Government to review entire website portfolio

The Government will review all of its websites, following a report by the Central Office of Information into the cost of procuring website design and maintaining sites.

An inquiry will now be led by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, who has spoken out about ‘vanity sites’ and is demanding more cost-effective and efficient online services.

Websites could be closed and services streamlined across a sector which spent more than £94m between 2009-2010 on developing sites and more than £33m on staffing them.

‘In the short-term this could be a worry over the next six months,’ says Precedent director Mark Sherwin. However, he adds, ‘Fundamentally there is nothing [Maude] said that we don’t agree with.’

Sherwin says, ‘Many Government sites are fragmented and the work [being procured] is about merging existing sites.’

This, he says, has already been happening as a result of the 2008 Transformational Government strategy.

He believes that smaller groups working on ‘short-term tactical sites’ may lose out, but says that ‘in the long run, digital is absolutely the right medium’.

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