UK government shuts down half its websites, 600 more to close

Around half the websites the government earmarked for closure in a programme to rationalise the number of government websites have been closed down and their information moved elsewhere.

Around half the websites the government earmarked for closure in a programme to rationalise the number of government websites have been closed down and their information moved elsewhere.

Cabinet Office figures show that 762 of the 1,649 targeted central government websites have been closed, and a further 599 are expected to close this year.

As Computer Weekly reported, most central government websites will move their content to one of two websites - Business Link or Directgov - by 2011. While information look-ups are open to all, access to transactions on the sites will go through the fiercely protected Government Gateway for authentication.

Others, such as Companies House, have put their content and services onto Business Link, but have not closed their own site. Some 26 departments are expected to keep their own website.

The scheme is part of the Cabinet Office's Transformational Government programme to improve the return on investment in government IT projects and to improve information sharing between departments.

It also aims to reduce opportunities for hackers to corrupt popular government websites, either to hack them to steal information or use them to distribute malware.

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