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Government website frustrations

Our August Governing column is a bit of a rant about “broken links, outdated information and mysterious abbreviations” on state and local government websites. It looks like we’re not the only ones who are frustrated.

Here’s a comment we saw this past weekend in a Kansas audit of liaison offices for African American Affairs, Latino American Affairs and Native American Affairs.

“Although each liaison office maintains a public website, the contact information provided is limited and in many cases was incorrect. For example, the Kansas Native American Affairs Office’s website listed contact information for an Executive Director who had left more than two years ago. Additionally, the voicemail box for one executive director was full, which prevented us from leaving them a message.

“Later an email error at the Kansas Hispanic and Latino American Affairs Commission prevented the Executive Director from sending or receiving messages. We did not attempt to determine what impact these problems might have on constituents who attempt to contact the liaison offices.”

As we said in Governing, there is no question that public sector websites, in general, have improved dramatically in recent years. But way too often we encounter broken links and out-of-date information.

Keeping info up-to-date and accurate is not a trivial issue. With citizens increasingly dependent on online information, it is fundamental.


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