Councils double number of transactional websites in a year, Socitm finds

The number of councils with transactional functions on their websites has doubled since this time last year, according to a survey by council IT managers’ group Socitm.

The number of councils with transactional functions on their websites has doubled since this time last year, according to a survey by council IT managers’ group Socitm.

 

Councils offering transactions on their website double from 60 in 2006 to 121 in 2007, Socitm found in its survey of 468 councils in November and December last year.

 

London boroughs were most likely to have transactional websites; 64% achieved this status. Meanwhile, only 14% of Welsh unitaries authorities offered transactional facilities on their websites.

 

Overall, Barking & Dagenham came top in Socitm’s assessment of council websites, which included critical such as useful content, usability, search quality and accessibility.

 

There were around 15.1 million visitors to local authority websites in December 2006, an increase of 27% compared to December 2005, the report Better Connected 2007 found.

 

Martin Greenwood, programme manager for Socitm Insight and author of the report, said that although more sites were transactional, they still struggled on usability.

 

“The report shows that usability remains a key challenge - only one out of 121 transactional sites meets all five of our criteria for excellent usability, whereas 21 do so for excellent content.”

 

Of the 168 sites that have a registration process, only 19 were using an https secure connection and were considered by reviewers to be well presented. The report describes this finding as a “major concern”.

 

More on the Socitm survey:

http://www.socitm.gov.uk/socitm/Library/Better+connected+2007.htm

 

Councils will spend £600m less on ICT this year, Socitm says

 

 

Comment on this article: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk

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