Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Report - Progress in Online Services

Sphereless... it lives! I've been having many ongoing thoughts buzzing round my head for a while, thoughts which would squeeze nicely into this blog's techno-leotard. Unfortunately, they'll have to wait a little.

In the meantime, to get things re-rolling, the Public Accounts Committee has published their report on Government on the Internet, concerning the progress made (or not) in delivering government services by hooking an "e-" up to them.

The Register has a handy summary. Highlights include:

  • 25% of .gov organisations couldn't say how much electronic services were costing them to run, and 40% of the rest could only estimate this. (That's an inverse total - 60% of 75% of... hmm... 45% of everyone, I think, who kept track of these things.)

  • One third of sites aren't up to accessibility standards. That seems quite a lot still - and I'd be interested in which sites don't meet the standards: old ones no longer under development? Particular sectors? I wonder if there's a chance of mapping these things out.

  • The question of the digital divide is raised yet again, probably relevant in light of the recent announcement of some kind of inclusion strategy.

  • Interestingly, the Government "aims to close 951 websites by 2011". Furthermore: "the Committee recommends that no new government websites should be set up without permission from the Government's CIO." There are some interesting questions about centrality here - control over what people want, but also over the best way to navigate through both sites and site content. Maybe that's a future blog post, right there.

One for further bedtime reading, I think.