Feeds

Shiny new UK.gov stats website a 'disaster' - MPs

Numbers chief admits it's hard to use, navigate and search

Boost IT visibility and business value

The official website designed to give the British public access to government statistics has been branded a "disaster" by MPs.

Andrew Dilnot, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, was brought in front of the Public Administration Committee yesterday to explain why it's so hard to actually pull up any information on ons.gov.uk.

He admitted the relaunch of the site last year wasn't "one of our greatest moments" and that the site was "difficult to use, difficult to navigate and difficult to search", but said there had been "significant" improvements recently.

The committee also questioned Conservative MP Nick Hurd, who is the minister at the Cabinet Office responsible for the policy on publishing statistics.

Labour MP Paul Flynn said that Hurd didn't seem to be on top of his responsibilities, hinting that other Conservatives had left the meeting out of possible embarrassment over his answers.

"The changeover to the new website was generously described as a disaster - in fact it was probably worse than that," he said. "The journey that you're taking is one backwards, into a denial of information."

On Tuesday, Will Moy of fullfact.org, Chris Giles, a journalist at the FT and Michael Blastland, a freelance journalist, all gave evidence to the committee on how hard it was to get information on the site.

Giles said that trying to figure out if unemployment was higher or lower than it had been in the 1990s was "very, very frustrating".

"There is absolutely no way of getting an answer to that question if you are a lay person," he claimed.

Dilnot promised the MPs that the statistics authority was making efforts to fix the site. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy
Even Moore's Law can't help the architects of statism now
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
New voting rules leave innocent Brits at risk of SPAM TSUNAMI
Read the paperwork very carefully - or fall victim to marketing shysters
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.