Create, review and retire content

How things get published, approved and decommissioned. 

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Where should my content go?  

The publishing decision tree guides agencies through questions about the audience, purpose and nature of the content to determine where it might be published within the NSW Government website ecosystem.

Use this guide to help determine   

  • whether the content should be published at all  
  • whether the content belongs on  
  • the content type/s. 

Explore the decision tree

Guiding principles  

The guiding principles around content creation, review and retirement are:  

  • content should be created with a purpose and to meet an identified and measurable customer outcome  
  • content should be reviewed according to the content type and annual audits should be conducted to identify content that can be retired  
  • retiring content when it’s appropriate reduces clutter helping to build user trust, improve search results and create efficiencies when auditing, storing and maintaining content.  

Create content when:

  • The content is required for a citizen or business to exercise their rights and responsibilities   
  • The government is seeking to raise awareness of or engage with the community about a policy, program, scheme or initiative  
  • There is a legislative or regulatory requirement or judicial recommendation    
  • It is in the public interest (GIPA, transparency, accountability, openness)  
  • You have identified a customer need or service opportunity and have evidence to support that online content can deliver a good customer outcome. Evidence may include:  
  • search queries  
  • feedback from frontline staff  
  • customer research and journey mapping  
  • gaps in compliance  
  • The content supports a government service  
  • The content helps customers ‘tell us once’   
  • The content will help customers to contact or engage with the right part of government  
  • The NSW government owns the content and it is not reproduced elsewhere  
  • You can provide the content in an accessible format  
  • You have the resources to maintain the content   
  • The content positions the NSW government as the source of truth/authority on the subject matter

Review content for:

  • Purpose – does the content still fulfil a purpose?   
  • Customer-centric – does it meet the customer’s needs and achieve a good customer outcome?   
  • Level of detail required – if related to a past campaign or initiative, is the level of detail initially required still needed or can it be condensed?     
  • Relevancy – is it used?   
  • Currency – is it out of date?   
  • Accuracy – is it factually correct?   
  • Accessibility – is it WCAG 2.1AA compliant?   
  • Readability – is it in plain English, at a reading level appropriate for the audience and written in active voice?    
  • Links – are the links working and appropriate?   
  • SEO – is the content search engine-friendly or can it be improved for SEO?   
  • Retirement – is it time to retire and archive the content?

Retire content when:

  • The content is outdated, inaccurate, redundant or irrelevant and there is no evidence to support that retaining it online serves a purpose
  • The content conflicts with current policy, advice, processes or methods and risks misinforming users or creating a legal issue (for example,  outdated licence or lease application form)
  • The content is not authored or commissioned by the NSW Government and is duplicated elsewhere (for example, an Australian Government report)
  • The content has been superseded due to legislative or regulatory change, or a new format, and is now outdated and redundant
  • The content infringes copyright (for example,  contains editorial images where licence has expired)
  • The content is identified by the retention schedule as appropriate for retirement (for example,  news article more than 4 years old)
  • The cost of retaining and maintaining the content is not warranted, justifiable or sustainable
  • The content contains private or sensitive information about an individual or company and explicit consent was not granted to publish the information (for example,  old submissions)
  • The content is defamatory, offensive or no longer appropriate
  • The content is primarily internal in nature and should be moved to an intranet or internal knowledge management system

Find out more about retiring content on


Publishing processes and workflows  

To enable agencies to efficiently create, update and manage their content, the publishing model will need to be flexible and adaptable to both small and large agency needs.  

  • To be flexible, the publishing model needs to allow for an agency to assign roles and responsibilities according to its resources
  • To be adaptable, the publishing model needs to allow for an agency to develop processes specific to its content.  

A hybrid publishing model will be used where:  

  • content is designated as one of three categories — centralised, shared or agency-managed  
  • depending on the content category, responsibility is delegated to the NSW Government Digital Channels unit or devolved to the agency.  

Centralised content publishing process  

Centralised content is managed by the NSW Government Digital Channels unit and is identified as whole-of-government or global content. Examples of centralised content include:  

  • home page and landing pages for levels 1 and 2 in the navigation​  
  • global content (accessibility, policies, privacy, disclaimer, copyright, feeds)  
  • global functionality​  
  • feedback.  

NSW Government Digital Channels team (NSWDCT) will be responsible for content design and editing, coordinating approvals, publishing and maintenance.   

Shared content publishing process  

Shared content will require approval from the NSW Government Digital Channels Team (NSWDCT) prior to publication. Shared content can be identified as content about a topic or subject matter that spans multiple agencies and therefore requires central coordination.  

Shared content will generally be designed, developed and published by NSWDCT in consultation with agencies and stakeholders. Examples of shared content include:  

  • cross-agency content​  
  • life events​  
  • projects and initiatives​  
  • joint campaigns​  
  • specific functionality (e.g. data integration, APIs, mapping solutions)  
  • Boards and Committees​  
  • Have your say.  

Agency-managed content publishing process  

Agency-managed content is exclusive to an agency and will be managed by content designers and publishers in agencies.   

Agencies will need to designate a subject matter expert who will require permission to the agency’s content in the content management system (CMS). Examples of agency-managed content include:  

  • specific information about a department (e.g. executive, organisational structure)  
  • content related to legislated functions of the department  
  • content specific to the remit or services provided by the cluster.  
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