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POLICY FOR WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT, HOSTING AND MAINTENANCE

1. Need for the Policy

Businesses world over are leveraging on the potential of Internet as a mass media and are using it to communicate with their clients. These users or citizens are also expecting the governments to perform in a similar fashion and thus expect to get the latest and up-to-date information about any change in Act, Rule, Regulation, all new Notifications, Circulars, activities, events, schemes etc. from its web site at the click of mouse.

However our website is riddled with the problems of obsolete and old content as well as the absence of desired content. Sensitization of the concerned persons towards the need for timely and up-to-date information on the web is extremely important. Therefore it is suggested that a well defined strategy may be worked out within the Department to ensure timely provision of content to be posted on the website. There should be clear understanding within the organization about where the responsibility lies for providing content for the website, and in what form it should be presented to the web team.

2. Website Features

Since the website of a department is its reflection to the outside world, it ought to be seen as an integral part of the Department, rather than an external entity. Hence all facets of the department and its activities should be appropriately reflected on the website. A clear strategic vision of what the department aims to achieve through its website has to be generated. A special policy should be laid down to handle (publish/ remove/ archive) time sensitive information.

3. Key issues in building a Department Website:

i) Reliability & Authenticity-

A Department website is an official source of Government/departmental information. Hence it is very critical that whatever is hosted on the site is authentic and duly verified by concerned authorities, before publishing.

ii) Updated information-

It is extremely important to keep the contents updated or else users will lose interest after visiting the site once or twice. The visitors expect to get the latest and up-to-date information about the Act, Rules, Notifications, and Circulars etc. even before it is released in press or elsewhere. Hence, whenever any new activity takes place in a department, the news/information must get reflected on the website atleast simultaneously, if not earlier than it appears in the Press.

iii) User friendly-

The Department website must be a user friendly place on the Internet available to citizens for improved access & dissemination of government information and services.

iv) Accountable-

All citizen interactions in the form of queries/suggestions/grievances etc. must be attended to timely & carefully. In fact, the government/ department website must be used as an effective tool for prompt response.

4. The Website should have the following essential features:

i) Bilingual Support:

The content should be available both in English and Hindi as far as possible. The fonts used should be in Unicode.

ii) Site Map:

Site Map has to be provided for navigation support.

iii) Consistency:

Uniform look and feel is to be maintained in all pages of the website.

iv) Access:

Access to contents should be logical and intuitive.

v) Layout of menu, icons & hyperlink:

The organization of hyperlinks on the homepage and in the interior pages has to intuitively reflect the significance of the information or service associated with the link. Floatable and collapsible menus for effective use of space and icons providing cue to hyperlink contents are to be used effectively.

vi) Search Engine:

This is to facilitate the users locate and access information/ contents with ease.

vii) Content Structure:

Contents may be organized meaningfully covering all important topics related to department with appropriate labeling scheme such as meaningful document headings/ subheadings as well as consistent navigation to the rest of the site. Time to time new and relevant topics can be added to give a fresh, contemporary & dynamic feeling to the web site.

5. Present Content Structure of CBEC web site:

01. About Us

a) Who We Are

b) Citizen's Charter

02. Customs-

Acts, Rules, Regulations, Tariff, CBEC Manual, Forms, Notification, Circulars, SEZ, Drawback Schedule, Help Centers, Nominated Banks for payment of duty.

03. Central Excise -

Acts, Rules, Regulations, Tariff, CBEC Manual, Forms, Notification, Circulars, Section 37B order, Help Centers, Know your Excise Tariff, Frequency norms of audit of Central Excise assesses, Nominated Banks for payment of duty, Know your location code.

04. Service Tax -

Main Page, Acts, Rules, Forms, Notification, Circulars, Annual Performance Report, Service Profiles, Help Centers, Epayment, Procedure for E-payment, Service Tax Procedure, Know your Service Tax Tariff, Frequency norms of audit of service tax assesses.

