Feeds

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

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
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
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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
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.