Washington State Auditor’s Office Seeks Digital Agency

state of washington

The Washington State Auditor’s Office, herein called “SAO” is seeking a digital agency to redesign the SAO website (www.sao.wa.gov).

Background:

The website (www.sao.wa.gov) is a vitally important communication tool for the State Auditor’s Office. Members of the public visit the site to look up new or past audit reports, request public records, learn how to contact the elected State Auditor or office staff, and to file reports of possible government fraud, waste or abuse for our review. Elected officials and staff in Washington’s more than 2,000 local governments and state agencies rely on the site to help them prepare for an audit of their entity, understand government accounting standards, request help from the Office, file financial information, and look up information with the office.

The site receives more than 420,000 visitors per year and an average of 400 users per day. The majority of users, 82 percent, access the site from a desktop computer, and nearly all visits occur during government work hours (8 am-5pm). The website contains 167 pages and around 42,000 documents, including reports.

The current website does not meet the needs of the agency, the public, or auditees. Although redeveloped fairly recently, the current site was designed and built in-house with no budget and minimal resources. As a result, the site is difficult to navigate, services are not readily accessible, may not contain the correct type and amount of information, and is not optimized for mobile functionality.

The current website was designed in SharePoint to manage web content. This SharePoint environment is both physically and logically separated from SAO internal network. This separation creates a number of challenges for efficiently and effectively managing content.

SAO is seeking a firm to:

  • assist in the redesign of the current site to better meet the needs of all end users, increase public engagement, and better explain the purpose, value and operations of the office, and
  • identify alternative content management systems to better meet the needs of internal users tasked with managing web content.

Scope of Work:

This scope of this project shall include redesign of the current external website. The SAO plans to complete this project in phases:

  • Phase 1 – Planning and Research: Project scoping and planning, identify technical requirements, user research, including interviews with internal and external stakeholders, content audit, develop preliminary work plan.
  • Phase 2 – Design: Determine technology options, technical requirement analysis for system changes, graphic design, website design, draft page prototypes, revised work plans. In conjunction with graphic design, develop corresponding style guide with font, color and branding for collateral office printed material.
  • Phase 3 – Deployment & Knowledge Transfer: Content migration, site development, installation, testing, deployment, and training.
  • Phase 4 – Maintenance & Support: Technical support, assistance, and training for SAO staff to continue operation and maintenance.

SAO plans to award a contract for the Phase 1 with the option to award multiple phases at our discretion. Proposals must include firm cost proposal for Phase 1 and cost estimates for Phases 2, 3, and 4.

Objectives for this project include the following:

  • Professional, customer-focused, modern, engaging, user-friendly, easily updatable website that maximizes services.
  • Improve organization and structure to enhance customer access to information and data
  • Fully functional website with all devices including smart phones and other mobile platforms Include industry best practices for multi-lingual content that meets relevant state and federal standards for usability and accessibility.
  • Meet relevant state information technology standards, to ensure confidence in information security.
  • Meet relevant standards for accessibility and usability by people with disabilities.
  • Meet internal content management requirements.

Out of scope for this project:

  • SAO applications and/or services accessed through the website’s Client Portal such as Audit Reports Search and Subscription Services.
  • SAO intranet content and platforms such as SharePoint
  • SAO social media on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Due Date:

October 12

Address:

State Auditor’s Office
3200 Sunset Way SE
PO Box 40031
Olympia WA 98504-0031

Strong Washington PR firms include Finn Partners.

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