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Departments: Internet

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 17 October 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many websites the Cabinet Office operates; how many it operated at 1 January 2005; and what the estimated annual cost has been of running the Office’s websites in the last five years. (157885)

There are currently 14 Cabinet Office websites. There were 38 Cabinet Office websites as at 1 January 2005.

As part of the Government’s Website Rationalisation strategy (part of the Transformational Government agenda), the Cabinet Office is focusing its internet presence on two websites—the Civil Service site ( and the Cabinet Office site ( All other Cabinet Office websites will be closed by March 2012.

Annual website costs (including VAT) are as follows:

Financial year

Cabinet Office cost (£)







Website expenditure within the Cabinet Office before 2004-05 is not available. Before this time, budgets for communication activity (including website development and maintenance) were devolved to Cabinet Office business units, and there was no central monitoring of web expenditure.

The Cabinet Office was responsible for the Directgov website until April 2006, when it transferred to the Central Office of Information. Excluding one-off marketing and infrastructure renewal costs, expenditure for Directgov was £5.4 million in 2005-06 and £5.4 million in 2004-05. Prior to 2004-05, Directgov was funded from within the UKOnline budget which was the responsibility of the former Office of the e-Envoy and it has not been possible to obtain financial information for this period.

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many hits the (a) most and (b) least popular website run by the Cabinet Office has received since 1 January 2007. (157886)

Based on statistics, the website with the most hits was the Civil Service Recruitment Gateway ( which from 1 January to the end of August received:

23,612,818 hits

7,940,377 page views

948,502 visits

Based on statistics, the website with the least hits was the HM Government website ( which since it was set up on 9 April received:

30,682 hits

7,055 page views

3,598 visits

“Hits” can be a misleading statistic as, depending on how a website is designed and managed, an individual looking at a single page can generate a widely varying number of “hits”. Statistics of “Page Views” and “Visits” are generally accepted as a more accurate representation of website usage.