Cabinet Office approves only 3 new domains since election

In an answer (ahem) to a PQ from Tom Watson today, Francis Maude announces that only three requests for new .gov.uk domains have been granted since the new government took office in May 2010. These were:

  • alpha.gov.uk (which you might have heard of)
  • childrenscommissioner.gov.uk (replacing thechildrenscommissioner.org.uk)
  • education.gov.uk (replacing dcsf.gov.uk, reflecting the Department’s change of name)

OK, but strictly, that’s not what Tom asked: the question was about ‘requests for the creation of new websites’, not new domain name registrations. What an unfortunate mix-up! – which I think we all saw coming. And yes, for the record, the remit of the Efficiency and Reform Group was for ‘new websites’, not new domains, as this press release from June 2010 makes quite clear.

Even so, the response still fails to quote a total number of requests (for whatever you choose to define as a ‘new website’) made to the ERG, citing – guess what? – ‘disproportionate cost’. Really? Doesn’t sounds like their filing system is tremendously efficient, does it.

[Historical footnote: I think it was Alan Mather who came up with the first Big Scary Number of government websites – this blog post from 2003 quoted a count of 2,643 domains, which was frequently – and wrongly – cited as being 2,643 websites. But even in that same post, I see Alan uses the words ‘domains’ and ‘sites’ interchangeably.]

One thought on “Cabinet Office approves only 3 new domains since election”

  1. Not quote interchangeably …

    “I have two new totals for you: 2,643 and 3,705. Why the difference? The 2,643 strips out the duplicates (sites that are pointed to by more than one domain name)”

    Having ditched all the duplicates i figure that the 2,643 domain names is actually the count of websites too. I didn’t even touch the .orgs or .uk (e.g. mod.uk, nhs.uk) at the time so the count would have been higher.

    I never did figure out all of the cost information though – too hard to get at then. And even the COI survey, I suspect, only got half of the data. I hope someone will keep publishing that info now that COI is gone.

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