11.55.1  Internet Content Publishing Process (ICPP) Management Document  (06-01-2006)

  1. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides an Internet Web site http://www.irs.gov/ as a resource of information to help taxpayers, tax professionals, and other stakeholders understand and comply with tax laws.

  2. The IRS.gov Web site is:

    1. A public Web portal designed to serve the widest variety of Web customers, both in the public and internally.

    2. A major strategic tool allowing the Service to more efficiently fulfill its mission to help taxpayers understand and meet their tax responsibilities.

    3. An extremely effective communication tool through which the IRS provides an extensive array of information, tax products, and other tools.

  3. IRS business owners are encouraged to post relevant information on IRS.gov and be vigilant in maintaining the content, thereby positioning the Web site as a premier customer communication channel.

  4. Wage and Investment (W&I) is the content owner of some of the information contained on the IRS.gov Web site. Some content pages are owned by a single specific function within W&I, while others are shared cross-functionally, either within W&I or across other IRS operating divisions or functions.


    Media & Publications has direct responsibility for their directories on the Web site and is consulted directly regarding Web operations. Media & Publications represent Tax Forms and Publications, Publishing, and Distribution functions.

  5. As an organization, W&I is responsible for the technical accuracy and life cycle of those content pages designated as owned by W&I. Content owners must ensure the information remains current and is removed in a timely manner when it’s no longer valid or necessary.

  6. A Content Management Application (CMA) is used to assist in managing the IRS.gov Web site.

    1. The CMA Tool was developed and is maintained by the Modernization & Information Technology Services (MITS) organization in conjunction with a contractor who supports the tool.

    2. The CMA enables each business organization to manage and publish its own content.

  7. The purpose of this Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) is to provide an overall understanding of the W&I Internet Content Publishing Process (ICPP), describe roles and responsibilities, and provide procedures for the review, clearance and publishing of W&I IRS.gov Internet Content.  (04-01-2005)
An Introduction to the Internet Content Publishing Process (ICPP)

  1. The ICPP allows W&I to effectively manage its own content. The process ensures that when content is published it is:

    • Technically accurate.

    • Not duplicated elsewhere on IRS.gov.

    • Reviewed and approved by all affected functions.

    • Reviewed and approved by appropriate levels of management.

    • Validated periodically.

    • Removed or updated when no longer current.

  2. A W&I ICPP Intranet Web site http://win.web.irs.gov/icp/wi_icp.htm provides more information and tools, for example, the Web site lists the ICPP Coordinators, the Annual Certification process, and associated memos, CMA information, etc.

  3. Each of the more than 10,000 content Web pages on IRS.gov; are owned by a designated business organization. While several organizations can share content responsibility, only one is designated as owner. The owner is responsible for ensuring that coordination, review and approval occur, among all who share responsibility for the content.


    A listing of content owners by organization can be found at the W&I ICPP Internet Web site at http://win.web.irs.gov/icp/wi_icp.htm.

  4. Each W&I page is assigned to one function within W&I; the assigned function is the primary area responsible for the page content. If the page contains cross-functional content and is, therefore shared, the other functions are identified as secondary and all content updates or changes are coordinated through the primary function.

  5. Information intended for use on the public IRS.gov Internet site must be appropriate for the audience and the medium. Use the following guidelines when developing Web content:

    1. Use language and a perspective appropriate for the taxpayer.

    2. Do not post sensitive information.

  6. Guidelines are included throughout this IRM to assist Content Providers develop content appropriate for the public Web site.

  7. Once content is developed using these guidelines, changes can be submitted by preparing a W&I Content Publishing Request (CPR). The CPR and instructions for completing it can be found at the W&I ICPP Internet Web site at: http://win.web.irs.gov/icp/wi_icp.htm.

  8. The CPR is important because it provides a structure to ensure the Content Provider has captured all information necessary to make changes in a timely and accurate manner.

  9. The process requires designated Page Stewards, ICPP Coordinators, Creator/Publishers, and Content Area Administrators (CAA). Roles and responsibilities for each of these designations can be found in detail within this IRM. See IRM

    1. Page Steward - At least one Page Steward is identified for every page owned by W&I. A Page Steward is the subject matter expert (SME), typically an IRM author or program analyst. Page Stewards ensure content is accurate, timely and current. They prepare the content, coordinate with other functions within W&I and/or other operating divisions or functions as necessary, send content through clearance for review and approvals, and forward the completed content package for posting.


      If the page content is shared by multiple functions, a Page Steward from each function is identified, with the one from the primary function designated as the primary Page Steward. A master list of all W&I-owned pages with the names of the designated Page Stewards is available on the W&I ICPP Internet Web site at : http://win.web.irs.gov/icp/docs/insider_web_ownership.xls to assist with coordination efforts.

