TITLE 1. ADMINISTRATION

PART 10. DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION RESOURCES

CHAPTER 206. STATE WEBSITES

The Texas Department of Information Resources (the Department) proposes amendments to 1 TAC Chapter 206, §§206.1, 206.50, 206.52, 206.70, and 206.72, concerning the State Websites, to clarify the processes and policies of current practices and correct typographical errors. The Department published a formal notice of rule review in the March 11, 2016, issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 1980). Review of the sections implements Government Code, §2001.039.

In 1 TAC §206.1, the Department proposes adding the definition for assistive technologies. The definition is consistent with 1 TAC §213 and provides clarification to the rule. The Department clarifies the definition of Section 508. The Department revised the definition of Electronic and information resources to be consistent with 1 TAC §213. The Department adds a definition for Worldwide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. Finally, the Department proposes renumbering the definitions to reflect the changes.

In 1 TAC §206.50(a), the Department clarifies the effective date of complying with the standards referenced in US Section 508 Appendix A Chapter 7 §702.10 (WCAG 2.0 Level AA excluding Guideline 1.2 Time Based Media).

In 1 TAC §206.50(b), the Department in consultation with Accessibility coordinators, determined each state agency must consider captioning and alternative forms of accommodation for videos posted on state websites.

In 1 TAC §206.50(c), the Department staff proposes language changes to clarify the rule.

In 1 TAC §206.50(d), the Department staff proposes a language change to clarify the rule and allow increased flexibility for state agencies.

In 1 TAC §206.50(e), the Department staff proposes removing unnecessary language.

In 1 TAC §206.50(f), the Department staff proposes adding new language to ensure state agencies remain up to date on emerging technologies and content delivery platforms.

In 1 TAC §206.50(g), the Department staff proposes adding a requirement for the Department to assist in setting statewide goals and track agencies’ progress towards those goals.

In 1 TAC §206.52, the Department staff proposes correction of an incorrect Texas Penal Code legal citation.

In 1 TAC §206.70(a), the Department clarifies the effective date of complying with the standards referenced in US Section 508 Appendix A Chapter7 §702.10 (WCAG 2.0 Level AA excluding 1.2 Time Based Media).

In 1 TAC §206.70(b), the Department in consultation with Accessibility coordinators, determined each institute of higher education must consider captioning and alternative forms of accommodation for videos posted on state websites.

In 1 TAC §206.70(c), the Department staff proposes language changes to clarify the rule.

In 1 TAC §206.70(d), the Department staff proposes a language change to clarify the rule and allow increased flexibility for institutions of higher education.

In 1 TAC §206.70(e), the Department staff proposes removing unnecessary language.

In 1 TAC §206.70(f), the Department staff proposes adding new language to ensure institutions of higher education remain up to date on emerging technologies and content delivery platforms.

In 1 TAC §206.70(g), the Department staff proposes adding a requirement for the Department to assist in setting institution of higher education goals and track institutions of higher education progress towards those goals.

In 1 TAC §206.72, the Department staff proposes correction of an incorrect Texas Penal Code legal citation.

The changes to the chapter apply to state agencies and institutions of higher education. The assessment of the impact of the adopted changes on institutions of higher education was prepared in consultation with the Information Technology Council for Higher Education (ITCHE) in compliance with §2054.121(c), Texas Government Code.

John Hoffman, Chief Technology Officer, has determined during the first five-year period following the amendments to 1 TAC Chapter 206 there will be no fiscal impact on state agencies, institutions of higher education and local governments.

Mr. Hoffman has further determined for each year of the first five years following the adoption of the amendments to 1 TAC Chapter 206 there are no anticipated additional economic costs to persons or small businesses required to comply with the amended rule.

Mr. Hoffman has further determined that for the first five years the sections are in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of the amended rules will result in better accessibility to state websites for citizens with disabilities.

Written comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Martin Zelinsky, General Counsel, 300 West 15th Street, Suite 1300, Austin, Texas 78701, or to martin.zelinsky@dir.texas.gov. Comments will be accepted for 30 days after publication in the Texas Register.

SUBCHAPTER A. DEFINITIONS

1 TAC §206.1

The amendments are proposed under §2054.052(a), Texas Government Code, which authorizes the department to adopt rules as necessary to implement its responsibilities under Chapter 2054, and §§2054.112, 2054.116, 2054.125, 2054.126, and 2054.458, Texas Government Code, which reference rules created by the department regarding the development of State Websites.

No other code, article or statute is affected by this proposal.

