Lane-Fox: Bring all Government websites under DirectGov domain

The ‘Digital Champion’ and lastminute.com co-founder has outlined an online strategy she hopes the Government will follow.

Bringing all Government websites under one domain will help save tax payer's money and improve user experiences.

This was the claim made today by the Government's Digital Champion' and lastminute.com co-founder Martha Lane-Fox, in a new report outlining her recommendations for an improved Government online strategy.

She has suggested the amalgamation of all departmental web pages under the direct.gov domain, complemented by a central digital team, run from the Cabinet Office, to help move more services online, will make for a more coherent system and improve citizen access.

"Ultimately, departments should stop publishing their own websites, and instead produce only content commissioned by this central commissioning team," said Lane-Fox.

"There is no need for a major migration of content from existing departmental websites, they should simply be archived or mothballed when essential content has been commissioned and included in the new site."

However, she added there must be a separation between services citizens want to access and campaigns the Government wanted to push onto them.

Cost and complexity

Pointing to the complexity of student loan applications, where prospective students still need to print out a 30 page document after completing the process online, she said the Government needed to look to the commercial sector to see how to simplify online processes.

"I strongly suggest that the core DirectGov team concentrates on service quality and that it should be the citizen's champion with sharp teeth' for transactional delivery service," added Lane-Fox.

Ensuring services are available online was the key to making cost savings. By shifting 30 per cent of Government services online, annual savings of 1.3 billion could be achieved, she claimed, and if 50 per cent were to shift, this saving would hit a staggering 2.2 billion.

Lane-Fox acknowledged steps already taken by the Government to "rationalise" websites by 75 per cent, leading to costs falling from 560 million a year to 200 million. However, Lane-Fox also claimed this could come down further to just 100 million if the correct steps were taken.

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