DWP loses Directgov to Cabinet Office in efficiency drive

Directgov, the government's central website for public services, is to join the Cabinet Office's efficiency drive to get more people online with the help of Martha Lane Fox, the UK digital champion.

Directgov, the government's central website for public services, is to join the Cabinet Office's efficiency drive to get more people online.

Responsibility for the service will shift with immediate effect from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to the Cabinet Office's government communications team headed by Matt Tee under the efficiency board run by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude and the chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.

Directgov is the main entry point for accessing online government services and information. It already receives 29 million visits a month. Citizens are using it to tax cars, search for jobs, and find out about benefits, among other things.

Maude said it was essential to the cost-cutting programme to get more people online.

"The efficiency and reform group now draws together under one roof procurement, ICT, communications, HR and performance," he said. "It is the taxpayer's champion, combining the authority of the Treasury and Cabinet Office, now going directly to the people we serve through Directgov."

Tee said Directgov would enable the government to consolidate its online identity and interact with people in a "better more accessible way".

Digital champion Martha Lane Fox is leading a programme to encourage people who are not in the internet to sign up and access online public services, many of which will be delivered through Directgov's web site.

Computer Weekly reported last week that the DWP had caught 124 people illegally using its 90-million record Central Information System to look up citizens' personal details.

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