    2. Internet Content Publishing Process (ICPP) Coordinator – Each function within W&I designates an ICPP Coordinator who is responsible for reviewing requests from Page Stewards for completeness and technical accuracy and ensuring all appropriate approval signatures are obtained. This individual reviews and launches new content, as well as cross-divisional/functional and updated content. They are responsible for maintaining a historical file of all Web page requests, and must also file the electronic copy of the content change request on the W&I shared network drive.

    3. Creator/Publisher (also known as Creator/Editor or Editor) – The designated Creator/Publisher is responsible for making the requested content changes using the CMA application. After making changes, the Creator/Publisher either publishes the content directly to IRS.gov or when necessary, forwards it through the Functional ICPP Coordinator, who forwards it to the CAA for publication.

    4. Content Area Administrator (CAA - formerly known and referred to as Super User) – The W&I CAA is responsible for overseeing the content publishing process and CMA within W&I, at the division level. The CAA is the liaison between management, Creator/Publishers, MITS, Electronic Tax Administration (ETA), and CAAs from other Operating Divisions or Functions.  (04-01-2005)
Roles and Responsibilities

  1. This section describes roles and responsibilities of each of the following:

    1. Page Steward

    2. Functional ICPP Coordinator

    3. Division ICPP Coordinator

    4. Creator/Publisher

    5. Reviewer

    6. Content Area Administrator  (04-01-2005)
Page Steward

  1. A Page Steward is responsible for creating, updating and requesting removal of content posted to a Web page or content page on IRS.gov. Page Stewards may be employees serving in various positions, including but not limited to:

    1. Policy/program analysts

    2. Tax Analysts

    3. Communication and Liaison Staff

    4. Division Commissioner Staff

  2. Foremost, a Page Steward ensures the accuracy of the Web page content. This can involve:

    1. Researching resource materials such as the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Publications and the IRM.

    2. Consulting with subject matter experts and analysts.

    3. Consulting with functional, embedded Counsel, Disclosure, and Learning and Education personnel.

    4. Consulting with the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS).

    5. Keeping abreast of legislative changes.

    6. Keeping abreast of policy and procedural changes.

    7. Reviewing the ICPP Expired Content report to verify adherence to Internet Content expiration dates.

  3. A Page Steward must also search IRS.gov for similar content pages to avoid duplication and contradiction of content. The steward should coordinate efforts with other Page Stewards to accomplish this goal.

  4. The steward will consult the CMA, the list of Page Stewards on the W&I Intranet page or contact the Functional ICPP Coordinator to determine page ownership.

  5. The Page Steward determines the functions and/or operating divisions that should review content changes and sends the content for review. The Page Steward must coordinate with employees in the other functions and/or operating divisions when changing Web content for which more than one function is responsible.

  6. The Page Steward coordinates with IRM authors when updating Web content ensuring it is consistent with the IRM.

  7. The Page Steward is responsible for obtaining management approval of changes being requested to IRS.gov content. If part of the updated content material consists of adding new content to an existing page, new content does not require approval at an executive level unless the nature of the new content is significant. See IRM

  8. To request and document any IRS.gov changes, the Page Steward forwards the completed W&I Internet CPR and Form 12956 (Staff Summary Sheet , catalog number 31221 D), to the Functional ICPP Coordinator.

  9. See IRM for review process instructions.

  10. See IRM, Visual Aid to the CMA, which provides examples of format and descriptions for IRS.gov.

  11. See Exhibit 11.55.1-1. for Page Steward Guidelines.  (04-01-2005)
Functional Internet Content Publishing Process (ICPP) Coordinator

  1. The Functional ICPP Coordinator acts as liaison between the Division ICPP Coordinator, the W&I CAA and employees within their function, such as:

    • Managers/Executives

    • Page Stewards

    • Creator/Publisher

    • IRM Authors

  2. Their responsibilities are to:

    1. Disseminate information regarding the Internet Content Publishing Process to Page Stewards.

    2. Prepare briefings for management as needed.

    3. Identify all Web pages owned by their function and any other pages for which their function has input.

    4. Perform reviews of Web pages to ensure material is removed when it expires.

    5. Ensure Page Stewards within their function adhere to the procedures of this IRM and the production schedule.

    6. Review and launch content and files the request on the shared drive. See IRM, for CPR Accountability and Internal Control procedures for information about the shared drive.

    7. Review the Form 12956 for all necessary approvals and verify proper completion of the CPR.

    8. Initial the Form 12956.

    9. Return the package to the Page Steward who submitted it if the package is incomplete.

  3. The Functional ICPP Coordinator maintains an electronic/soft copy of the content package for historical purposes and files the CPR on the shared drive.

