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UK.Gov Web sites get another bashing

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The UK Government's Web sites have come in for yet another bashing following research that found each site had an average of 600 errors - seven times higher than the average error rate for the UK's leading 100 companies.

Diagnostic testing and monitoring outfit B2W tested 55 of the Government's top sites and found that more than half had over 100 errors and ten had over 500.
Only one site was error free.

One of the worst offenders was HM Treasury, which notched up more than 6,000 errors. Other poorly performing sites included the Office of National Statistics, the Department of Health, and the Department of Trade & Industry, which has over 2,700 broken links on the site alone.

The report describes this an "unacceptable error level".

"Many of these websites purport to be models of site quality assurance, maintenance and control," said the report.

"Others have an active functional role, such as the Department of Health and the DTI sites, which are both seriously undermined by the large number of errors.
"Whilst some sites have shown a significant improvement (and some the reverse) there are clearly major problems remaining in maintaining and ensuring the quality and performance of these large and complex sites," it said.

While some of the Government's Web sites get a right old rollicking, the Equal Opportunities Commission, Local E-Government and the Child Support Agency are singled out for praise.

This latest dressing down follows a leaked report that almost 80 per cent of UK central government Web sites need to be redesigned before they can be fully accessible to users with disabilities. ®

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