:

(1) Inform Service offices as to how they can take advantage of the Internet to communicate with specific external audiences (including nongovernment organizations, media, State agencies, Congress, schools, and the general public).

(2) Develop and maintain procedures for implementing Internet publishing guidance (including design and technical standards) and evaluate audience response.

(3) Coordinate Web publishing plans of different Service offices and, as appropriate, integrate them with the national outreach strategy, strategic plans, and communications plans.

(4) Develop a style guide for publishing material on the Internet. The identity of the Service is important and customers should be able to recognize quickly when they are seeing an official Service publication even when it is on the Internet. The design and technical standards will ensure the Service's Internet pages are visually attractive and reflect an appropriately consistent look.

8.5 If I want to publish material on the Internet, how do I establish a Web account?

A. Determine your messages and target audiences, then determine how the information can best be delivered; e.g., via Web pages, listserver, threaded discussion group, etc. Internet-based delivery mechanisms can work together with other tools, such as television or printed publications.

B. Coordinate all Web publishing efforts with your Web Publishing Council representative, who will help you get an account on a Service-managed computer. You are encouraged to use Service-managed computers to publish information on the Internet, and to publish official Web pages so they have an address in the "fws.gov" domain.

8.6 Who must review and approve the material that I want to publish on the Internet?

A. To determine if the information is appropriate for publishing on the Internet, coordinate with outreach and public affairs specialists, especially on proposed material not previously approved for release to the public. In addition, when Web pages include information that affects two or more offices, you must coordinate the pages with all interested offices to ensure that the information is consistent.

B. You may not publish on the Internet any document that contains policy/management directives until it has been reviewed by the Division of Policy and Directives Management and the Assistant Director - Planning and Budget, and approved in accordance with the Service Directives System (Part 010).

C. All Internet pages must comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 to minimize the paperwork burden the Federal Government places on the public. If you request any information from the public, other than general feedback about the page, the Information Collection Clearance Officer, Division of Policy and Directives Management, must review the proposed pages prior to publication on the Internet.

8.7 Do I have to credit all graphics used on my Web pages?

A. All Service-owned or developed graphics are in the public domain and are copyright free to the end user. However, do not copy text or post images that may not be in the public domain. Using graphics from other sources, or downloading graphics from non-Service sources and then using them in Service products, could be a copyright violation.

B. You must research thoroughly the "ownership" of any graphic device used on Fish and Wildlife Service Web pages. If there is doubt as to the origin or ownership, do not use the graphic in Service products. Do not assume that graphics in all Service products (such as printed publications) are automatically copyright free and may be scanned. Some may be copyrighted and used by limited permission. Others might be licensed for a specific use. Re-use in another Service product or by an outside entity may require additional permission from the copyright holder.

C. If you receive permission to post copyrighted information (e.g., a lengthy extract from a book or a photo), identify clearly that a copyright applies.

D. In addition to complying with copyright laws, you must make every effort to correctly credit images. Credit is intended to provide non-monetary reward to Service personnel and offices that contribute images.

E. You may obtain information on copyright on the Internet courtesy of The Library of Congress. Also, Title 17 of the U.S. Code has specific information on copyright within the Federal Government.

8.8 May I publish the Service logo on my Web pages?

A. The Fish and Wildlife Service logo is the official identification for the Service and will appear on officially-approved Service publications. 041 FW 2 establishes policies and procedures for approval and use of the Service logo. You may not reproduce the symbol in any way that changes its wording or design elements.

B. For Internet pages, you may not publish the logo on pages outside the Service's control except when we share responsibility for publishing information with another organization. Other organizations may use the official logo on Internet pages that are not managed by us, if we are a participating partner with a written cooperative agreement or other formal authorization. The Assistant Director - External Affairs must approve any other agreement for use of the Service logo on non-Service Web pages.

8.9 Is there an official Service disclaimer? An official disclaimer regarding privacy, copyrights, and use of the
information on the Service's Internet pages is published on the Internet. Link to the disclaimer rather than rewrite it.

8.10 Do I have to have a mailbox on my Web pages? Every Service home page will have a mailbox or a link to another page with a mailbox to allow email feedback. You must acknowledge all email received from Web pages. Take advantage of email software "autoreply" capabilities to provide acknowledgments. Treat email the same as letters and faxes when determining whether or not a further detailed response is required.


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For additional information regarding this Web page, contact Krista Bibb, in the Division of Policy and Directives Management, at Krista_Bibb@fws.gov.  For information regarding the specific contents of this chapter, please contact the Web Manager, Office of Public Affairs. 
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