  4. A list of the ICPP Coordinators is available at the following W&I ICPP Intranet : http://win.web.irs.gov/icp/wi_icp.htm.  (04-01-2005)
Division Internet Content Publishing Process (ICPP) Coordinator

  1. W&I has a Division ICPP Coordinator whose primary responsibilities are to:

    1. Ensure the accuracy of content for all Web pages owned by W&I.

    2. Ensure the accuracy of content for which any W&I employee is responsible.

    3. Ensure timely update of content.

    4. Oversee the process of updating Internet Content.

    5. Oversee the process of launching new Internet Content.

  2. The Division ICPP Coordinator also:

    1. Acts as a liaison between W&I, CAAs (W&I and Servicewide) and other operating/functional divisions regarding any matters related to Internet page content. They coordinate requests to or from any functions outside of W&I pertaining to review and updating of Internet Content. The ICPP Coordinator initials all Forms 12956 submitted by any business units outside of W&I.

    2. Creates and maintains a schedule for monitoring and validating W&I-owned page content.

    3. Oversees a network of Functional ICPP Coordinators within W&I; they keep the ICPP Coordinators aware of any information concerning the Internet review and updating process.

    4. launches content from CPRs and files them on the shared drive.

  3. The Division ICPP Coordinator or their designee performs a review on the content package when appropriate. The final review consists of the following actions:

    1. Verifying the Internet Content package is complete and the content change has all required approvals.

    2. Initialing the Form 12956.

    3. Returning it to the Functional ICPP Coordinator who submitted it if the package is incomplete.

  4. The Division ICPP Coordinator also acts as a back-up for the W&I CAA.  (04-01-2005)

  1. The Creator/Publisher performs the same functions as the Functional ICPP Coordinators and also:

    1. Maintains a historical file of all Web page requests and files on the share drive.

    2. Receives proposed content submissions.

    3. Reviews, edits and approves each change sent to the Web.

    4. Ensures all approvals are obtained prior to publication of a Web page.

    5. Gets consensus on edits as necessary.

    6. "Launches/publishes" material to IRS.gov or forwards as appropriate to the Content Area Administrator.

  2. The Creator/Publisher receives an acknowledgement (from the CMA Tool) for each change sent to the Web when launched.  (04-01-2004)

  1. A review process embedded within the CMA Tool allows a reviewer access to an article/page prior to its launch. The Reviewer checks the content for accuracy and timeliness before it is published within the CMA Tool.

  2. Most W&I Page Stewards, Functional, and Divisional ICPP Coordinators and/or Creator/Publishers can also be reviewers.

  3. Management can determine whether an additional review level is needed for individual functions.

  4. Communications and Liaison (C&L) staff, when appropriate, reviews content material. See IRM

  5. See IRM, Review Process, for additional instructions.  (01-30-2009)
Content Area Administrator

  1. The Content Area Administrator (CAA) represents W&I as the Content Management liaison assisting the W&I organization in providing accurate tax administration products to the public on IRS.gov.

  2. The CAA's role is to establish adequate procedures ensuring all content is posted in an accurate and timely manner and in the appropriate location(s).

  3. The CAA acts as the primary Point-of-Contact for publishing all Web content and acts as the Web resource for content layout, style, and use of technology.


    Media & Publications and Multilingual Initiative Strategy Office (MLISO) have direct responsibility for their content on the Web site and are consulted directly regarding Web operations.

  4. The CAA provides guidance on Section 508 compliance.

  5. The CAA administers the historical files on all Web page updates and changes maintained by the Functional ICPP Coordinators and/or Page Stewards on a shared server.


    Maintaining paper copies of each Web update or change is optional.

  6. The CAA recommends improvements to the Web design and/or CMA Tool based on current needs and in anticipation of future requirements and capabilities.

  7. The CAA analyzes and resolves outstanding Help Desk inquiries through the review of a weekly Escalation Matrix.

  8. The CAA represents W&I in cross-functional groups and serves as a member of the Web Facilitation Group (WFG).

  9. The CAA also acts as a back-up for the W&I Division ICPP Coordinator.  (06-01-2006)
Content Area Administrator Skills

  1. The Content Area Administrator must possess the following skills:

    1. Mastery of principles, methods, practices and techniques of communication enabling them to function as the technical authority for the functional units of W&I.

    2. Ability to encourage groups and individuals within the organization to adopt program improvements, enhancements, and practices developed from public input.

    3. Ability to analyze and develop recommendations.

    4. Ability to communicate findings and recommendations effectively orally and in writing, and prepare reports and assessments for management.

    5. Ability to coordinate cross-organizationally.  (06-01-2006)
Content Area Administrator Responsibilities

  1. Content Area Administrator responsibilities include:

    1. "Launching/Publishing" material to IRS.gov.