05. FTT/IATT-

Acts, Rules, Notification

06. Information-

a)Couriers

b) Import of Gifts

c) CESTAT Cause List

d) Telephone Directory

07. Narcotics-

a)Narcotics Control Bureau

b) Central Bureau of Narcotics

c) NDPS Act- Basic

d) Drugs Deaddiction Information

08. Marquee

09. Union Budget

10. Baggage Rules

11. Travellers Information

12. Tenders / Auction

13. Exchange Rate

14. Press Release

15. Related Sites

16. Authority for Advanced Rulings (AAR)

17. Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI)

18. Large Tax Payer Units (LTU)

19. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

20. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

21. Acts & Subordinate Legislation

22. Departmental officers

23. CBEC Supreme Court heard cases

24. Forms

25. Draft Circulars-for comments

26. Vigilance Complaints

27. Defaulters List

28. Grievances

As and when required, new and relevant topics can be added to give a fresh, contemporary and dynamic look to the web site.

6. Nodal Agency for designing, developing and maintaining the CBEC Website

6.1 Directorate of Systems, New Delhi has been designated as the Nodal Agency for designing developing and maintaining the CBEC Website. For this purpose, an Website management team has been formed which consists of:

  • Web Administration and Strategy -- owning organization
    • Headed by Director General and Additional Director General
  • Web Manager (aka Webmaster) -- Web service manager
    • Headed by Additional/Joint Commissioner
  • Content Administrators (to be appointed by Board) - Content Administrators are the information provider, who will provide information to update the content structure as mentioned in para 5.
  • Uploading Team - Outsourced vendor under direct supervision of webmaster

6.2 The Content Administrators may be nominated by the following officers in their areas of work, preferably of the rank of Director/Deputy Secretary, for providing information in soft copy for uploading of content structure:

  • JS (TRU I & II) -Union Budget, Finance Bill, Notifications (tariff) on Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax.
  • Commissioner (Central Excise) - Central Excise Act, Rules, Regulations, Tariff, Manual, Notifications (non-Tariff), Circulars, Instruction, latest FAQ, Updated Forms etc.
  • JS (Customs) -Customs Act, Rules, Regulations, Tariff, Manual, Notifications (non tariff), Circulars, Instruction, , Baggage Rules and travelers related information, Couriers, Foreign Travel Tax, Inland Air Travel Tax Rules, WTO, WCO, latest FAQ, Updated Forms etc.
  • Commissioner (Customs) - Exchange Rate Notifications, Valuation & adhoc exemption, Land Customs, International Conventions [other than WCO convention],
  • Director General (DGEP): 100% Export Oriented Units, Free Trade Zones, Export Processing Zones and Special Economic Zones, Special Jewellery Complexes and Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Schemes, Software Technology Park and Electronic Hardware Technology Park Schemes,
  • Commissioner (Service Tax) -Service Tax Acts, Rules, Regulations, Tariff, Manual, Notifications, Circulars, Instruction, Updated Forms, latest FAQ, etc.
  • Joint Secretary (Admn.) -Matters relating to departmental officers.
  • Joint Secretary (Drawback) -Drawback.
  • Commissioner (Legal)- Supreme Court Heard Cases
  • Commissioner, DPPR- Matters such logo, Vision Document, Citizens Charter, Details of Applications under RTI, CBEC Directory etc. Information may be provided in CD or DVD ROM as and when revised or updated.
  • Commissioner, TAR- Defaulters list
  • Commissioner, AAR- Orders & Rulings
  • All Chief Commissioners/ Director Generals may nominate the nodal officers for providing information relating to tenders, CPIO, News Items related to CBEC etc which have direct impact on revenue in particular and general help to public.

7. Guidelines for Design, Development and Hosting of Website

The following guidelines will be followed for Design, Development and Hosting of Website:

7.1 Domain Name Conventions, Registration Authority and Website Hosting

The domain names are the addresses on the web. The domain name "cbec.gov.in " was registered on 28th Feb 2003 and is valid upto 28th Feb 2010. The website is hosted on the official servers.

7.2 Content Development

The web content is entirely different from that of the print and audiovisual media and requires special care for drafting. As the web content can serve multiple purposes they can be available in both brief as well as detailed form. Hence, following content structure should be updated as and when required in the following manner:

