The staggering cost of government websites . . .

News yesterday from the Cabinet Office confirmed what many of us had suspected for some time – parts of the IT Industry have been ripping off the government and by extension the taxpayer for some time – particularly on websites.

It is a pretty staggering set of statistics that;

across government £94 million has been spent on the construction and set up and running costs of just 46 websites and £32 million on staff costs for those sites in 2009-10. The most expensive websites are:

Read the original report here. As I wrote some 18 months ago, I suspected that the cost of public  body/quango websites would be hard to justify and a future government should aim (amongst other measures) to achieve

Full disclosure and ranking for each quango of website expenditure and the consequent number of impressions and visitors and downloads (suspect quite a few scandals here – government websites tend to be very expensive and ineffective, there may be some successes too, let’s find out!)

I just didn’t know how bad it was.  To be fair, this process started long before the arrival of the new government the previous government had already shut down a lot of websites. So the Cabinet Office can’t actually take all of the credit, just some of it. But the openness vis a vis the release of raw data from the coalition is a very big departure from the past and to be welcomed.

Now we need to know what are the google search terms all these bodies are bidding on and what is their budget for it?

This would constitute the proof that government service providers are crowding private sector providers on an hourly basis. I’ve no doubt that they will have succeeded in bidding up the cost of google advertising for the private sector, so it’s only fair to know which ones for them not to compete with.