    2. Working to enhance Web content and the underlying Content Management processes (manage Web site content).

    3. Integrating new publishing technology into the process.

    4. Defining and documenting underlying processes necessary for management of W&I Web content.

    5. Leading deployment of the CMA within the organization.

    6. Representing the organization and serving as the liaison with the Internet Service Provider (ISP) for all CMA information, questions and issues

    7. Collaborating with other IRS operating divisions/functional divisions (OD/FD) and Public Portal office to manage and publish the organization’s Web content through its life cycle.

    8. Providing guidance to Content Providers for conveying information in a clear, understandable manner appropriate for the audience of IRS.gov

    9. Representing W&I as a member of the Web Facilitation Group (WFG)

    10. Assisting with publishing of W&I "owned" content to IRS.gov not be published by the functions

    11. Managing and providing counsel to Content Providers and Content Area Administrators and/or their back-ups

    12. Communicating Content Management information

    13. Maintaining content and alerting Content Providers when deleting or expiring per established life span dates

    14. Providing training on Content Management procedures, techniques and related business processes

    15. Providing analytical advice and assistance to management on application and integration of Internet services for the achievement of organizational goals

    16. Providing written and oral guidance and advice to Web Content Providers on presentation of material and methods of validating new and current material

    17. Monitoring Web content ensuring it remains current and accurate and ensure site references provide the expected navigation

    18. Identifying system complaints and problems related to Web design and coordinate with MITS for resolution

    19. Recommending improvements based on current needs and in anticipation of future requirements and capabilities

    20. Performing other duties as needed  (04-01-2005)
Content Request Types - Definitions

  1. There are four types of content requests that can be submitted for publishing to IRS.gov (by completing a CPR).

    • Add new content.

    • Update existing content.

    • Delete existing content.

    • Validate existing content.

  2. The content types include the following:

    1. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) pages (information, navigation, applications).

    2. Pages generated by programs (Common Gateway Interface, Java Server Pages, Refund, Withholding Calculator).

    3. Published products (forms, publications, instructions, Internal Revenue Bulletins, IRMs) in various file formats, such as Portable Document Format (PDF), Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), HTML, text, Braille Ready Format.

  3. For Static Files and Unapproved File Formats, see IRM, Publishing Files in Non-Standard Formats.

  4. For Static File Exceptions, approval must be obtained from the Publishing Portal Branch (PPB).

    1. An IRS.gov Content Publishing Request (CPR) must be prepared explaining the need to publish in non-standard format.

    2. Forward the CPR, with a copy of the non-standard file(s) for publishing, to the *IRS.gov Admin mailbox (within Outlook), or irs.gov.admin@irs.gov (outside Outlook).

    3. The Public Portal Branch (PPB) will advise the submitter within reasonable time if the files may be published.  (04-01-2005)
Add New Content

  1. "Add New Content" is requested whenever the content is new or a new Web page is created.

  2. W&I business functions are encouraged to consider adding new content beneficial to taxpayers and tax professionals or that helps reduce errors.

  3. "Add New Content" requests require approved at an executive level.


    Executive approval is not required to add a link of existing content to the new content.

  4. Prior to launching, the Division ICPP Coordinator reviews the content ensuring it is consistent with applicable W&I and IRS policies and strategic messages.

  5. The expiration date cannot be more than one year from the date of posting.  (04-01-2004)
Updating Existing Content

  1. "Update Existing Content" is requested whenever an existing Web page requires update such as adding content, deleting content, and/or revising existing content.

  2. If updates include adding new content to an existing page, the new content requires no executive approval unless the nature of the new content is significant.


    If the content is Frequently Asked Questions and additional questions/answers are added as part of the update, executive approved is not required.

  3. The expiration date cannot be more than one year from the date of posting.  (04-01-2005)
Deleting Existing Content

  1. "Delete Existing Content" is requested when an existing Web page is completely removed from IRS.gov, for example, because the information is no longer valid or is deemed not useful.


    Incorrect/unauthorized posting of information must be deleted as soon as identified; if assistance is needed, contact the W&I Content Area Administrator or Division ICPP Coordinator.

  2. Each Web page created after November 1, 2002 includes an expiration date. The content should be reviewed prior to the expiration date to validate technical accuracy (see "Validating Existing Content" below).  (04-01-2005)
Validating Existing Content

  1. "Validate Existing Content" is requested when a content page is reviewed for technical accuracy, no changes are necessary, and the content should remain on IRS.gov.

  2. Each Web page must be reviewed, at least once annually, by the Page Steward before expiring.

  3. Typically, the review results in an "Update Existing Content " request because of tax year changes; however, if the information remains valid and no changes are necessary, the Page Steward submits a " Validate Existing Content" request and supplies a new expiration date.  (05-01-2007)
Static Files and Approved File Formats

  1. Static files require annual review for validation/certification.

  2. An expiration Date is required.

  3. Approved file formats are HTML and PDF.

  4. Text (TXT) files, also known as raw American Standard Code For Information Interchange (ASCII), are the most basic non-proprietary file format and should be converted to HTML or PDF.


