- 1. What is the IT Dashboard?
The IT Dashboard was launched on June 1, 2009, which provided Federal agencies and the public with the ability to view details of Federal information technology (IT) investments online and to track their progress over time.
The Federal IT Dashboard helps the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) meet their statutory collection and reporting obligations by streamlining data submissions and transforming the Federal IT Data collection into a coherent, modularized ecosystem. This ecosystem is centered around an improved data collection effort that better supports partner agencies and OMB. In addition, the modernization of the Federal IT Dashboard includes the enhancement of visual renderings through an updated user interface. This will act as a premier user-centric site, allowing for integrated metrics, enhanced analytics, and decision support tools.
- 1. Who is the intended audience for the IT Dashboard?
The IT Dashboard is a website that enables federal agencies, industry, the general public and other stakeholders to view details of Federal IT investments.
- 1. How do I log in?
To login, click the “Log in” button at the upper right of the page, and provide your authentication credentials.2. How do I request access?
3. Who has access/can log in?
- Set up an OMB MAX account at https://portal.max.gov/portal/home,
- Log into the MAX Portal
- Go to "My Applications"
- Find "IT Dashboard" and click "request access"
- The agency’s designated IT Dashboard administrator will be automatically notified of the request via email, and can approve or deny it.
- OMB MAX will send the requester an email with the adjudication of their request from the agency’s designated IT Dashboard administrator.
Access can be given to members of the executive branch agencies by their agency’s designated IT Dashboard administrator.
- 1. What information does the IT Dashboard display?
The Federal IT Dashboard displays a subset of data from agencies' IT Portfolio investments, including Chief Information Officer (CIO) evaluation, contract, and project information reported by agencies. For a list of data feeds available to the public on the IT Dashboard, see the "Data Feeds" FAQs below. The following 26 agencies have data available on the IT Dashboard:
2. Why was the IT Dashboard launched?
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Commerce
- Department of Defense
- Department of Education
- Department of Energy
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Homeland Security
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Department of Justice
- Department of Labor
- Department of State
- Department of the Interior
- Department of the Treasury
- Department of Transportation
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Environmental Protection Agency
- General Services Administration
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- National Archives and Records Administration
- National Science Foundation
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission
- Office of Personnel Management
- Small Business Administration
- Social Security Administration
- U.S. Agency for International Development
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
The IT Dashboard shines light onto the performance and spending of IT investments across the Federal Government. If a project is over budget or behind schedule, the dashboard shows by how much money and time, and who was responsible--not just contact information but also their picture. The IT Dashboard gives the public access to the same tools and analysis that the government uses to oversee the performance of the Federal IT investments. The transparency and analysis features of the IT Dashboard make it harder for underperforming projects to go unnoticed, and easier for the government to focus action on the projects where it's needed most.
- 1. How are CIO Evaluations determined?
The Agency Chief Information Officer (CIO) rates each investment based on his or her best judgment, using a set of pre-established criteria. The evaluation should reflect the CIO's assessment of the risk and the investment's ability to accomplish its goals. CIOs should consult with appropriate stakeholders (e.g., Chief Acquisition Officers, program managers) when making their evaluation.
The following factors and supporting examples should be used to inform the evaluation:
Evaluation Factor Supporting Examples Risk Management
- Risk Management Strategy Exists
- Risks are well understood by senior leadership
- Risk log is current and complete
- Risks are clearly prioritized
- Mitigation plans are in place to address risks
- Investment objectives are clear and scope is controlled
- Requirements are complete, clear and validated
- Appropriate stakeholders are involved in requirements definition
- Acquisition strategy is defined and managed via an Integrated Program Team
- Agency receives key reports, such as earned value reports, current status, and risk logs
- Agency is providing appropriate management of contractors such that the government is monitoring, controlling, and mitigating the impact of any adverse contract performance
- No significant deviations from planned cost and schedule
- Lessons learned and best practices are incorporated and adopted
- Qualified management and execution team for the IT investments and/or contracts supporting the investment
- Low turnover rate
- Other factors that the CIO deems important to forecasting future success
Evaluation ratings are based on a five-point risk scale, as follows:
(By Agency CIO)
Color 5-Low Risk Green 4-Moderately Low Risk Green 3-Medium Risk Yellow 2-Moderately High Risk Red 1-High Risk Red
- 1. An interagency agreement is similar to a contract. Should I also report those with my contract information?