§206.1.Applicable Terms and Technologies for State Websites.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, must have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(1) Section 508--The technical standards issued by the US Access Board implementing Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended, 29 U.S.C. §794(d). In particular, the standards related to web accessibility (WCAG 2.0 AA) contained in 36 CFR Part 1194.

(2) Accessible--A web page that can be used in a variety of ways and [that] does not depend on a single sense or ability.

(3) Agency head--The top-most senior executive with operational accountability for an agency, department, commission, board, office, council, authority, or other agency in the executive or judicial branch of state government, that is created by the constitution or a statute of the state; or institutions of higher education, as defined in §61.003, Education Code.

(4) Alternate formats--Alternate formats usable by people with disabilities may include, but are not limited to, Braille, ASCII text, large print, recorded audio, and electronic formats that comply with this chapter.

(5) Alternate methods--Different means of providing information, including product documentation, to people with disabilities. Alternate methods may include, but are not limited to, voice, fax, relay service, TTY, Internet posting, captioning, text-to-speech synthesis, and audio description.

(6) Assistive Technologies--Any item, piece of equipment, or system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is commonly used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

(7) [(6)] Contact information--A list of key personnel, positions, or program names, with corresponding phone numbers and/or email addresses for each; and other information deemed necessary by the agency or institution of higher education for facilitating public access.

(8) [(7)] Compact With Texans--Customer service standards and performance measures required of state agencies, including institutions of higher education, by §2113.006 and §2114.006, Texas Government Code.

(9) [(8)] Electronic and information resources--Includes information technology and any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment [that is] used to create, convert, duplicate, or deliver [in the creation, conversion, duplication, storage, or delivery of] data or information. EIR [The term] includes [but is not limited to,] telecommunications products [(such as telephones)], information kiosks and transaction machines, web sites, multimedia, and office equipment such as copiers and fax machines. The term does not include any equipment that contains embedded information technology that is used as an integral part of the product, but the principal function of which is not the acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information. For example, [HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning)] equipment such as thermostats or temperature control devices, and medical equipment that contain [where] information technology that is integral to its operation, are not information technology [electronic and] [resources]. If the embedded information technology has an externally available web or computer interface, that interface is considered EIR. Other terms such as, but not limited to, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Electronic Information Technology (EIT), etc. can be considered interchangeable terms with EIR for purposes of applicability or compliance with this chapter.

(10) [(9)] Exception--A justified, documented non-conformance with one or more standards or specifications of Chapter 206 and/or Chapter 213 of this title, which has been approved by the agency head.

(11) [(10)] Exemption--A justified, documented non-conformance with one or more standards or specifications of Chapter 206 and/or Chapter 213 of this title, which has been approved by the Department and which is applicable statewide.

(12) [(11)] High-value data set--Information that can be used to increase state agency accountability and responsiveness, improve public knowledge of the agency and its operations, further the core mission of the agency, create economic opportunity, or respond to need and demand as identified through public consultation. The term does not include information that is confidential or protected from disclosure under state or federal law.

(13) [(12)] Home page--The initial page that serves as the front door or entry point to a state website.

(14) [(13)] Internet--An electronic communications network that connects computer networks and computer facilities around the world.

(15) [(14)] Intranet--A computer network operating like the Internet but having access restricted to a limited group of authorized users such as employees of an agency or an institution of higher education.

(16) [(15)] Key public entry point--A web page on a state website that is frequently accessed directly by members of the public, which a state agency or institution of higher education has specifically designed to enable direct access to official agency or institution of higher education information.

(17) [(16)] Open standard format--Stable, published formats for data that are nonproprietary, free from licensing restrictions, independent of any individual vendor, and free to use, reuse, and redistribute.

(18) [(17)] Personal identifying information -- Information that could serve to identify an individual as defined by §521.002, Texas Business and Commerce Code.

(19) [(18)] Site policies page--A web page containing the website policies of the state agency or institution of higher education, or a link to each policy.

(20) [(19)] State website--A website that is connected to the Internet and is owned, funded, or operated by or for a state agency [or institution of higher education ], including key public entry points.

(21) [(20)] TRAIL--Texas Records and Information Locator or its successor, providing a method to do a statewide search.

(22) [(21)] Transaction Risk Assessment--An evaluation of the security and privacy required for an interactive web session providing public access to government information and services. Additional information and guidelines are included in Part 2: Risks Pertaining to Electronic Transactions and Signed Records in "The Guidelines for the Management of Electronic Transactions and Signed Records" available on the Department's website.

(23) Worldwide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0--a referenceable, international technical standard containing 12 guidelines that are organized under 4 principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. For each guideline, there are testable success criteria, which are at three levels: A, AA, and AAA. Also known as ISO/IEC International Standard ISO/IEC 40500:2012.

