web hosting: What do I need to know to create a website for a government entity?

I am a web developer and I work for a small web design company in Utah. Recently, our county transportation district contacted us about an offer for a new website.

The requirements that the client has for the site are quite simple, nothing that would normally make you sweat. Basically, all they need is something in which they can publish the minutes of their meetings and show some local projects. Super easy things

However, they are a government entity, with a .gov Domain and everything. I understand that they are a little different than a normal business website. However, neither I, nor my boss, nor anyone in my company, have built a government website before, so I do not know what the differences are.

The client shared the offer of our competitor with us in our initial meeting, and offered between 7 and 9 times the price that we would normally charge for a site of this scope, which leads me to believe that there is something huge that we do not know. Government sites. I've searched Google a bit and I have not had much luck in understanding where that discrepancy comes from. There are legal requirements to make it accessible to screen readers and those things, and to use HTTPS, but that's all I can see. Pretty much just things that you should probably do anyway.

Does anyone have previous experience with such sites that could explain how to do it? I am sure that there are processes here at work that we will have to work in addition to simply building a website. From a technical point of view, I have this, but in the broadest sense of everything, I do not even know where to start.

Specifically

  1. How do you deal with the .gov domain? Obviously you can not use a normal registrar, I'm sure. The state probably controls the domain, since the type of transport district I spoke to does not.
  2. What characteristics and design requirements are legally required?
  3. How do I make sure the site is "kosher" so to speak?
  4. What are the requirements regarding accommodation?
  5. Should we have some kind of special government license to build a government site?
  6. Anything else I'm missing?