No, agencies are not required to report interagency agreements to the IT Dashboard. Note: OMB expects agencies to report all interagency agreements as contributions in the IT Portfolio2. What is the meaning of a red X on the contracts page?
If a contract match with USASpending is not found based on the data provided by the agency, the IT Dashboard displays the red X symbol with the following note: Agency-provided contract information does not match with a www.USASpending.gov record.
The following fields are used to determine a match:
3. How often should contracts be updated?
- Procurement Instrument Identifier (PIID)
- Contracting Agency ID (if different than the Funding Agency)
- Indefinite Delivery Vehicle Procurement Instrument Identifier (IDV PIID)
- Indefinite Delivery Vehicle Agency Identifier (IDV Agency ID)
- Submitting Agency ID (derived as the agency of the investment pertaining to the contract)
Contracts should be updated as they are awarded. Both, the FAR and the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 require reporting of these contracts within thirty days of award. Note: The IT Dashboard links to www.USAspending.gov for contract information.4. What kind of contract information is available in the IT Dashboard?
- Pre-Awarded Contracts
- Awarded Contract
Note: Future Planned Contracts and Sub-contract Awards are not required to be reported, however an agency may provide this information if desired. Future Contracts are not made public as this information is "Procurement Sensitive".5. What data structure should agencies use to help identify contract numbers in USA Spending?
To assist in the linkage of contract and task order numbers from the Business Case Contracts Table to USASpending, agencies should provide the following information to the IT Dashboard for "Contract/Task Order Numbers," based on the FPDS-NG data requirements (as specified in the FPDS-NG Data Element Dictionary).
Part of Indefinite Delivery Vehicle (IDV)? Procurement Instrument Identifier (PIID) Example No Data Element 1A (NTE 50 characters) "00063200203DNBCHC020042" Yes Data Element 1A, and the Referenced PIID, Data Element 1C (NTE 100 characters) "GS09Q08DN0165-IDV-GS10F0216N"
- 1. Should FTEs costs be included in the Project/Activities costs?
Yes, Full Time Equivalent (FTE) costs should be included in a Project’s cost values.2. What is a project?
A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to accomplish a unique product or service with a defined start and end point and specific objectives that, when attained, signify completion. Projects are undertaken for development, modernization, enhancement, disposal, or maintenance of an IT asset.
[Note: Agencies should provide an update to project data within 30 days of the corresponding event (e.g., change in a project's status).]3. How are the project schedule variances calculated on the IT Dashboard?
The IT Dashboard displays whether each project is on, ahead of, or behind schedule. Project schedule variance is calculated as follows:
Schedule variance in days: Planned Completion Date - Projected Date, Today's Date, or Actual Completion Date (see criteria below)
Schedule variance (%): Schedule variance in days / (Planned Completion Date - Planned Start Date)
IT Dashboard logical criteria used for project schedule variance calculations when incomplete project data availability occurs:
4. How are project cost variances calculated on the IT Dashboard?
If a project has no Actual Completion Date reported, and Projected Completion Date is in the future, then Projected Completion Date is used
If a project has no Actual Completion Date reported, and the Projected Completion Date already passed, then Today's Date is used
If a project has an Actual Completion Date value reported, then Actual Completion Date is used
The IT Dashboard displays whether each project is on, under, or over budget. Project cost variance is calculated as follows:
Cost Variance (Monetary Amount): Planned Total Cost - Projected or Actual Total Cost (see criteria below)
Cost Variance (%): Cost Variance (Monetary Amount / Planned Total Cost
IT Dashboard logical criteria (business rules?) used for project cost variance calculations when incomplete project data availability occurs:
5. How does the IT Dashboard Color Coding System work?
If a project has no Actual Total Cost, Projected Total Cost is used
If a project has an Actual Total Cost but no Actual Completion Date, Projected Total Cost is used
If a project has both an Actual Total Cost and an Actual Completion Date, then Actual Total Cost is used
Evaluation (By Agency CIO) Color 5-Low Risk Green 4-Moderately Low Risk Green 3-Medium Risk Yellow 2-Moderately High Risk Red 1-High Risk Red6. What is operational performance metric reporting?
Operational performance reporting identifies performance metric targets for major investments. Each metric indicates how often actual measurements will be reported (monthly, quarterly or semi-annually) and provides a unit of measure. Major investments are expected to provide a minimum of five active performance metrics. At least three of these performance metrics should be classified as "Strategic and Business Results" using the Performance Measurement Category Mapping field. And, at least one of these "Strategic and Business Results" metrics should have a monthly reporting frequency. Major investments are also expected to report at least one performance metric classified as "Customer Satisfaction" using the Performance Measurement Category Mapping field.
- 1. What access permissions are required to submit IT Portfolio data to the IT Dashboard?
There are two types of permissions that are required before an individual can submit data to the IT Dashboard on behalf of their agency.
2. Who can update an agency’s IT Portfolio data into the IT Dashboard?
IT Collect API Permission: Permissions of who can submit data to the IT Dashboard via the IT Collect API tool are managed through each agency’s IT Portfolio Management (ITPfM) tool. User access permissions for the IT Collect API tool is managed separately from those permissions access to the IT Dashboard site.
IT Dashboard User Permission: Each agency maintains the responsibility to identify individual(s) and authorize those individual(s) the permissions necessary to view non-public IT Portfolio data on the Federal IT Dashboard.
Each agency maintains the responsibility for identifying which person(s) on their staff should be assigned the responsibility for ensuring their IT Portfolio data is updated as required by OMB policy.3. How do agencies submit their IT Portfolio data into the IT Dashboard?
Submitting IT Portfolio data into the IT Dashboard involves these three broadly defined steps:
Step 1: Agencies collect and validate the necessary IT portfolio data as required by the most recently published OMB policy.
Step 2: Agencies load their IT Portfolio data into the IT Collect API tool.
Step 3: Agencies will complete and confirm their IT Portfolio data submissions into the IT Dashboard by selecting the “Funding Lock” button on the IT Collect API tool.
(Note: if an IT Collect API user does not perform the “Funding Lock” after their final data submission has been completed then the IT Dashboard will not reflect the latest data that was submitted)
- 1. Can I show all agencies at the same time on the one graph?
Yes, you can select ‘All” to show a comparison of the 26 Executive Branch IT budget reporting agencies.2. Where do the Bureau distinctions come from?
All Bureau as identified throughout the Benchmarking Dashboard are derived from the latest available public version of the OMB Circular A-11, Appendix C which can be accessed following the link provided or at the WhiteHouse.gov website.3. What do the y-axis percentages represent?
The calculations are dependent on the combination of selections a user can make in Step 3 and Step 4, however, in general the y-axis represents the percentage of IT budget the selected agencies or bureaus spent on the selected cost category.4. What is the purpose of the Benchmarking Dashboard?
The IT Dashboard Benchmarking functionality enables users to view and create custom visualizations based on a set of agency / bureau groupings and IT cost categories.5. What do the dashed lines on the graph represent?
The lighter color dashed line represents the government-wide statistical average of the percent of IT budget spent on the selected cost category. The darker color dashed line represents the selected grouping statistical average of the percent of IT budget for the selected cost category.6. Which year’s data budget data is used in the Benchmarking Dashboard?
All of the Benchmarking Dashboard is populated with agency and bureau Prior Year (PY) spend data and available to the public on the IT Dahboard.gov website.7. How are the Government-wide and Group averages percentages calculated?