    Any other format requires Public Portal Branch (PPB) approval.

  5. See IRM 2.25.101, IRS.gov Content Management Guidelines for additional information.  (05-01-2007)
Static Files and Unapproved File Formats

  1. Approved file formats are HTML and PDF.

  2. Microsoft Office files are not approved file formats.


    Microsoft Office Word files, Microsoft Office Excel files, Microsoft PowerPoint files, etc.

  3. Request for any other file format requires static file exception by PPB.

  4. See IRM, Publishing Files in Non-Standard Formats.  (05-01-2007)
Static File Exception

  1. If an exception for posting unapproved static file formats is needed take the following steps:

    1. Ensure all formats meet Section 508 accessibility requirements.

    2. Prepare an IRS.gov Content Publishing Request (CPR) providing justification for publishing in non-standard form.

    3. Forward the CPR, with a copy of the non-standard file(s) to publish, to the *IRS.gov Admin mailbox (within Outlook), or irs.gov.admin@irs.gov (outside Outlook).

  2. The Public Portal Branch (PPB) advises whether or not the file(s) may be published.  (05-01-2007)
Content for the "Newsroom" , " Front Page" , "Site Map," Español Page, Individuals Landing Page, Individuals More Topics Page, or Other Non-Content Area

  1. Functions submit requests for the Newsroom, Front Page, Site Map, Español (Spanish) Page, or Landing pages owned by other operating/functional divisions) through the Functional and Division ICPP Coordinators to the Content Area Administrator, who publishes the request in coordination with the appropriate organization.


    Tax Forms and Publications, Publishing, and Distribution functions within Media & Publications share responsibility for the Forms and Publications Landing Page.  (01-30-2009)
Multilingual Initiative Strategy Office (MLISO)

  1. Multilingual Initiative Strategy Office (MLISO) is part of the Media & Publications organization and develops strategies to provide products and services for electronic filing, paying, and communication services for IRS.gov.

  2. MLISO becoming Language Services with the Virtual Translation Office in near future.

  3. The MLI Strategy Office oversees the development and implementation of agency-wide strategies expanding and/or improving products and services to meet the needs of Limited English Proficient (LEP) taxpayers.

  4. MLISO is responsible for managing all non-English language content on IRS.gov, including the Español Web page.  (05-01-2007)
The Español Web Page Content Publishing Process

  1. The IRS provides a Spanish-language Internet Web page for the general public at http://www.irs.gov/espanol/index.html .

  2. The MLISO is designated as the owner of the Español Web page.

  3. The Español Web page contains information in Spanish, viewable online or downloaded, providing meaningful access to Spanish products and services.

  4. The MLI Strategic Process governs the determination of areas of importance for the Español Web page. See IRM for additional information.

  5. Posted content must meet the established Language, Dialects and Dictionaries Standards (See IRM  (05-01-2007)
Transmitting Submission Packages to MLISO

  1. Content Providers posting content in Spanish should submit the following package electronically to the office of MLISO:

    • A completed Content Publishing Request (CPR), obtainable online at http://win.web.irs.gov/icp/docs/FillableCPR.pdf .

    • State the posting priority in the CPR.

    • An approved Translation Approval Form 13779.

    • The Spanish content being posted.

    • The English language version of the content.  (05-01-2007)
Spanish Content and CMA ID Numbers

  1. When an English version of Spanish content on IRS.gov is known, enter the Spanish CMA ID number in the English CMA content tool comment box.  (05-01-2007)
Individuals Landing Page

  1. Functions submit requests for additions, changes or deletions to content housed on the Individuals Landing Page to the W&I Content Area Administrator (CAA).

    1. Use the standard CPR process.

    2. Include the organizational ICPP coordinator in e-mail requests.

  2. The CAA reviews the request and determines placement on the page in conjunction with embedded C&L staff.

  3. When necessary, content from the Individuals Landing Page is moved to the "More Topics" page to accommodate the new content; movement is based on the capacity of the Individuals Landing Page to house a specified number of contents concurrently.

  4. Changes to the left navigation bar listing are coordinated through the CAA.

    1. The Functional ICPP Coordinator forwards a CPR to the CAA with the suggested change(s).

    2. The CAA forwards the request to the embedded C&L staff ensuring the change is within the organizational "vision" .

    3. The CAA sends the request to the Functional ICPP Coordinators informing them of the request and requesting input on its acceptance or rejection.  (05-01-2007)
Rotation of Content on the Individuals Landing Page and More Topics Page

  1. The content on the Individuals Landing Page is rotated periodically (higher ranking) to better serve our customers.


    "Where’s My Refund" content is not placed high on the page during the months of December or January as our customer base has not filed annual returns yet and sufficient processing time has not passed for refund issuance; however; the "1040 Central" page should be placed at the top of the page so customers need know the most current happenings, events and topics at the beginning of the filing season.

