Normal best practice is that if you take a website offline and you put a notice up on the front page, then you display alternative contact details so that people can phone or visit to conduct their business and find out what they wanted to know.
Back at the end of August I posted about the Lisburn DPP’s website being very out of date. They hadn’t updated to announce the public meeting in August; had only half the 2008 minutes published and none of the 2009 ones; their link to a calendar of meetings was broken; and they have the wrong phone number on their How to ask questions page.
The very next day, the local Lisburn DPP Manager replied to explain that the NI Policing Board hosted the websites and had frozen them while website improvements were being made. It was all due to go live around the end of August.
One month later, and not only is the Lisburn DPP site not updated, but the entire set of DPP websites are offline. The news this time is “Several security issues with the new DPP website” have prevented it going live.
These days, policing and justice are even more prominent than normal in Northern Ireland’s news and political agenda. Other than local newspapers, the DPP websites seem to be the main way of local people finding out about their opportunities to engage with the DPP and find out what they’re doing. So it’s disappointing to discover that the website is so unsatisfactory and so out of date.
And it all falls very short of the NIPB’s own (April 2008) DPP Code of Practice that expects
Reports of Meetings in Public
... Not later than 7 working days after the report of the meeting in public of a DPP has been formally ratified, the report must be available on the DPP website.