Government-wide percentage: The summation of all agencies' IT spending amounts in the selected cost category divided by the government-wide total IT spending times 100%.
Group average percentage: The summation of the agencies in a selected groups' IT spending amounts in the selected category divided by the agencies in the selected group’s total IT spending times 100%.8. What is the difference between General Government (Federal) and General Government (Agency/Shared Services)?
General Government (Federal) represents functions that are performed on behalf of the Federal Government (see FEA BRM for definitions). Examples Include:
OPM provides “Central Personnel Management” guidance and functions across the Federal Government. (See FEA BRM for definitions)
OMB sets policy and provides reporting on behalf of the Federal Government under, “Central Fiscal Operations”. (See FEA BRM for definitions)
GSA manages “General Property” across the Federal Government. (See FEA BRM for definitions)
General Government (Agency/Shared Services) represents similar functions that are performed within each agency or provided as a shared service to other agencies (see FEA BRM for definitions). Examples:
9. How are the agency / bureau business functions determined?
Each agency manages their internal personnel following guidance set by OPM. Some agencies provide payroll services to other agencies.
Each agency manages their internal budget formulation, execution, etc. based on guidance and requirements set by OMB .
Each agency manages their internal facilities, fleet, and equipment that they rent from GSA.
While each agency and bureau may align to multiple functions, for the purposes of the Benchmarking Dashboard, only the primary agency / bureau business function is mapped. These business functions were derived from a series of workgroups with the agencies to define the business areas of the Federal Government. They are aligned to the Mission Sectors defined in the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) Business Reference Model (BRM).10. What do the Grouping’s “Agency IT Budget Range”, “Agency Business Function”, and “Bureau Business Function” mean?
Grouping Description Agency IT Budget Range
Agency IT budget range indicates the relative size of the agency’s IT budget as a basis of comparison. Agency’s IT budgets are grouped by the below ranges.
- = $100M to $499M
- = $500M to $1,999M
- >= $2,000M
Agency Business Function Agency business function identifies the primary business area of the entire agency. Bureau Business Function Bureau business function identifies the primary business area for each bureau within an agency. This may be the same as, or different from, the agency business function.
- 1. What data feeds are made available to the public?
The following data feeds are available in the public view:
Feed Description IT Portfolio Provides an investment level overview of each Agency IT Portfolio Summary submission. IT Portfolio - IT Cost Pools Provides a technology cost breakout across the nine cost categories as reflected in the TBM Taxonomy framework version 4.0. IT Portfolio - IT Towers Provides a technology cost breakout across the eleven cost categories as reflected in the TBM Taxonomy framework version 4.0. IT Portfolio - IT Cost Pool & IT Tower Combines the individual IT Cost Pools and IT Towers cost breakouts into a single data feed. IT Portfolio - Funding Sources Provides funding source information that includes funding amount, funding type, source type, fiscal year for each funding dimension of each budget account. Budget Account Summary Provides a breakout of an Agency’s CIO authority for each Budget Account Code. CIO Evaluation History Provides historical data previously submitted CIO ratings and comments. Contracts Provides an overview of contract information including information matched with USAspending.gov. Projects Provides project performance data that includes cost, schedule, and variance information. Operational Analysis Provides the data analysis and analysis results of each agency-conducted Operational Analysis. Performance Metrics Provides an overview of an IT investment's operational performance across Customer Satisfaction, Strategic and Business Results, Financial Performance, or Innovation performance measures. Performance Metric Actuals Provides the actual results of an investment's performance measure in comparison to the targets as determined by the agency measuring such performance.2. How are the IT Dashboard data feeds populated for the IT Portfolio data and Business Case exports?
The majority of the data points provided by the data feeds is directly populated using the IT Portfolio data as submitted by agencies via IT Collect API tool. However, there are some exceptions within the IT Portfolio data sets submitted by agencies where certain fields may be the result of automated calculations, system-derived data elements, or otherwise, system-generated.
