Emergency vehicles
Content Management

Special Investigations Unit

An online tool to promote the transparency of civilian oversight of law enforcement in Ontario

Case Study: SIU

Content Management, data management and accessibility

Mesh was retained by the Special Investigations Unit in 2010 to redesign and redevelop a new website for this government agency. The SIU is an independent agency operating under the Ministry of the Attorney General; it investigates cases where civilians were harmed while police were present.

Mesh created a complex content management system (CMS) that would allow the SIU to maintain its website simply and effectively without the ongoing need for in-house technical resources for general content updates to critical communications such as news releases, director’s reports, case statuses and occurrence reports. This highly customized CMS was built on an open-source architecture and has been continually updated over the years to support the changing needs of the SIU and their mandate.

The latest edition of the SIU website was launched to coincide with the Special Investigations Unit Act on December 1, 2020. This updated version has a completely redesigned front end (www.siu.on.ca) with particular attention given to the accessibility of the website. 

December 1, 2020: New SIU Act takes effect and new SIU website is launched

Web Content Accessiblity Guidelines

As a government agency, the SIU is mandated to comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards to ensure that its web content is as widely accessible as possible to those with disabilities. During development, Mesh paid particular attention to both code validity and visual accessibility of the front-end pages in order to satisfy this requirement.

Director’s Reports

Mesh designed an optimized publishing process for the SIU that allows staff to quickly publish director’s reports independently of technical staff availability, saving both resources and publication time.

In addition to the director’s reports, key information surrounding SIU cases are shared through news releases and case statuses. These content elements are also fully integrated into the web publishing system and support the transparency requirements in keeping with the SIU's mandate.


The administration of this platform is fully web-enabled. SIU staff perform all content updates through the administrative back end of the platform. The maintenance of the news releases and director’s reports are fully integrated with an email alert infrastructure that allows for rapid information dissemination in both official languages (English and French).