​In 2000 the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) published Guidelines for the Content and Structure of Parliamentary Websites.  The Guidelines were based on an extensive survey of existing websites. National parliaments were subsequently consulted through the Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments (ASGP).  At the time of publication, it was noted that because the Internet and its underlying technology were constantly evolving it would “become necessary to review and update the Guidelines in the light of future developments”.  The IPU Secretariat was entrusted with that task and also charged with the preparation of surveys to measure progress in the implementation of the Guidelines.  In late 2008, the Global Centre for ICT in Parliament, in consultation with the IPU, undertook the task of updating the Guidelines to reflect advances in technology and new practices in parliaments that had emerged since the previous edition.  Background for this initiative included the World e-Parliament Report 2008, which contained the results of a worldwide survey also addressing parliamentary websites and the implementation of the IPU guidelines.  A group of parliamentary experts from around the world contributed their time and knowledge to the task of evaluating and suggesting revisions to the guidelines.

The final version was endorsed by the Board of the Global Centre for ICT in Parliament at its third meeting in Budapest on 6 March 2009.  As with the 2000 Guidelines, this document – Guidelines for Parliamentary Websites – is intended to provide recommendations that are practically oriented to facilitate the task of planning and overseeing websites and to enable parliaments to provide concrete guidance to their website designers, developers and managers.