Feeds

Cabinet Office allocates £1.6m for single government domain

Alpha.gov.uk team nervously awaits 2012 sign-off

3 Big data security analytics techniques

The Cabinet Office is spending a further £1.6m on a single government domain that has yet to be signed off by the government.

A rough-around-the-edges test of the Alpha.gov.uk project ended last week, after the Cabinet Office injected an initial £261,000 into the test build website that is intended as a would-be successor to New Labour's Directgov.

Francis Maude's department has now confirmed that the team behind the single government domain, which is based on recommendations from an independent report from digerati darling Martha Lane Fox, will now be working behind closed doors on a beta version of the site.

Fox, of course, has been leading Whitehall's marketing campaign to drag as many services as possible under the central government umbrella with the view to making big savings.

She claimed in her strategic review of Directgov late last year that an estimated £65m per year on web estate expenditure could be shaved off the £130m annual figure currently handed out for government public services' sites.

"The beta stage of development will test a much wider range of features than the alpha stage and will focus on understanding and meeting user needs," said the Cabinet Office this morning.

It said the planned single government domain would "build on the benefits of Direct.gov".

Shoving public services under one online banner is the Cabinet Office's goal. It's something that the previous Labour administration failed to achieve, which left hundreds of individual government websites marooned without a place to call home on the internet.

In the dying days of the Labour government, then Prime Minister Gordon Brown talked of plans to create a personalised web page for every UK citizen to access all public services online in a single location, which had in fact been the original plan for Directgov.

But Brown's "Mygov" centralised dashboard, which was supposed to help save money by cutting face-to-face services, never materialised.

Instead, Maude's Cabinet Office says it has inherited hundreds of individual websites that need maintaining – at a total cost of £130m per year.

Cue Maude's latest money, money, money comment.

"We have been clear that the days of vanity websites are over – we have radically reduced the number of existing websites and introduced strict rules for those that remain," he said.

"We believe that government use of the web must not only be useful, it must be cost-effective."

Like Alpha.gov.uk, the beta version of the single government domain will initially be developed behind closed doors, with public testing not expected to happen until early next year.

Only at that point will a decision be made about whether the project has proved successful enough to gear it up for showtime or if it will, like Brown's Mygov, end up on the cutting room floor. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
EU: Let's cost financial traders $400m a day, because EVIL BANKERS. Right?
Wait 'til this one hits your pension fund where it hurts
Systems meltdown plunges US immigration courts into pen-and-paper stone age
Massive outage could last four weeks, sources claim
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
US Supreme Court supremo rakes Aereo lawman in oral arguments
Antenna-array content streamers: 'Ruling against us could dissipate the cloud'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.