- 1. Is all of the IT Portfolio data submitted by agencies made available to the public via the IT Dashboard for any given budget?
No, although the primary objective of OMB is to improve the accountability and performance of federal technology investments through the transparency that the IT Dashboard provides to the public, there exists certain conditions under which the IT Portfolio data, or subsets of the IT Portfolio data, will not be deemed suitable for public release on the IT Dashboard. There are four conditions which IT Portfolio data will not be made available to the public via the IT Dashboard:
1. The President’s budget formulation process. During the budget formulation process portions of IT Portfolio data submitted by agencies is deemed not suitable for public release, with data that may contain pre-decisional information. "Pre-decisional" describes information which is not finalized until the release of the President's Budget. The following portions of an agency’s submission are not available to the public during this period:
"New" investments: Investments that only have spending in the budget year (the fiscal year for which the budget is being considered)
Planned IT spending levels in the budget year
2. Technology investments for national security missions. The IT Dashboard does not publicly display national security-sensitive information or control unclassified information provided by agencies.
3. Procurement-Sensitive Data: Any data related to federal procurements that, if released to the public, would adversely impact the Government's negotiating position is considered "procurement-sensitive." This includes, for example, planned spending estimates in years beyond the budget year and future projects data
4. Other Data: This includes personally identifiable information (PII) related to IT investments2. Should agencies redact sensitive contract data in submissions to OMB to avoid release to the public?
Agencies should not redact information sent to the IT Dashboard. Processes have been put into place to ensure sensitive information will not be publicly displayed. To prevent the exposure of potentially sensitive data, agencies should ensure submissions are consistent with requested data (e.g., avoid identifying contracts not yet awarded as "awarded").
Data Center Information
- 1. How does OMB Policy impact DCOI IDC reporting and submissions?
Agencies are no longer required to submit DCOI inventory data on a quarterly basis. While agencies are not reporting DCOI information to OMB, agencies are expected to continue to maintain internal DCOI inventories.2. Can I include cost savings realized through closing and consolidating non-tiered facilities, even though non-tiered facilities are not within the current scope of the DCOI policy?
Yes, cost savings achieved from closures and consolidations of non-tiered facilities should be reported as Data Center cost savings via the IDC Cost savings JSON file.
- 1. Are Key Mission Facilities anything other than agency-owned?
Since only agency-owned data centers were counted towards closure goals by DCOI, and Key Mission Facilities are data centers that cannot be closed under the policy, all facilities marked as Key Mission Facilities must be agency-owned facilities.2. How are each of the four-optimization metrics calculated on the IT Dashboard?
Total Virtual Hosts divided by the sum of Total Servers and Total Mainframes
Total Virtual Hosts / (Total Servers + Total Mainframes)
The sum of data centers with Energy Metering divided by the sum of total data centers
(Total Data Centers that marked “Yes” to Energy Metering / Total Data Centers) * 100
Underutilized Servers (see Servers/Server Counts section for more details)
The sum of Underutilized Servers divided by the sum of Total Servers
(Underutilized Servers / Total Servers) * 100
The difference of Planned Hours of Facility Availability minus Actual Hours of Facility Downtime divided by Planned Hours of Facility Availability then multiplied by 100
((Planned Hours of Facility Availability – Actual Hours of Facility Downtime) / Planned Hours of Facility Availability) * 100
- 1. Does Total Servers Count include or exclude Virtual Hosts since they are separately reported?
The counts for servers, mainframes, etc. should include all physical devices that match the description, even if they are also virtual hosts. Based on this definition, the count of Virtual Hosts can therefore not be greater than the count of Total Servers.
Example: The Department of Made-Up Scenarios (DMUS) has 10 mainframes, 2 of which are virtual hosts, and 50 servers, of which 15 host virtual containers. DMUS would report 10 for Total Mainframes, 50 for Total Servers, and 17 for Virtual Hosts.
- 1. What is the connection between M-21-05 and FITARA?