(24) [(22)] Web page--Presentation of state website content, including documents and files containing text, graphics, sounds, video, or other content, that is accessed through a web browser.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on September 14, 2017.

TRD-201703641

Martin Zelinsky

General Counsel

Department of Information Resources

Earliest possible date of adoption: October 29, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-7577


SUBCHAPTER B. STATE AGENCY WEBSITES

1 TAC §206.50, §206.52

The amendments are proposed under §2054.052(a), Texas Government Code, which authorizes the department to adopt rules as necessary to implement its responsibilities under Chapter 2054, and §§2054.112, 2054.116, 2054.125, 2054.126 and 2054.458, Texas Government Code, which reference rules created by the department regarding the development of State Websites.

No other code, article or statute is affected by this proposal.

§206.50.Accessibility.

(a) Effective April 18, 2020, [September 1, 2006,] unless an exception is approved by the agency head or an exemption has been made for specific technologies pursuant to §213.17 of this title, all new or changed web pages must comply with:

(1) the standards referenced [described] in US Section 508 Appendix A Chapter 7 §702.10 (WCAG 2.0 Level AA excluding Guideline 1.2 Time Based Media): [Subpart B §1194.22, paragraphs (a) through (p), excluding paragraphs (b) and (k);]

(A) Agencies shall consider the use of these standards for new websites or web applications prior to the effective date; or

(B) may continue to use US Section 508 standards published in the Federal Register on December 21, 2000, subpart B §1194.22, paragraphs (a) through (p), excluding paragraphs (b) and (k) prior to the effective date;

(2) the standards and specifications described in this section; and

(3) the standards and specifications applicable to a state agency's accessibility policy described in §213.21 of this title.

(b) Based on a request for accommodation of a webcast of a live/real time open meeting (Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 551) or training and informational video productions which support the agency's mission, each state agency must consider captioning and alternative forms of accommodation for videos posted on state websites. Refer to §206.1 of this chapter for definitions for Alternate Formats and Alternate Methods.

(c) When compliance cannot be accomplished for an EIR, an alternative version of the page, form, application, document, or other EIR with equivalent information or functionality, must be provided to make a website comply with the provisions of this section. The alternative version must remain synchronized to the primary EIR and updated whenever the primary EIR changes. [An alternative version page, with equivalent information or functionality, must be provided to make a website comply with the provisions of this section, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of the alternative page must be updated whenever the primary page changes.]

(d) Effective September 1, 2006, unless an exception is approved by the agency head or an exemption has been made for specific technologies pursuant to §213.17 of this title, all new or changed web page/site designs must be tested by the state agency using one or more EIR accessibility validation tools, including but not limited to the use of automated methods, manual methods or assistive technologies to validate compliance with this chapter. [Section 508 compliance tools in conjunction with manual procedures to validate compliance with this chapter.]

(e) A state agency must establish an accessibility policy as described in §213.21 of this title which must include criteria for monitoring its website for compliance with the standards and specifications of this chapter. [Additional information about testing tools and resources are available on the Department's website.]

(f) State websites and web applications should be designed to support: [Each state website should be designed with consideration for current and emerging Internet connection technologies available to the general public.]

(1) variations in internet connection speeds and emerging communications protocols and technologies; and

(2) the ability to adapt content to end user devices such as mobile phone, tablets, or other devices which are available to the general public.

(g) The department shall assist with establishing statewide agency website accessibility compliance goals, and track agency progress towards achieving those goals.

§206.52.Privacy.

(a) Each state agency must protect the privacy and personal identifying information of members of the public who provide or receive information from or through the state agency website.

(b) Each state agency must publish a privacy notice that describes applicable provisions of its privacy policy on its home page and all key public entry points or its site policies page.

(c) The privacy notice:

(1) Must describe the practices employed by the state agency to protect personal identifying information.

(2) Must conform to requirements of Chapters 552 and 559, Texas Government Code.

(3) Must be consistent with the State Website Linking and Privacy Policy published on the Department's website.

(d) Prior to providing access to information or services on a state website that requires personal identifying information, each state agency must conduct a transaction risk assessment, and implement appropriate privacy and security safeguards that conform to requirements of Chapter 202 of this title.

(e) Any web based form on a state agency's website that requests information from the public must have a link to the state agency's website privacy notice.

(f) Web pages designed for children must comply with all applicable federal and state laws, including provisions of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 and Texas Penal Code Chapter 33 [Texas Government Code, Chapter 420], intended to protect minors.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on September 14, 2017.

