The Integrated Government Philippines (iGovPhil) Project has prepared the guidelines for migrating all government websites to its more secure and reliable hosting service as contained in the recent order of the President, officials from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said today.
The guidelines have been part of the Migration Plan prepared by iGovPhil in anticipation of the Administrative Order 39, which President Benigno Aquino III issued on July 12, establishing the Government Web Hosting Service (GWHS) that will host the sites of all government agencies, financial institutions, government-owned and -controlled corporations, and inter-agency collaborations, programs and projects.
“Website security has always been a major issue with the government, and we have taken steps to secure vital government websites in response to past incidents, we have also made efforts to educate government webmasters on industry best practices for security and design,” said DOST Undersecretary Louis Casambre, executive director of Information and Communications Technology Office. “In anticipation of the issuance of this administrative order, we have assembled a pool of trainers to instruct webmasters on the use of the government website template, migration procedures and new content policies.”
Through the iGovPhil, a joint project of DOST’s ICT Office and Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), the mechanisms to secure government websites and online transactions will soon be in place, said Casambre. “Likewise, security protocols and accessibility standards can be implemented and enforced readily through centralized hosting and content standardization.”
All government agencies are also tasked to strictly follow the Uniform Website Content Policy (UWCP) that gives their websites a common look and feel and the government a corporate identity.
The website migration procedures adopted by iGovPhil will be implemented in phases starting with assessment of the agencies to gauge their readiness for migration. High priority will be given to websites that have been defaced or hacked within the past six months.
The iGovPhil has also scheduled a survey and a series of consultations with government agencies and other stakeholders for the migration and implementation of UWCP. Consultation meetings will be held on the following dates:
- August 8 – topic will be website contents
- August 14 – technical issues
- August 16 – capacity building issues
- August 27 – policy issues
The implementing rules and regulations on the AO will be presented on August 30.
The agencies will also undergo initial security and audit checks before going online to prevent unsecure websites from compromising the hosting system. Actual migration can take a week to a few months. A staging server will be set up to test the agencies’ websites for any changes before they are moved to the production server.
Hosted websites will be constantly backed up and monitored for security and performance. A feedback system will be implemented for improvement in user inteface and experience.
“With the issuance of this AO, the public can expect an improved online presence from its government, not only will government websites have a uniform look and feel but other online services will also be available very soon through cloud applications being developed under iGovPhil,” Casambre said.
“Migrating more than a hundred government websites to the new template and hosting facilities will take some time, but we can expect majority, particularly national government websites to have completed the migration within the year,” he added.