The FITARA Enhancement Act extended the data center requirements of FITARA through October 1st, 2022.
Federal Website Metrics
- 1. Why are Federal Website Metrics on the Federal IT Dashboard?
A website is often how the public first interacts with a Federal agency. It is important to track metrics across Federal websites to evaluate whether they meet the public’s expectations for accessibility, security, design, and compatibility with mobile devices.2. What is a Federal government website?
A Federal government website is a unique discoverable hostname or Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) that responds to a HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) protocol which has been made available by a Federal executive branch entity.3. Which agencies are represented in the Federal Web Metrics?
The IT Dashboard Federal Web Metrics includes data for the 26 IT Portfolio Management (ITPfM) reporting agencies (per OMB Circular A-11 section 55). The data is collected from automated scans of public-facing websites for these 26 IT Portfolio Management reporting agencies. The list of public-facing websites for the 26 IT Portfolio Management agencies are provided by GSA’s Site Scanning program.
- 1. Where does the IT Dashboard get a list of discoverable Federal executive branch government websites?2. How frequently is the Federal Web Metrics Data updated?
The IT Dashboard scans websites once a week and the Federal Web Metrics data feed file gets updated as a result of the weekly scan.3. How does the IT Dashboard scanning handle redirects/redirected websites?
The IT Dashboard scanning determines whether a government website is redirected to another website (final destination website) by looking at its HTTP status code. Each website that receives the HTTP status code of 301 or 302 is reported as a redirect in the Federal Website Metrics data file.4. Does the IT Dashboard scan the final destination websites that visitors land on as a result of being redirected by government websites?
The IT Dashboard only scans government websites provided by Site Scanning. If a government website scanned is being redirected to another website, then the IT Dashboard scan final destination or Uniform Resource Locator (URL). The IT Dashboard does not scan the final URL(s) of redirected government websites to collect metrics, but only to determine the final destination URL for the Federal Website Metrics data file.5. What scanning method or tool is used to obtain Accessibility Metrics?6. What scanning method is used to obtain HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) Metrics?
HTTPS verifies the identity of a website for a connecting client and encrypts nearly all information sent between the website or service and the user. Protected information includes cookies, user agent details, URL paths, form submissions, and query string parameters. HTTPS is designed to prevent this information from being read or changed while in transit. HTTPS-related metrics are obtained through the use of the code on https://github.com/18f/domain-scan and consists of the following three (3) HTTPS metrics:
HTTPS Enabled (yes/no)
HTTPS Enforced (yes/no)
HSTS Enabled (yes/no)
For more information on HTTPS, see https://https.cio.gov/faq7. What scanning method is used to obtain the Digital Analytics Program (DAP) participation?
GSA’s Site Scanning is used to obtain the Digital Analytics Program (DAP) website participation. The DAP is a central, shared web analytics service for federal agencies of the United States Government, managed by GSA.8. What scanning method is used to obtain the U.S. Digital Web Design System (USWDS) code detection?
GSA’s 18F tool, Domain Scan, is used to obtain the USWDS data for the Federal Websites Metrics Datafile. The USWDS scan checks each website for the use of USWDS code. USWDS consists of components, patterns, design tokens, and utilities that are not automatically detectable and are not scanned. The presence of USWDS code shows some support for USWDS but does not mean full adoption of USWDS. To learn more about USWDS see https://designsystem.digital.gov.9. What scanning method is used to obtain Mobile Friendly Metrics?
The IT Dashboard uses Google’s Mobile Friendly Test API to obtain mobile friendly status metrics for websites. The status values obtained from the Google Mobile API are as follows:
● Not Mobile Friendly
● Mobile Friendly
- 1. Which part(s) of websites are scanned for accessibility?
At this time, only homepages of .gov websites are scanned for accessibility. Homepages are typically referred to as the main webpage of the website or the start page shown in a web browser when the application first opens. Usually, the homepage is located at the root of the website's domain or subdomain.2. What is Web Accessibility?
Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that all people, including those with disabilities, have full use of web content. Web accessibility provides compatibility with assistive technology (e.g., screen reading software) that is relied upon by many people with disabilities. Accessible content means that people with disabilities can perceive, operate (e.g., navigate and interact), and understand the Web.
For more information about evaluating the accessibility of a web page, please visit https://www.w3.org/WAI/test-evaluate/.3. What are the limitations to IT Dashboard’s accessibility scanning?
No automated scanning can fully measure website accessibility. However, it is possible to detect potential issues on websites, such as whether an image does or does not contain alternative (alt) text, whether there is sufficient contrast between the text and background, or whether a page is properly structured for someone using a screen reader to access the information.
The accessibility findings reported in the Federal Web Metrics Dataset do not constitute a complete accessibility evaluation. Rather, they display the initial results of limited automated scans that address only a small portion of what’s required to make a website accessible. In addition, although significant effort has been taken to ensure accuracy, there could be occasional "false positives" found. Due to limitations of automated testing, the accessibility checks are not authoritative and must not be used to convey a comprehensive Section 508 conformance assessment.4. What is the “HTML Attributes” Accessibility Metric?
Accessibility Metric “HTML Attributes” reports on how many HTML tags have missing attribute text (e.g., missing/empty links and buttons, missing form input labels, missing document language) as detected by Pa11y.
Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) is the core markup language for the World Wide Web. HTML and other web standards describe the structure of a Web page using a series of elements (and tags and attributes) that tell browsers, search engines, translation software and assistive technology, such as screen readers how to navigate through and display Web content. HTML elements are represented by tags that give different pieces of content specific attributes, for example, “paragraph”, “table”, “heading”.
For more information about Section 508 standards please visit www.access-board.gov/ict/. For more information about the importance of HTML attributes in accessibility compliance, please visit www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG21/Techniques/html/H91.html.5. What is the “Color Contrast” Accessibility Metric?
The “Color Contrast” accessibility scanning by Pa11y is used to check if a website homepage’s color contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 exists between text (and images of text) and background behind the text. The objective of this technique is to make sure that users can read text that is presented over a background.
The “Color Contrast” accessibility metric reports how many color contrast issues were found on a website homepage out of compliance with the Section 508 standards set by the U.S. Access Board, which requires agencies to conform to WCAG 2.0’s Level A and Level AA Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements.
For more information about Section 508 standards please visit www.access-board.gov/ict/. For more information about the importance of color contrast attributes in accessibility compliance, please see https://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG21/Techniques/general/G18.html6. What is the “Missing Image Description” Accessibility Metric?
For blind and visually impaired individuals, all types of visual information, including Web images, are unusable unless an equivalent text description is available that screen readers can provide either by speech or braille.
The “Missing Image Description” accessibility scanning by Pa11y is used to check and report on how many website images and other non-text content, including user interface elements, are missing a text description.
For more information about Section 508 standards please visit www.access-board.gov/ict/. For more information about the importance of alt text in accessibility compliance, please visit https://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG21/Techniques/html/H37.
- 1. What information does the Federal Website Metrics Data Feed File contain?
The Federal Web Metrics Data Feed File contains a set of website-specific metrics for the 26 IT Portfolio Management reporting agencies (per OMB Circular A-11 section 55).2. Why are some metrics listed as “Not Available” in the Website Metrics Data Feeds?
There could be multiple reasons for metrics to be “Not Available”. For example, the website was taken down for maintenance during the time the scan was conducted or there could have been a network connectivity issue that prevented the scan from collecting information from a specific website. In instances where a .gov website is a redirect, certain metrics (DAP, Mobile, and Accessibility etc.) are not applicable and will result in “Not Available”.3. Which data fields does the Federal Website Metrics Data Feed File contain?
Field Description Website A Federal executive branch government website, which is a unique hostname or Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) that responds to a HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) protocol which has been made available by a Federal executive branch entity. Agency The name of the Federal executive branch agency responsible for the website. HTTP Status Code
The HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) response status codes of the website. Common HTTP Status codes include:
- 200 - OK - a standard response for successful requests
- 301 - Moved Permanently - meaning that this and all future requests should be directed to the given URI.