TRD-201703642

Martin Zelinsky

General Counsel

Department of Information Resources

Earliest possible date of adoption: October 29, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-7577


SUBCHAPTER C. INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION WEBSITES

1 TAC §206.70, §206.72

The amendments are proposed under §2054.052(a), Texas Government Code, which authorizes the department to adopt rules as necessary to implement its responsibilities under Chapter 2054, and §§2054.112, 2054.116, 2054.125, 2054.126 and 2054.458, Texas Government Code, which reference rules created by the department regarding the development of State Websites.

No other code, article or statute is affected by this proposal.

§206.70.Accessibility.

(a) Effective April 18, 2020, [September 1, 2006,] unless an exception is approved by the agency head or an exemption has been made for specific technologies pursuant to §213.17 of this title, all new or changed web pages must comply with:

(1) the standards referenced in US Section 508 Appendix A Chapter 7 §702.10 (WCAG 2.0 Level AA excluding Guideline 1.2 Time Based Media): [described in Section 508 Subpart B §1194.22, paragraphs (a) through (p), excluding paragraphs (b) and (k);]

(A) Agencies shall consider the use of these standards for new websites or web applications prior to the effective date; or

(B) may continue to use US Section 508 standards published in the Federal Register on December 21, 2000, subpart B §1194.22, paragraphs (a) through (p), excluding paragraphs (b) and (k) prior to the effective date;

(2) the standards and specifications described in this section; and

(3) the standards and specifications applicable to a state agency's accessibility policy described in §213.21 of this title.

(b) Based on a request for accommodation of a webcast of a live/real time open meeting (Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 551) or training and informational video productions which support the institute of higher education's mission, each institute of higher education must consider captioning and alternative forms of accommodation for videos posted on state websites. Refer to §206.1 of this chapter for definitions for Alternate Formats and Alternate Methods.

(c) When compliance cannot be accomplished for an EIR, an alternative version of the page, form, application, document, or other EIR with equivalent information or functionality, must be provided to make a website comply with the provisions of this section. The alternative version must remain synchronized to the primary EIR and updated whenever the primary EIR changes. [An alternative version page, with equivalent information or functionality, must be provided to make a website comply with the provisions of this section, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of the alternative page must be updated whenever the primary page changes.]

(d) Effective September 1, 2006, unless an exception is approved by the agency head or an exemption has been made for specific technologies pursuant to §213.37 of this title, all new or changed web page/site designs must be tested by the institution of higher education using one or more EIR accessibility validation tools, including but not limited to the use of automated methods, manual methods or assistive technologies to validate compliance with this chapter. [Section 508 compliance tools in conjunction with manual procedures to validate compliance with this chapter.]

(e) An institution of higher education must establish an accessibility policy as described in §213.41 of this title which must include criteria for monitoring its website for compliance with the standards and specifications of this chapter. [Additional information about testing tools and resources are available on the Department's website.]

(f) Institutions of higher education websites and web applications should be designed to support: [Each state website should be designed with consideration for current and emerging Internet connection technologies available to the general public.]

(1) variations in internet connection speeds and emerging communications protocols and technologies;

(2) the ability to adapt content to end user devices such as mobile phone, tablets, or other devices which are available to the general public.

(g) The Department shall assist in consultation with ITCHE with establishing statewide agency website accessibility compliance goals for institutions of higher education, and track progress towards achieving those goals.

§206.72.Privacy.

(a) Each institution of higher education must protect the privacy and personal identifying information of members of the public who provide or receive information from or through the institution of higher education website.

(b) Each institution of higher education must publish a privacy notice that describes applicable provisions of its privacy policy on its home page and all key public entry points or its site policies page.

(c) The privacy notice:

(1) Must describe the practices employed by the institution of higher education to protect personal identifying information.

(2) Must conform to requirements of Chapters 552 and 559, Texas Government Code.

(3) Must be consistent with the State Website Linking and Privacy Policy published on the Department's website.

(d) Prior to providing access to information or services on a state website that requires personal identifying information, each institution of higher education must conduct a transaction risk assessment, and implement appropriate privacy and security safeguards that conform to requirements of Chapter 202 of this title.

(e) Any web based form on an institution of higher education's website that requests information from the public must have a link to the institution of higher education's website privacy notice.

(f) Web pages designed for children must comply with all applicable federal and state laws, including provisions of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 and Texas Penal Code Chapter 33, [Texas Government Code, Chapter 420,] intended to protect minors.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on September 14, 2017.

TRD-201703643

Martin Zelinsky

General Counsel

Department of Information Resources

Earliest possible date of adoption: October 29, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 936-7577