External Content Linking Policy

Guidelines for hyperlinks to external sources


1.1 Purpose

As a public service, the Office of the State Treasurer (OST) may provide links to other organizations that provide information and resources of benefit to Washington residents and businesses.

External links are intended to support OST’s mission and are not intended to support private or commercial organizations or businesses. External links do not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by OST of the opinions, products, or services presented on the external site, or of any sites linked to it.

OST is not responsible for the content of those external sites. Use of information obtained from external web sites is voluntary. Any information obtained from an external web site is not guaranteed by OST and the user should review the accuracy of any information before relying upon it.

1.2 OST Discretion

Links to external websites from the OST website are established, retained, and removed at the sole discretion of OST as directed by the Communications and Public Relations Coordinator, or designee.

Links from the OST web site will be reviewed regularly and may be removed whether or not OST is legally obligated to act upon any information of which it is aware.

1.3 Types of Sites We Link To

Links to the following types of web pages may be included in the OST web site:

  • Other Governmental Units & Educational Institutions — OST may provide links to other federal, state, and local governmental units that provide additional services and information that the OST web site users may find of interest.
  • Private Organizations — OST may provide links to private organizations if these organizations offer services that complement the purpose, information and services offered by OST and if the links meet the Acceptance Criteria stated in this policy.
  • Social Media – OST may link to external content on social media platforms.
  • Mapping Applications – In limited circumstances, OST may link to external websites that provide mapping applications to assist OST customers and others in visiting specific locations.

1.4 Types of Sites We Do Not Link To

Sites we would not link to may include, but are not limited to:

  • A web site which charges a fee for products or services online;
  • A web site that exhibits hate, bias, discrimination, pornography, libelous or otherwise defamatory content;
  • A web site that advocates or promotes the use of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs;
  • A web site that lobbies, advocates, or advances the policies and priorities of a particular industry, organization or enterprise. This includes sites of non-profit organizations;
  • A web site that belongs to or supports a political affiliation;
  • A web site that furthers the agenda of a political organization or candidate running for office;
  • A web site that promotes or makes available adult or sexually oriented entertainment or materials;
  • A web site that promotes, opposes, or makes available weapons or gambling.

Additionally, OST reserves the right to deny links if it determines that a web site contains misleading or unsubstantiated claims, conflicts with the Purpose of OST or does not meet one or more of the criteria set forth in this policy.

1.5 Establishing a Link to the OST Website From an External Website

Advance permission to link to the OST website is not necessary; however, web site users should be aware that the OST web site sub pages, including the pages of other state agencies and local governments, may change at any time without notice. Anyone linking to the OST web site should continuously verify links to sub pages. Anyone linking to the OST web site shall not display the OST web pages within frames, present the OST content as its own, or otherwise misrepresent OST content, and they should not misinform users about the origin or ownership of OST content. Certain information on OST may be trademarked, service-marked, or otherwise protected as intellectual property. Protected intellectual property must be used in accordance with state and federal laws and must reflect the proper ownership of the intellectual property.

Last Modified: February 2024


Aaron Sherman, Communications