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Government websites close

Only 444 Government websites are still open, compared to 820 last year, the Cabinet Office has revealed. The total number of sites closed since the rationalisation programme began in 2010 is 1,526.

This rationalisation followed recommendations that the Government published information via so many different websites that there was significant duplication which resulted in a highly inconsistent user experience.

Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “This announcement shows the significant progress that we’re making in government digital services. We are cutting costs, duplications and contradictions to make government web services easier to use and cheaper for the taxpayer.”

Jim Shaw, managing director at web services company Acquia, commented: “Reducing the number of Government websites is only the first step towards making significant public sector savings. By teaming up with the open source community and replacing overhead-intensive legacy sites in favour of dynamic, open source alternatives, departments can deliver better public services, for less.

“The Government’s Big Society initiative is designed to empower people and communities and this approach fits perfectly with the open source developer community who will deliver cost-effective platforms through a truly collaborative effort.”

Government departments have committed to close more than half of the remaining websites, with 134 approved for retention while the single domain is being developed. This website is expected to be available for public testing in early 2012.

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