UK to Shut Down Most Government Websites

    January 11, 2007

The British government has announced that it will close at least 551 websites in order to streamline as part of a plan to revamp its online presence. The decision is outlined in the Transformational Government Annual Report 2006, which was released earlier this week.

The British government will consolidate its online offerings down to 26 websites, according to the report. There are currently 951 websites within the UK government infrastructure, so it stands to reason that there are more closures on the way than the 551 that were announced initially.

Some of the closures are due to sites being out of date, such as the page for the 2002 Urban Summit. Other closures are due to lack of use, redundancy of data, as well as other reasons. The following is a small sampling of some pages that will be getting the axe:

•   Parents Online
•   Supporting People Strategies Toolkit
•   Floor Targets Interactive
•   Interactive Whiteboards Catalogue
•   UK Man and Biosphere
•   Government Decontamination Service
•   Home Information Pack
•   Drinking Water Inspectorate
•   Civil Service Statistics

The Minister for Transformational Government, Pat McFadden, said in an Inquirer article, “This report demonstrates how millions of people are benefiting from our use of technology everyday. We are dealing decisively with the proliferation of government websites by getting rid of more than 500. We are ensuring that the quality of our services will not be affected by these changes.”

The British government estimates that it will save 9 million a year in maintenance fees and other costs as a result of the website closures.

I wonder if the U.S. government has conducted any type of similar research. There is a metric ton of content accessible through Firstgov, so I wonder how much of it is either obsolete or irrelevant now. With current budget issues, this might be a cost saving measure that the U.S. needs to look at.

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Joe is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.