  • Rules & Regulations/Acts/Policies/Manual/Tariff - Latest amendments in the organization's rules, acts, latest tariff and manual should be immediately emailed to webmaster in soft copy for uploading in the website.
  • Notifications/Circulars/Instructions- There should be regular inflow of Notifications, Circulars and Instructions from various sections of board office.
  • Budget related information- All information related to budget must be forwarded in soft copies to webmaster immediately after presented in Parliament for immediate uploading on website.
  • Forms, Terms and Conditions, Procedures etc. - All procedures/instructions to be followed and the forms and documents which people need to fill in order to interact with the department/ organization can be put on the web. This makes it convenient for the public to download all the forms and procedures/ Terms and conditions sitting at home and avoiding visits to the office. The Application forms provided for a download on the government website should preferably be published in un-editable PDF (Portable Document Format).
  • FAQ - All relevant information should put under an active link titled "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)" providing details in significant areas of focus. The FAQ's must be reviewed after every six months, especially after budget or immediately after issuance of any clarification/notifications etc and accordingly e-mailed to webmaster by concerned Content Administrator for uploading.
  • Press Releases - Concerned office/Commissionerate/Directorate should regularly provide latest press releases through their Content Administrator, so that all latest information can be viewed by website user.
  • Departmental Officers - Login page should be introduced to the departmental users as the Departmental domain will have restricted access.
  • Tenders - These notices should be put in read only format to avoid misuse. Tenders can be separated as 1. global and 2. local. Further, local tenders can be grouped zone-wise.
  • What's New - The latest happenings in the organization can be put on a regular basis. This can involve announcement of a new Scheme, Plan, Notifications, Circulars, News regarding Excise/Customs/ Service Tax. The latest five notifications/circulars should be kept under "What's New". All others old items must be moved to their respective main menu within a month.
  • Right to information Act- Necessary changes made in respect to RTI should be immediately forwarded to webmaster for updation.However, in case of no change, a quarterly "Nil" report may be forwarded to Webmaster for information. The report received in prescribed format originating from Chief Commissioner Office will only be accepted for uploading in website.
  • Defaulters List- The Commissioner TAR, will forward the quarterly report of all Comissionerates, originating from CC Unit, in soft copies.
  • Archives- On recommendation of webmaster, relevant but old data like previous budget, old tariff, press note, miscellaneous information related to departmental officers must be archived after one month of uploading on website.
  • Clutter free home page- The home page shall be made clutter free by removing too many links from it.

8. Policy for Administration, Maintenance, Updation, Backup & Deletion on CBEC website

i) The Web Administrator is the overall in charge of the CBEC site. Any change in web-policy shall be approved by him.

ii) The Webmaster shall be responsible for overall supervision to ensure that authentic and updated information is available on the website.

iii) CBEC shall appoint a Content Administrator for the website. His name, designation, e-mail id and telephone number should be made available to the webmaster. Any change in name/designation must be immediately informed to the webmaster.

iv) The Content Administrator shall be responsible for timely forwarding of the information for uploading on the CBEC website and shall ensure that no information should be forwarded for uploading on private websites.

v) The Content Administrator shall clearly mention whether to place the information in the public domain or department domain. However, the information related to departmental officers such as transfers/postings, vacancies, training, scholarship/awards, Annual Performance Appraisal Reports, IPR Pendency, ACP, Bulletin of efficiency indicator, Supreme Court heard cases etc. shall not be made available to public.

vi) Content Administrator shall ensure that all the information forwarded by him should be in soft copies only i.e. e-mail, CD, DVD. The data should be provided preferably in doc format. Scanned documents and files in pdf format, jpg format etc. should be avoided.

vii) The Webmaster shall accept mail from concerned Content Administrator only and after satisfying himself about the origin and

authenticity of content shall forward such e-mail to uploading team for immediate uploading on website so that up-to-date information is available on the site.

viii) Webmaster shall forward all the feedback/complaints/grievances received through email from public to concerned department so that necessary action as required can be initiated.

ix) To reduce too many links cluttered on the home page of the website, all links to outside web sites shall be placed under the heading "Related Sites".

x) The data back up of E-mail received from the Content Administrators shall be kept up to two years.

xi) The data uploaded on the servers shall be logged. The backup of all three servers shall be maintained on a regular basis till two years.

xii) Once due date is over, tenders/vacancies/marquee/ will be removed from the site by the Webmaster, unless requested otherwise by Content Administrator.

xiii) In case of contents other than (xii) above, the Content Administrator shall suggest the time period for which the content will remain available on website while sending the contents if it is not possible, the same may be communicated to the webmaster in due course of time.

xiv) It is the responsibility of Content Administrator to keep a tab on information forwarded by him and at the end of every month, he shall inform the Webmaster to delete the redundant information.

xv) On recommendation of webmaster, relevant but old data shall be archived after one month of uploading on website.