Saturday, June 26, 2010

UK government hopes to shut down unnecessary websites

Desperate to cut costs the UK government is looking to shut down some of its 820 websites with total yearly operating costs of some £126m (AU$217m, US$190m). Ironically, the government moved some of its services online in an effort to save money. This hasn't exactly worked out as intended:

The UK Trade and Investment website averaged 28,000 users per month but cost over £4m to build said the [Central Office of Information].

Each site visitor cost the government £11.78 according to the figures.

And as the web inexorably grows, so too does the government's online presence:

In 2007 the BBC reported that the government was to axe 551 websites, protecting 26 from closure.

"Only 24 sites have been reported as closed and more sites have since been discovered and so the present total number of government websites is 820," said [Cabinet Minister] Francis Maude.

Governments, like cancer, grow and metastasize. Reversing or even halting this growth and spread requires harsh measures, with it often necessary to resort to the knife. In the sickly UK's case it's easy to imagine the patient dying.


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