Feeds

UK ‘must redesign’ e-gov sites

Leaked e-Envoy report

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Nearly 80 per cent of UK central government Web sites need to be redesigned before they can be fully accessible to users with disabilities,judging from a leaked report from the e-Envoy's office.

According to eGov Monitor Weekly around 800 public sector Web sites may need rebuilding to comply with accessibility laws requiring government services to cater for people with disabilities.

The claim is based on details leaked from an internal report carried out by the Office of the e-Envoy (OeE), the cabinet office unit responsible among other things for improving the accessibility and usability of UK government Web sites.

The OeE report draws upon the findings by the National Audit Office investigation, which examined the accessibility of 65 central government Web sites and concluded that nearly all were potentially excluding users.

EGov Monitor estimates that to fix the problems, government departments may need to spend at least 10 percent to 15 per cent of their total annual budget for Web sites. Editor Ian Cuddy told ElectricNews.Net that it was difficult to put a precise figure on the total cost of the redesigns required because the OeE has refused to release further details of the audit, but it is expected to run into millions.

The OeE has now warned the Web design industry that future government contracts will demand that companies deliver Web sites that conform to international Web accessibility standards. Current responsibility for adopting these standards rests with individual government webmasters, not designers, and compliance is not centrally monitored.

"The responsibility for accessibility is not isolated to the supplier," said Cuddy. "The people in government looking after the standards have also got a responsibility. The report doesn't reflect very well on them."

Some of the government Web sites may just require just front-end changes, but others may need a more extensive re-working of their architectures. The high cost involved in these more serious redesigns highlights the fact that it is much cheaper to design in accessibility from scratch rather than add it on at a later stage, said Cuddy.

The news comes at a time when the government is planning to downgrade the office of e-envoy, something that looks set to be strongly opposed. © ENN

Related stories

Is your website accessible? Probably not
Govt needs to spruce up its Web sites
UK's corporate Web sites 'wallowing in mediocrity'
My usability study is better than yours

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.