Government Website Cuts Deepen

RegulationWorkspace

The UK government has closed nearly half of its “vanity” websites and plans to cut 80 percent

The UK government has wound up almost half of central government departments’ websites in a massive cull of so-called “vanity” sites promised last June.

As of the 1 July, 444 websites are still open, down from 820, according to the Cabinet Office, and Whitehall has committed to closing another 243, adding up to 80 percent of the government’s websites – which adds up to 80 percent of all the government’s sites, as the Government continues to chase ICT savings..

The cuts are designed to remove over-expensive sites, which are little-use and do not need a separate presence. Among the high-profile casualties is the standalone passport site, which has been merged with the Home Office site,

Meanwhile, the government is experimenting with a streamlined approach which would put all services on a single site. Alpha.gov.uk, launched in May is testing the idea of putting  hundreds of online public sector services and resources under one roof.

Define ‘closed’

The Cabinet Office defines a closed website as one that has ceased to be actively funded, run and managed by central government.

The information may have been packaged up and moved to another website or digital channel, or taken on by a third party who bears the cost instead.

Where appropriate, domains stay operational in order to redirect users to the UK Government Website Archive, it said.

This is the first report on website numbers following the Cabinet Office’s commitment under its Structural Reform plan to report quarterly starting in the 2011 financial year.

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