  2. The CAA, in conjunction with embedded C&L, reviews content placement on the page based on the IRS.gov Site Usage Analysis monthly report received from ETA; this report is sent via e-mail to the CAA and Division ICPP Coordinator.

  3. As stated above, at times the allotted number of content items on the Individuals Landing Page may exceed capacity; content is moved as needed to the "More Topics" page.  (05-01-2007)
Individuals "More Topics" Page

  1. Functions submit requests for additions, changes or deletions to content housed on the Individuals "More Topics" Page to the W&I CAA.

  2. Follow the process outlined in IRM

  3. The Individuals Topics Left Navigation (NAV) Bar is populated by content found on this page.

  4. Changes to the Individuals Topics Left Nav Bar are made only by the CAA and Division ICPP Coordinator.  (04-01-2005)
Approved Photographs for Use on IRS.gov

  1. The use of photographs on IRS.gov adds color and warmth to the site and is consistent with the recommended Web page balance of 5-15% of graphics to text.

  2. The database of photographs approved for use on IRS.gov is located on the IRS.gov Resource Intranet Web site located at http://irsgov-irs.web.irs.gov/Photo_Library/LandingPage/Business/PL-LP-Business01.htm .

  3. National Headquarters (NHQ) C&L and ETA implemented a " Rotating Photograph Procedure" for the landing pages of IRS.gov.

  4. Direct questions regarding this process to the Division ICPP Coordinator.  (04-01-2005)
Rotating Photograph Procedure

  1. Six (6) photographs are selected from the database of approved photographs located on the IRS.gov Resource Internet Web site at http://irsgov-irs.web.irs.gov/Photo_Library/LandingPage/Business/PL-LP-Business01.htm .


    Photographs other than those in the database of approved photographs may be submitted to NHQ C&L for consideration/approval.

  2. Once an organization selects its photographs, they are placed in a directory on the CMA and labeled using the following format/convention:

    • 7ODname-Photo-IDnumber.jpg

    • 8ODname-Photo-IDnumber.jpg

    • 9ODname-Photo-IDnumber.jpg

    • 10ODname-Photo-IDnumber.jpg

    • 11ODname-Photo-IDnumber.jpg

    • 12ODname-Photo-IDnumber.jpg

  3. These photographs are rotated periodically on the organization IRS.gov landing page.  (04-01-2005)

  1. Keywords are meaningful and unique words directly associated with one Web page document on a Web site.

  2. Entering a keyword in the "Keyword/Search Terms" dialog box in the upper right corner of the IRS.gov home page retrieves Web page(s) directly associated with the keyword; this section will discuss how to:

    1. Select relevant keywords

    2. Market or brand keywords

    3. Activate a keyword

  3. Selecting relevant "keywords" entails the following:

    1. Good keywords are intuitive and directly related to the associated content; they are generally brief, to-the-point, clear and concise.

    2. When using a term (versus "one word" ) as a keyword, it is important the term is as short as possible.

    3. Avoid using acronyms and "jargon" unless they are clearly established and recognized by the taxpayer community.

    4. Choosing similar keywords may confuse the public and have an adverse effect on branding your keyword with the public; avoid using the word " tax" as a keyword unless it is part of the program name (i.e. Tax Fraud).

    5. When selecting a keyword, it is important to avoid keywords with broad implication or overlap with other programs; program owners should coordinate with others who may have a vested interest in a particular keyword.

  4. Marketing or branding "keywords" entails the following:

    1. Marketing or branding keywords helps ensure the public remembers and uses them in the future.

    2. After selecting a keyword, determine how to inform your audience the keyword exists; users in the taxpayer community understand they must search by trial and error when using a search engine, but they expect the IRS keywords feature to retrieve direct "hits" .  (01-30-2009)
Keyword Submittal Process

  1. Keyword requests should be sent to your Divisional ICPP who will clear the keyword throughout the W&I organization and then submit to NHQ C&L.

  2. In W&I, before the keyword is submitted to NHQ C&L, it must be sent throughout W&I ensuring it is consistent with the IRS and Operating Division strategic vision and does not adversely affect other organizations. Once the keyword is approved by all W&I organizations, the Division ICPP Coordinator will submit the new "keyword" to NHQ C&L.  (01-30-2009)
Strategic Planning & Analysis

  1. W&I's commitment to provide quality products and services to customers must be taken into consideration as outlined in strategic planning initiatives.

  2. Taxpayers depend on W&I for delivery of top-quality products and services, coupled with responsible enforcement efforts.

