GOV.UK costs a fifth of Directgov

The cost of the government’s new single-domain website for citizens, GOV.UK, is so far nearly five times lower than that of the existing site, Directgov, figures show.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said in a parliamentary written answer that the budget for 2011-12 and the financial year to date of the GOV.UK, including its alpha and beta sites, is “approximately £4.6 million”.

In contrast, the government revealed that Directgov cost taxpayers £21.4 million, or 11p per visitor, in 2010-11.

These are the latest available figures, found in last year’s Central Government Websites annual report, which showed that the government had nearly halved the number of websites it ran compared with the previous year.

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“Moving departmental websites onto GOV.UK will, in due course, realise significant savings for the taxpayer,” Maude added.

GOV.UK is still currently running in beta, with new features being added to the site every week or two, according to the Government Digital Services blog.

The new single-domain site is expected to launch later this year.