The Netherlands government (and the Defence organisation) is committed to providing online information that is user friendly, accessible, well designed and findable. Everyone must be able to easily find, use and consult government websites. One of the things the Defence organisation does in order to make this possible is to apply Web Guidelines.

World Wide Web Consortium W3C

The Web guidelines are based on internationally recognised guidelines laid down by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) concerning the accessibility, design and sustainability of websites.

Web Guidelines: apply or explain

The Web Guidelines version 2 appear on the list of mandatory open standards laid down by the Standardisation Forum (Forum Standaardisatie). The so-called 'apply or explain' principle applies to all open standards on this list. Government organisations must apply the standards on this list ('apply'). If they are justifiably unable to do so, they must clearly explain why ('explain').

All Web Guidelines (version 2) can also be found in the Terms of Reference (Toepassingskader). This document is also an additional tool for using the guidelines correctly.

The manner in which governments render account for their website management is also subject to specific requirements. These can be found in the Web Guidelines Accountabilty model (Verantwoordingsmodel).