Number of and list of central government open websites – 474 as of 13 February 2013.
Information was reported as correct by central government departments at 13 February 2013.
The Cabinet Office committed to begin quarterly publication of the number of open websites starting in financial year 2011.
Definition of a website
The definition used of a website is a user-centric one. Something is counted as a separate website if it is active and either has a separate domain name or, when as a subdomain, the user cannot move freely between the subsite and parent site and there is no family likeness in the design. In other words, if the user experiences it as a separate site in their normal uses of browsing, search and interaction, it is counted as one.
Definition of a closed website
A website is considered closed when it ceases to be actively funded, run and managed by central government, either by packaging information and putting it in the right place for the intended audience on another website or digital channel, or by a third party taking and managing it and bearing the cost. Where appropriate, domains stay operational in order to redirect users to the UK Government Website Archive.
Explanation for increase in sites reported
Since the previous quarterly report of 22 October 2012, there has been an extra 124 sites reported. This increase is due to a change in the scope of the audit as the Government Digital Service (GDS) felt that the previous method of using the The National Archives database to source this information was not sufficiently and accurately capturing the data that was required. The new process and scope has resulted in more websites being included e.g. Directgov URLs, dot independent sites and national parks. Also, the latest GOV.UK exemption process has brought to our attention many more sites than we were previously aware of.
Definition of the exemption process
The GOV.UK exemption process began with a web rationalisation of the government’s Internet estate to reduce the number of obsolete websites and to establish the scale of the websites that the government owns.
Exclusions from the central government list
Not included in the number or list are websites of public corporations as listed on the Office for National Statistics website, partnerships more than half-funded by private sector, charities and national museums. Specialist closed audience functions, such as the BIS Research Councils, BIS Sector Skills Councils and Industrial Training Boards, and the Defra Levy Boards and their websites, are not included in this data. The Ministry of Defence conducted their own rationalisation of MOD and the armed forces sites as an integral part of the Website Review; military sites belonging to a particular service are excluded from this dataset. Finally, those public bodies set up by Parliament and reporting directly to the Speaker’s Committee and only reporting through a ministerial government department for the purposes of enaction of legislation are also excluded (for example, the Electoral Commission and IPSA).
Inclusion under department name
Websites are listed under the department name for which the minister in HMG has responsibility, either directly through their departmental activities, or indirectly through being the minister reporting to Parliament for independent bodies set up by statute.
List of open websites
For re-usability, these are provided as Excel and CSV files.