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02-24-2016 – 15-112 – Performance Audit – Website Accuracy and Completeness – Citywide

By taking additional steps to reduce instances of inaccurate and outdated content, quality control will be improved, and the City will have greater assurance that citizens, ABQ311, and other website visitors will obtain timely and accurate information when visiting the City’s website.

DTI can improve internal controls by promptly deactivating web contributor access, which will reduce the risk that unauthorized content is posted to the City’s website by former website contributors.

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Executive Summary

Providing public information is a basic function of municipal government. The City’s website has been providing an ever-expanding selection of content since 1994 to citizens and to ABQ311, the City’s 311 Call Center. The City’s website contains approximately 2,500 individual pages of information and provides access to numerous documents, reports, and open source data.

The City has strong Information Technology Policies and Standards based on best practices for website management, and also has knowledgeable and responsive in-house technical support.

The City has a decentralized model for website content management. Nearly 150 departmental subject matter experts maintain responsibility for managing content on their departments’ pages. However, this model creates challenges because serving as a website contributor is a small part of their duties. As a result, information that has changed may not be taken down or revised in a timely manner. By taking additional steps to reduce instances of inaccurate and outdated content, quality control will be improved, and the City will have greater assurance that citizens, ABQ311, and other website visitors will obtain timely and accurate information when visiting the City’s website.

Findings

Review of a sample of 594 web pages found:

  • 145 nonfunctioning links, on 62 website pages,
  • 76 pages containing outdated content,
  • 20 pages containing inaccurate content, and
  • 10 pages with exceptions to the City External Link Standard.

The Department of Technology and Innovation (DTI) does not have a formal access revocation process for former website contributors.

Recommendations

The CAO should:

  • Periodically remind department directors of their responsibility to ensure that website content is accurate and current.
  • Encourage departments to establish schedules for review of their web pages.

DTI should:

  • Ensure that access to the content management system is promptly deactivated when web contributors terminate, retire, or transfer to another department.

The CAO and DTI agree with the recommendations and will provide reminder messaging for department directors. DTI is revising the process for deactivating website access when contributor roles change.