What government-specific standards and regulations govern documentation in the public sector?

Government-specific standards and regulations govern the creation and maintenance of documentation in the public sector. These standards are crucial to ensure transparency, accuracy, and consistency in government materials. Let’s explore some of the key areas where government documentation is subject to standards:

Accessibility Standards

Government agencies are often required to adhere to accessibility standards to ensure that their documents can be accessed and understood by all citizens, including those with disabilities. These standards may include compliance with WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) to provide equal access to online content and ensure that documents are readable by screen readers and other assistive technologies.

Security and Privacy Regulations

Government agencies handle sensitive information, and as such, they must comply with security and privacy regulations. This includes safeguarding sensitive data, protecting against data breaches, and ensuring that documents with personally identifiable information (PII) or classified information are handled securely and in compliance with relevant laws.

Document Retention and Disposal

Government documentation often has specific requirements for retention and disposal. Agencies must follow records management guidelines to determine how long documents should be retained, when they can be disposed of, and the methods for secure disposal. This is essential for maintaining transparency, accountability, and legal compliance.


Here’s an example of how government standards impact documentation in the public sector:

<topic id="privacy_policy">
  <title>Privacy Policy</title>
  <accessibility-level>Level AA</accessibility-level>
  <retention-schedule>7 years</retention-schedule>

In this example, a DITA topic for a government privacy policy includes information about its security classification, accessibility level, and retention schedule, all of which are essential for ensuring compliance with relevant government standards and regulations.