Presidência do Conselho de Ministros (Council of Ministers' Presidency)
Resolution of the Council of Ministers
The development of information and communication technologies, especially in the last few decades of the 20th century, and their large-scale provision for use by the population, have led to a deep change of economic and social activities, with the consequent impact in the quality of life of citizens and in the competitiveness and productivity of companies.
Issues such as e-government and the technological modernization of public services are particularly important to the XVII Constitutional Government, which has been actively engaged in improving the quality, performance, accessibility and availability of online public services.
Technological modernization enhances opportunities for action of individuals and institutions, provides tools to promote citizenship and inclusion and constitutes a powerful factor for growth and economic success.
In this context, access to information and communication technologies. and skills to use them, are distinguishing features of social opportunities of key importance nowadays. Information society technologies represent for all persons with especial needs (disabled and elderly people) the prime means towards inclusion and social participation.
These technologies may and should be at the same time a factor for social cohesion and for combating social exclusion.
It is thus important to ensure that the information made available by the Public Administration in the Internet is such as to be understood and searchable by citizens with especial needs.
Given that Resolution no. 97/99 of the Council of Ministers, of 26 August, did not fully meet its purpose, it is now necessary to define and to determine the adoption of certain minimum requirements for the adopted technical solutions, so as to achieve such goal.
The web accessibility initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) developed a number of guidelines, which include web content accessibility guidelines, and which have since become a worldwide standard for the creation of accessible websites.
In the scope of the ongoing technological modernization of public services, a pattern that guarantees not only minimum accessibility to content, according to guidelines defined by the W3C, but also accessibility to Internet websites that imply the electronic provision of transactional services, is required. For this purpose, it is provided that the design of Internet pages that imply the provision of transactional services to citizens conform to a higher pattern of accessibility, taking into account guidelines defined by W3C.
This measure forms part of the I Action Plan for Integration of Disabled or Incapacitated Persons for the period 2006-2009 (I PAIPDI 2006-2009) approved by Resolution no. 120/2006 of the Council of Ministers, of 21 September, and also implements the National Accessibility Promotion Plan (PNPA), approved by Resolution no. 9/2007 of the Council of Ministers, of 17 January.
Under point g) of article 199 of the Constitution, the Council of Ministers hereby resolves:
1 – To determine that ways to organize and present websites of the Government and of central administration services and bodies shall be chosen so as to allow or facilitate the access thereto by citizens with especial needs, and shall conform to level ''A'' of web content accessibility guidelines developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
2 – To determine that websites of the Government and of central administration services and bodies that imply the electronic provision of transactional services shall conform to level ''double-A'' of web content accessibility guidelines developed by W3C.
3 - To determine that websites of bodies referred to in paragraph 1 shall comply technically with provisions hereof, subject to adaptation, remodelling or new construction, within three months at the most;
4 - To determine that Internet websites referred in paragraph 2 shall comply technically with provisions hereof, subject to adaptation, remodelling or new construction, within six months at the most.
5 – To determine that websites created after this resolution has come into force ensure accessibility as provided for herein immediately.
6 – To determine that it shall be incumbent upon the General-Secretariat of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers to develop the necessary information, clarification and monitoring action to guarantee compliance herewith, together with general-secretariats of ministries, which shall report thereto as regards the achievement of set goals.
7 – To establish a working group with advisory functions, consisting of representatives of Agência para a Modernização Administrativa, I. P. (AMA, I. P.) – Administrative Modernization Agency -, responsible for its coordination, of UMIC - Agência para a Sociedade do Conhecimento, I. P. (UMIC, I. P.) - Knowledge Society Agency -, of Instituto Nacional para a Reabilitação – National Rehabilitation Institute - and Centro de Gestão da Rede Informática do Governo (CEGER) - Government Network Management Centre – which shall work in articulation with the General-Secretariat of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, and shall contribute towards the proper identification of technical requirements for accessibility, namely those related to conformance level ''A'' and ''double-A'', and provide further cooperation as far as technical advice is concerned.
8 – To authorize, under paragraph 1 of article 79 of Decree-Law no. 197/99, of 8 June, for the purpose of the acquisition of services referred in paragraphs 3 and 4, the choice of procedure provided for in point e) of paragraph 1 of article 86 of Decree-Law no. 197/99, of 8 June, on the terms set out therein and where appropriate.
9 – To determine that this Resolution shall take effect on the date of its adoption.
Presidency of the Council of Ministers, 27 September 2007. – The Prime-Minister, José Sócrates Carvalho Pinto de Sousa.