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8th European e-Accessibility Forum
User-driven e-Accessibility

31/03/2014, 09:00 - 18:00 - Registration from 8:30
Cité des sciences et de l'industrie - Universcience - Paris

  Version française
Printable version

The interministerial action plan for the accessibility of online public services in France

Jacques MARZIN (Paris, France)

Speaker's information

Jacques Marzin

Jacques MARZIN, Interministerial Manager of the French national systems of information and communication (DISIC). After graduating as an agriculture engineer from the Ecole d'Etudes Supérieures Agronomique in Rennes, Jaques Marzin attained a postgraduate diploma in nutrition. He became a research engineer (1978-1991) and then an information systems manager (1991-1995) at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA). He was Chief Information Officer in the National Center of Development of the Structures of Exploitations (1995-2001), then director of the mission for the Hélios program at the head office of public accounting at the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry (2001-2006). He served as head of national financial information systems at Bercy from 2006 to 2011 and in November 2012 he was appointed interministerial manager of the national information and communication systems at the General Secretariat of the modernization of public services.



It is our duty to work to make public government sites accessible, but it is also in the interest of all citizens and all users.

The Interdepartmental Directorate of Information and Communication Systems (DISIC) is the central Information Systems department of the public sector. It is a strategic structure made up of less than twenty people which oversees all public information services, all service operators working on behalf of the public sector, and, through its standardisation work, all local authority information systems.

The DISIC has four main tasks: to make information systems vectors of added value for users; to build efficient information systems that are used by as many people as possible; to drive information systems forward in collaboration with all Chief Information Officers (CIOs) working for or on behalf of public bodies; and to adapt the governance of public information systems to the challenges of the digital environment.

DISIC’s key activities can be summed up in four words:

  1. Guiding through the use of standards and guidelines
  2. Driving efforts to pool resources
  3. Managing major public sector projects (to ensure that the cost, time and value of information system projects are respected)
  4. Advising public sector departments and operators on their information systems

In 2009 the first version of the Référentiel Général d’Accessibilité de l’Administration (general guidelines for the accessibility of public websites) was published. In February 2011 DISIC was created, and at the national disability conference in June 2011, a number of specific budgets on digital accessibility were announced. In November 2011, the Minister of Public Service entrusted the implementation of a digital accessibility plan to the DISIC in partnership with the Fonds pour l'Insertion des Personnes Handicapées dans la Fonction Publique (Fund for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities in Public Services).

This resulted in an audit by the Government Information Service on the accessibility of public sector websites.

With the help of FIPHFP, the DISIC then drew up a plan of action. A co-financing agreement was established between the FIPHFP and the DISIC, and a call for tender was published to allow the DISIC to work directly with experts in the domain on a compliancy audit and accessibility training across the public sector.

The first step in this action plan is to design and implement a compliance programme for all digital government services based on the RGAA general guidelines for the accessibility of public sector websites. Then it will attempt to develop an overarching view, supported by FIPHFP, of all business and user-oriented applications, both internal and external to the public sector. All departmental CIOs are mobilized on this project; a call for tender has already been published and a solution will be implemented shortly. The successful bid was submitted by of a group of experts, formed around two companies, which brings together small structures such as BrailleNet along with experts in the field who are well-versed in the needs of disabled users. Preference was given to this type of configuration over large multi-sector consultancy firms.

Throughout the implementation of its digital accessibility plan, the DISIC will be working closely with disabled organisations to determine where efforts must be focused. A steering committee, composed primarily of government representatives, will meet on a quarterly basis. An open network community will also be created to capture the needs of citizens, to determine the different areas of e-Accessibility on which to focus efforts, and to examine projects that request financial assistance from the FIPHFP. This committee will also oversee the compliance programme, and manage an update of the RGAA guidelines which have not been reviewed since their publication in 2009. The committee will also coordinate feedback from the entire community, funding, training and resource development. The DISIC will need to determine which sites pose the most problems and set priorities accordingly; they will do this in close consultation with disabled organisations and charities. As part of this project, an "Accessible Information Systems" label will be developed which can be given to sites that comply with RGAA guidelines. This will be based on a voluntary certification process, or a request by the DISIC following complaints by users who are dissatisfied with the accessibility on a given public sector site. Following an eligibility review, a co-financing agreement will be signed between the employer, the state or an operator working on behalf of the state, and the FIPHFP. The compliancy process will be funded either partially or in its entirety, depending on the size and importance of the public sector site and the means of the managing body. At the end of the process, if the site passes the final accessibility audit, it will be issued with an "Accessible Information Systems" label.

The Observatoire Interministériel de l’Accessibilité et de la Conception Universelle (interdepartmental centre of accessibility and universal design) will be regularly updated on how this work is progressing, and of the difficulties and successes met in the process.

video of the presentation by Jacques Marzin (in French)

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