- 302 - Found (Previously "Moved temporarily") - meaning a temporary redirect to another URI
- 404 - Not Found - meaning that this requested resource could not be found but may be available in the future.
- 410 - Gone - meaning that the resource requested was previously in use but is no longer available and will not be available again
- 500 - Internal Server Error - meaning a generic error message, given when an unexpected condition was encountered, and no more specific message is suitable.
- 503 - Service Unavailable - meaning the server cannot handle the request (because it is overloaded or down for maintenance). Generally, this is a temporary state.
For additional HTTP status codes, see https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/HTTP/Status
Redirect (yes/no) This is a redirected website used to forward visitors or search engines from one web address or URL (target) to another URL (final). Redirected websites typically have HTTP status codes of 301 or 302. Final URL The final website URL where users land after redirection. HTTPS Enabled (yes/no) This website has enabled HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), which is a secure version of HTTP. HTTPS is encrypted and allows increased security of data transfer. HTTPS Enforced (yes/no) This website enforces HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), which is a secure version of HTTP. HTTPS enforce means that HTTP traffic is redirected to HTTPS instead of allowing HTTP if initially requested. HSTS Enabled (yes/no) This website has enabled HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) which is a security mechanism that helps to protect websites against man-in-the-middle attacks. USWDS Code Usage (yes/no) This website uses code from the U.S. Web Design System (USWDS). (yes/no) Note: USWDS consists of components, patterns, design tokens, and utilities that are not automatically detectable and are not scanned. The presence of USWDS code shows some support for USWDS but does not mean full adoption of USWDS. DAP Participation (yes/no) This website contains the Digital Analytics Program (DAP) script and participates in the government-wide web analytics program. Accessibility Color Contrast Issues (#) Total number of color contrast issues (e.g., color combinations that don’t correspond to Web Content Accessibility Guidance requirements) detected by Pa11y on a website’s homepage. Accessibility HTML Attribute Issues (#) Total number of HyperText Markup Language (HTML) attribute issues detected by Pa11y (e.g. missing/empty links and buttons, missing form input labels, missing document language etc.) required by Web Content Accessibility Guidance on a website’s homepage. Accessibility Missing Image Description Issues (#) Total number of missing image descriptions (e.g. images that lack a text description required by Web Content Accessibility Guidance requirements) detected by Pa11y on a website’s homepage. Mobile Usability Status (Mobile Friendly / Not Mobile Friendly) The mobile usability status of a website. Last Scan Date The date of the most recent scan.
- 1. What is the “HTTPS Enabled” Metric?
The “HTTPS Enabled” metric reports whether a .gov website is HSTS-Enabled or not (yes/no). When a website is reported as “HTTPS Enabled”, it means that HTTPS provides authentication of that website and the associated web server with which it communicates. HTTPS not only protects against man-in-the-middle attacks, but it also provides bidirectional encryption of communications between a client and server. This protects against eavesdropping and tampering with the contents of communications between the website and the user.2. What is the “HSTS Enabled” Metric?
HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) is a web security policy mechanism which helps to protect websites against protocol downgrade attacks and cookie hijacking. HSTS allows web servers to declare that web browsers (or other complying user agents) should only interact with it using secure HTTPS connections and never via the insecure HTTP protocol. HSTS is an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard track protocol and is specified in RFC 6797. The “HSTS Enabled” metric in the Federal Web Metrics Datafile reports whether a .gov website is HSTS-Enabled.3. What is the “HTTPS-Enforced” Metric?
HTTPS is a secure protocol and should always be chosen over HTTP as it prevents intruders from passively listening to communications between a website and its users. Users expect a private and secure online experience when visiting a .gov website. The “HTTPS Enforced” metric reports on whether a .gov website is HTTPS-Enforced.