BREVARD COUNTY CLERK WEBSITE ADVERTISING AND HOTLINK POLICY
The Brevard County Clerk of Circuit Courts is a State of Florida Constitutional Officer whose mission is to provide governmental and other public services to and for the benefit of the residents of the County. In accordance with this mission, the general policy of the Clerk is to exclude from the Clerk’s Internet website all commercial advertising and promotional material, including links which provide exclusive private or financial benefit to commercial, non-public enterprises and which do not promote or enhance a public benefit to the County, its departments or the residents served by the County .As a governmental agency, the Clerk neither endorses nor supports individual private commercial enterprises through display of their advertising on the Clerk’s website or through providing links to the sites of such commercial enterprises.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Clerk recognizes that, in consideration of the nature and function of the Internet, display of commercial or promotional material or links to commercial sites may, under certain circumstances, be appropriate for inclusion in the Clerk’s website or in departmental websites where a public purpose is served. The following guidelines are hereby adopted for the guidance in determining when such materials are appropriate for inclusion in County websites.
1. Advertising/Promotional Materials Where County Has Public/Financial Interest
A. Public Benefit Facilities And Venues. The Clerk has established and maintains certain facilities and venues which may promote the humanitarian, arts, science, cultural studies and other public purposes. Advertising and promotion of events, programs and exhibits at such facilities and venues may be placed on the Clerk Internet website and on departmental websites. This includes links to commercial enterprises who market tickets or other means of access to these facilities and venues or foster participation in their programs.
Where a link is provided in the Clerk’s website and the user exits the Clerk’s website and enters a commercial website, notice and a disclaimer must be displayed in accordance with Section 7 below.
2. Web-Based All-Inclusive Information About Private Enterprises Which Provide A Service Or Benefit To The Public Where The Service Or Benefit Is Directly Related To The Clerk’s Or A County Department's Mission Or Services
Certain commercial and public agencies maintain information about private persons, enterprises and organizations which provide services to the public.
A. Public Agency. Where such information is directly maintained by public agencies, such as lists of licensed child care providers or lists of restaurants that are graded by the Department of Health Services, Clerk’s websites may display such information or provide links to the public agency or directly to that information.
B. Private Agency. Where information is maintained by private commercial agencies but the persons or organizations listed provide services directly related to the mission of a Clerk’s department or to the services it provides to the public, the Information Systems department may display such information on its website or provide a link to the information or the commercial agency which maintains such information whether or not the site linked to also contains commercial advertising. In such cases, the Information Systems department director must make a good faith determination that:
i. The department's clients, service recipients or interested County residents would benefit from the information;
ii. It would be duplicative for the department to independently create or maintain such information; and.
iii. The commercial agency which maintains the information has represented that it includes all legitimate or licensed service providers within the County or within the geographical area served by the Clerk.
No link may be provided directly on the Clerk’s website to any enterprise or organization included in that information.
Where a link is provided in the Clerk’s website to the agency which maintains the information or to the information, and the user exits the Clerk’s website and enters a commercial site which may contain advertising or other promotional material, notice and a disclaimer must be displayed in accordance with Section 7 below.
Examples: A list maintained by a Florida state agency of licensed child care centers located in the County could be displayed on the website of a department that serves the needs of children and families. A link to the state agency or to the list could be included even if the list maintained by the state agency contained centers both in the County and throughout the state.
A commercially maintained list of newspapers in a particular category or geographic area could be displayed or linked to the Public Information Office website since its mission is directly related to fostering media relations. If displayed, however, no link to an individual newspaper is permitted. If a link is provided to a commercial agency maintaining the list or to the list, the site linked to may contain advertising, but a disclaimer must be displayed on the Clerk’s website as the user exits in accordance with Section 7 below.
3. Links to Commercial Sites With Information Critical To Or Vitally Enhancing The Clerk’s Or A County Department's Mission Or Services Where Replication Of Information By Department Not Feasible
Certain private commercial sites maintain and display information which provides a public or community service or other ancillary static or interactive information to aid the public which is not generally available through a governmental agency due to the cost of compiling, maintaining and/or displaying such information. In order to support the cost of compilation and maintenance of this information, these private commercial sites may include advertising or promotional material in the information display.
Although the Clerk neither supports nor endorses entities advertised or promoted on such sites, it recognizes that a public benefit is served by providing the underlying information to assist County residents. Accordingly, links to such sites which contain this information but also display commercial advertising or promotional material may be included on departmental websites when the department director has made a good faith determination that:
A. The department's independent replication of the information targeted for linkage is infeasible due to financial or other considerations; and,
B. No non-commercial site provides the information targeted to linkage; and,
C. The information targeted for linkage is critical to a service provided by the department, or
D. The information targeted for linkage is a vital enhancement to the department's mission.
A disclaimer must be displayed on the Clerk’s website as the user exits in accordance with Section 7 below.
4. Government Agencies; Academic Institutions; Public-Private Partnerships; Professional, Cultural, Community-Based And Non-Profit Organizations
Links to such institutions are permitted on the Clerk’s Website when the site contains information that enhances services provided by the Clerk.
5. Links to Search Engines
Links to search engines are permitted where the Clerk’s core mission would be advanced by presenting information from a variety of sources external to the Clerk’s office.
6. No Links To Sites Containing Inappropriate Material
Links to sites containing inappropriate material are expressly prohibited.
7. Notice of Leaving Clerk’s Website And A Disclaimer
When providing links to non-Clerk, non-County sites, pages must include a disclaimer on their page disavowing endorsement or responsibility for the material on sites being linked. Departments must also use a standardized alert or redirect script page that warns users they are leaving the Clerk’s site and allows them to proceed or cancel. This alert would read: "You are now leaving the Clerk’s website and linking to a website that may contain commercial advertising. The Clerk does not endorse or support any of the advertising that may be contained on this site. For more information on the Clerk’s use of websites that may contain commercial advertising, please click on "About this site." Do you wish to continue? Yes or No."
8. Contractors That Create Websites For The Clerk
The Clerk provides website contractors with a copy of this policy and website design guidelines, which contractors shall observe in creating WebPages for departments. The requirement to follow these guidelines shall be set forth in the contract for website design. The Information Systems Department, in creating WebPages for departments, shall enforce the adopted guidelines.
9. Authority of the Clerk
The Clerk is authorized to order removal of material from his websites which is noncompliant with these adopted guidelines.
10. Link Maintenance
Departments shall routinely check links on their websites to ensure they are functional and contain no material which violates this policy.