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Government Websites

Volume 577: debated on Wednesday 12 March 2014

So far, we have closed an astonishing 1,789 Government websites. We are in the process of moving the remaining 200 on to gov.uk by July 2014. In that process, we are not just saving £42 million but providing, at long last, a single source of consistent, clear information on Government policies.

I welcome the action that my hon. Friend is taking. Will he update the House on the progress that is being made on digitising the apprenticeships application process, and tell us when it will be available on gov.uk?

That is a very important service, for reasons that the House understands, and it is a priority for us. We have built a prototype, which will be tested with users over the coming months, and our hope is that a version of this important service will be available from October this year.

Will my hon. Friend tell us what best practice local authorities can take from this central Government initiative?

I thank my hon. Friend for that important question. There is a huge opportunity to harness best practice across local government, and that is why we have partnered with the Local Government Association and other sector partners to establish a local digital alliance. We are collaborating with and supporting local government to design and deliver local public services online. That will allow them to offer value for money and to maximise the opportunities presented by digital tools.