The U.K. government is slashing the number, reportedly in the hundreds, of web sites it currently runs and getting everyone to use direct.gov instead. They claim that by using one web site instead of the hundreds they currently run is somehow a better way to convey information to users. Now, colour me blue but how can shoehorning hundreds of informational web sites into one huge web site offer more information?
The government claim that the people of the U.K. are sick and tired of filling out their information time and time again and that by having everything in one place they, the U.K. people, will only need to fill out such forms once. To me personally this is a great thing. But, there are other aspects of the whole 'one size fits all' idea that bothers me.
Security for one. The government says it will keep the security of your data, well, secure. It is without doubt the one thing they cannot guarantee. Sure, they can and probably will try but, with the governments track record on security available for all to see, would you trust them with your highly sensitive identity data?
I highly doubt that all the information across all the hundreds of government controlled web sites will survive the move to a single server. If they manage it you can be certain some currently available information will be lost in the move. What about council driven web sites that have mostly information pertinent to that councils people or area? Will they be swallowed up in this direct.gov madness? If so, then information about a local councils event shedule will surely, if not severely degraded, then lost completely.
Then there is the sharing of data between departments to consider.
That alone, as a computer consultant myself, scares the living soul out of me. The Government, it does not matter if it is blue or red, is flying headlong into an unmittigating disaster with these half cock deas and schemes. It seems as if they, 10 years late, have discovered the Internet and come Hell or high water they are doing whatever they can to catch up. But, catch up they never will. Lose individuals indentity data they will.