Feeds

Gov tries to work out if anyone is visiting its websites

But first it will try and work out how many it's got

Reducing security risks from open source software

The government is trying to get a grip on its sprawling estate of websites by taking the revolutionary step of actually verifying how much traffic they generate.

The Central Office of Information says it is "driving forward a programme of work to assess the value for money of government websites to the taxpayer".

It has taken on ABCe to "independently validate the figures generated by an audit of government websites".

All the government's departments will be required to submit their figures to the organisation, which will enforce a consistent set of measurements for users, impressions and number and length of visits.

The COI Board Director for Interactive Services Alex Butler said in a statement that: “We are determined to drive up the quality of government websites to ensure they offer excellent value for money for the taxpayer, and a better user experience."

That commitment has been a while coming. While governments are famous for not wanting to divulge information, this one in particular has used a galaxy of websites to do so, some of which have generated absurdly paltry viewing figures.

Last April, the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts found that the Government is not entirely sure 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. The committee's guesstimate for the total cost of the .gov.uk estate is £208m.

Earlier this year, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Angela Eagle revealed that the main Treasury site www.hm-treasury.gov.uk had 266,462 visitors last March, before steadily sliding down to 80,548 in September. Figures spiked to 465,585 visits in October and 245,986 in November - presumably because of the worldwide financial meltdown. By February they had slumped again to 152,542.

Other Treasury sites turned in comically low numbers. isb.gov.uk's (Invest to Save Budget to you) visitors has ranged between 6,359 and 2,092 over the last year.

The Financial Inclusion Taskforce's site, launched last October, pulled in 985 visitors in its first month, before slumping to 353 the following month. By March it had dragged itself up to 1,156. ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

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
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
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
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
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.