  3. W&I is committed to delivery of and exceeding customer expectations; one of the many ways we do this is connecting customer needs to activities we accomplish within resource allocations and organizational performance expectations.

  4. Content submitted for publication on IRS.gov should take into account the strategic plan.

  5. To view Strategic Planning & Analysis (SPA) - Major Programs , access the following Web site: http://win.web.irs.gov/Strategy/SF_SPA.htm .  (04-01-2004)

  1. Page Stewards conduct internal and external research to determine the extent to which other sites address a subject.

  2. When finding sites containing pertinent information, make a determination to include some of the information, link to the site, or because of the site’s content, discontinue development of the new site.  (06-01-2006)
Authoring Techniques

  1. In addition to ensuring Web content is technically and legally correct, Page Stewards ensure information is easy to understand for " end users" .

  2. Page Stewart ensure IRS.gov content submitted is appropriate for an external audience (the public).

  3. Write in active voice rather than passive voice.

  4. Write content using plain language. The Web site www.plainlanguage.gov is a recommended resource for authors seeking further information and examples.

  5. Create user-friendly text avoiding acronyms, IRS-specific terminology ("jargon" ), and complex information ("legalese " ).

  6. Write content for an internal audience (IRS employees) from the taxpayer's perspective. Avoid information applying only to IRS employees such as reorganizations.

  7. Proofread text prior to submission; correct typographical errors, misspellings, and inconsistencies. Do not rely on the Web Team to edit documents for incorrect grammar or typographical errors.

  8. Keep dates and phone number formats consistent; the most frequently used formats are MM/DD/YYYY and (123) 555-1212, respectively.

  9. Use standard postal codes within a document. Put states in alphabetical order, not in postal code order, e.g., Maine (ME) should come before Maryland (MD); use Washington, DC, not Washington, D.C.

  10. Spaces, other non-alphanumeric characters, and uppercase letters are not permitted in file names. Use a dash "-" or underscore "_" to show delineation in file names; file names should be indicative of the document contents. Use standard file extensions such as .pdf for Adobe Acrobat documents.

  11. Avoid "visit our Web site at..." , as the reader is already on our Web site.

  12. Avoid "click here" ; instead direct the reader to "select" a particular option.

  13. When determining where content should go on the Web, consider:

    • Appropriate Location - Hot Issue/News.

    • Main Content Area of Landing Page (Individuals).

    • Longer term item - Topics.


    Where you want content to be located depends on the length of time it remains on the Web site, importance of the issue, and timeliness of the issue.

  14. "Writing for the Web" is unique training developed by the IRS for Web writers; for additional information, contact your Functional ICPP Coordinator.

  15. Web Enhancing Technology (JavaScript, Active Server Page or ASP, Web forms, etc.) is solely for use in applications; do not insert Web Enhancing Technology into content managed by the Content Management Application.

  16. Other resources are available assisting Page Stewards in creating easy-to-understand and effective Web content. See the following subsections of this IRM for information on these resources.  (06-01-2006)
Web Resources

  1. The following Web sites provide additional help in developing content material:

    • http://spder.web.irs.gov/ — The Servicewide Policy, Directives, and Electronic Research (SPDER) Web site contains information on Internal Management Documents and access to electronic research information and tools such as LexisNexis and IRM Online.

    • http://publish.no.irs.gov/ — The Media and Publications Web site provides information for all IRS published products

    • http://amc.enterprise.irs.gov/ — The Alternative Media Center (AMC) Web site includes information on writing descriptions of graphics for visually impaired employees or public users.

    • http://www.section508.gov/ — The Center for Information Technology (CIT), in the General Services Administration’s Office of Government-wide Policy, is tasked with educating federal employees and building the infrastructure necessary to support Section 508 implementation. This Web site provides resources for understanding and implementing the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1998.  (04-01-2005)
Skillsoft University Self-Study Writing Courses

  1. Skillsoft University offers a variety of courses designed to enhance employee communication skills.


    The IRS replaced Administrative Corporate Education System (ACES) with the Enterprise Learning Management System (ELMS) effective January 24, 2005.

  2. The Communication Curriculum includes the following courses for Business Grammar Essentials:

    • Foundations of Grammar, Course No. 12475.

    • Sentence Construction, Course No. 13364.

    • Understanding Writing Mechanics, Course No. 12477.

    • Punctuating with Skill, Course No. 12478.

  3. The High-Impact Business Writing Curriculum includes the following courses:

    • Preparing to Write Effectively to Your Audience, Course No. 12479.

    • Writing Concisely and Accurately, Course No. 12480.

    • Writing Effective Business Documents, Course No. 12481.

  4. The Writing to Maximize Business Results Curriculum includes the following courses:

    • Exploring the New Basics of Business Writing, Course No. 12711.

