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Departmental websites begin move to GOV.UK

Moving all sites to the single domain aims to save the government £50m a year

Two departmental websites have moved their home pages to the government's recently launched single domain website, GOV.UK, with hundreds of sites to follow in the coming months.

The Department for Transport and the Department for Communities and Local Government, which includes the Driving Standards Agency, are the first of 24 departmental websites to make the move.

Over 300 other departments and public bodies will also migrate over the next 18 months, the progress of which can be tracked here.

"GOV.UK is designed to meet the needs of users and what they want to do. It is a simpler, clearer and faster way for people to find government services and information online," said minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude.

"Last month we launched GOV.UK, and now we are pushing ahead with moving departmental corporate and policy information on to the single domain. Information will be easier to access and more open, and we will save the taxpayer millions of pounds in the process."

It is expected that once all sites are on GOV.UK, which was launched last month, the government will save approximately £50 million a year.

Maude recently revealed that the 2011-12 budget for GOV.UK is £4.6 million, which compares to the £21.4 million Directgov cost in 2010-11.

"The government's approach to transparency has been very clear in the field of open data. Presenting policy in a clear and succinct way - as we are doing with this latest iteration of GOV.UK - will, I hope, contribute to those efforts," said Mike Bracken, executive director of Government Digital Service.

"People often regard open data as being the core component of a transparent government, but clear content is equally vital if citizens are to have the information that they need, both from an information and participatory point of view. We look forward to getting feedback on this latest iteration of GOV.UK."

In other news, Rohan Silva, senior policy officer to Prime Minister David Cameron, said this week that the government can take £10 billion out of public sector IT spending in the years ahead, whilst also improving digital services for citizens.

To put Silva's bold claims into context, the government spends between £15 billion and £20 billion a year on public sector IT (depending on which estimates you follow).

These savings are expected to be made through a number of government initiatives that centre on breaking up lengthy monopolistic IT contracts in the public sector, reducing costs, becoming more agile, using open standards, and improving digital services for citizens.


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