Feeds

UK government websites out of control

How many sites? We're sorry we haven't a clue

The Power of One Infographic

The House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts has released its report into government websites, and it is not impressed.

It found the Government is not sure exactly how many websites it has, but believes there could be as many as 2,500. Nor does it know how much these websites costs or if anyone is using them.

Total expenditure is believed to be in the region of £208m a year on providing information and services online. One in four government organisations could not provide the Committee with information on how much their websites were costing.

Of the three quarters which could provide information 40 per cent said it was only an estimate. The Committee recomends the Government's chief information officer set a standard set of measures for the cost of websites so that actual cost and efficiency could be measured. Since the Government does not know how much it is saving by using the internet, it cannot make money available to other channels for people who are not accessing government websites.

Many .gov websites are well regarded by the public, but there has been only slight improvement since 2002 - the last time the Committee looked at them.

One third of sites do not meet accessibility standards for those with disabilities - the Committee wants this fixed by 2011.

The Committee complained that 16 per cent of government websites have no information on who is using them - it wants this fixed by the end of 2008/2009.

The Committee is also concerned that the push to provide services online will further exclude those without surfing skills or access to the internet - 51 per cent of those on low incomes do not access the internet. The Government also needs to decide how it will deal with people contacting them on behalf of friends or relatives.

The Government intends to move most services to within direct.gov.uk and businesslink - it aims to close 951 websites by 2011. The Committee recomends that no new government websites should be set up without permission from the Government's CIO.

The Government's use of search functions is also criticised - there is no ability to search across Government websites. The Committee heard the Cabinet Office is working with Google to fix this.

The House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts report Government on the Internet: Progress in the Delivering of Information and Services Online is available as a pdf here.

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.