    • Writing High-Impact Reports and Proposals, Course No. 12712.

  5. Self-Study Flowcharting Courses include:

    • Essential Project Management Tools, Course No. 12508.  (04-01-2004)
Other Writing Tools

  1. C&L developed a self-study course, "Changing a Bureaucracy One Paragraph at a Time" , Document 11345. An Interactive Video/CD-ROM supplements the workbook and is used in a classroom setting or via self-study.  (04-01-2005)
Creating Content for the Visually Impaired

  1. The Service must provide visually impaired employees and taxpayers equal access to information available on IRS.gov. Under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1998 (29 U.S.C. § 794(d)), agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others; this includes Web-based Internet information.

  2. Special formatting is often required to make Web content accessible; when creating tables, consider:

    1. Alternate formats (determine if information can be conveyed effectively without using a table).

    2. Accessibility implications (all tables require special embedded codes, which may affect the deadline).

  3. Page Stewards and their management are responsible for ensuring these requirements are enforced.

  4. Additional information on Section 508 is available at the following Web sites:

    1. http://www.section508.gov/ - Government-wide Section 508 Web site.

    2. http://irap.no.irs.gov/ - Information Resources Accessibility Program.  (04-01-2005)
Handling Suggested Changes to Internet (IRS.gov) Content

  1. Anyone (i.e., employees or taxpayers) can suggest Internet Content changes in numerous ways including:

    • E-mail via the IRS.gov Web site.

    • E-mail through BODs' Web sites.

    • Memoranda.

  2. The Page Steward for the applicable page(s) must acknowledge and assess all recommended changes.

    1. If the Page Steward incorporates the suggested change, they must include the request in the clearance package as background material.

    2. If the Page Steward does not incorporate recommended change, they should document the reason.  (01-30-2009)
Employee Changes to IRS.gov

  1. At times, employees identify content or lack of content on IRS.gov and recommend a change. The employee identifies and describes a specific need for improvement and proposes a solution or proposes a specific improvement to an existing situation.


    To correct missing or inaccurate information on IRS.gov, see W&I ICPP intranet page http://win.web.irs.gov/icp/wi_icp.htm for a list of contacts.

  2. To make a change to IRS.gov, employees prepare and submit the suggestion on the "I Suggest..." , Form 13380 through the Employee Suggestion Program web site at http://esp.web.irs.gov established channels describing the recommended change.

  3. Local Employee Suggestion Program Coordinator will review suggestion for completeness and forward to the W&I Headquarters' (HQ) Employee Suggestion Program (ESP) Manager, if national consideration is warranted.

  4. The W&I HQ ESP Coordinator assigns the suggestion to the Functional Employee Suggestion Program Coordinator.

  5. The Functional ESP Coordinator assigns the suggestion to the Functional ICPP Coordinator.

  6. The Functional ICPP Coordinator assigns the suggestion to the appropriate program owner/analyst for evaluation and recommendation for approval or disapproval.

    1. If approved, the evaluator completes Form 2665, Suggestion Evaluation, and Form 9127, Recommendation for Recognition, and prepares an approval letter sent to the suggestor/originator.

    2. If disapproved, the evaluator completes Form 2665 and prepare a non-adopt letter to send to the suggestor/originator employee.

  7. When ESP suggestions affect multiple W&I functions, a lead owner/analyst is selected by the W&I HQ ESP Manager.

    1. Each affected function for such a suggestion addresses their portion and forwards a response to the lead stakeholder, who consolidates the response and prepares the "adopt" or "non-adopt" letter, sent to the employee.

    2. The evaluator routes the completed package to the Functional ESP Coordinator.

    3. The Functional ESP Coordinator routes the completed package to the W&I HQ ESP Manager for final disposition.

  8. For additional information regarding Employee Suggestions, see IRM 1.55.5, Employee Suggestion Program.  (04-01-2005)
Review Process

  1. To ensure page content is complete and accurate, all affected functions, including the function owning the content page, must review content changes.

  2. The significance and nature of the change determines who should review it; reviewers document their review by initialing a Form 12956, Staff Summary Sheet.

  3. If personnel in another function or operating division need to review content changes, the Page Steward coordinates through the Functional and Division ICPP Coordinators as appropriate.

  4. Most Page Stewards and/or Creator/Publishers can also be a reviewer.

  5. Management may determine an additional review level is needed for their respective functions.

  6. C&L, when appropriate, reviews content material. See IRM  (04-01-2004)
Functional Internal Review

  1. When updating Web content, Page Stewards obtain approval from management.

  2. Minor technical changes to existing content require review and approval by first-level management.

  3. Significant changes to existing content require review and approval by senior management.

  4. New content requires review and approval at the director level; if applicable, it requires concurrence from the Business Unit Director.

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