Open Central Government Websites

Number of and list of central government open websites – 1 July 2011

Information was reported as correct at 1 July.

The number of open websites on 1 July 2011 according to the following definitions and rules for inclusion was 444, of which central government departments have committed to close 243. Since the last annual report in June 2010 in which 820 websites were reported to be open, departments have reported approximately 200 further arms-length body websites.  Adding these to those known about last year, departments have therefore already closed or committed to close approximately 80% of sites.

A list of open websites on 1 July 2011 is provided in Excel and csv format. 


In its Structural Reform plan, the Cabinet Office committed to begin quarterly publication of the number of open websites starting in financial year 2011.  This is the first such quarterly report and they will be issued quarterly thereafter.  

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.

Inclusion into 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, the 47 websites of partnerships more than half-funded by private sector, charities and national museums and parks.  Specialist closed audience functions, such as the 7 BIS Research Councils, 28 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, this is provided as Excel and CSV files.


List of central government open websites - 1 July 2011 in CSV format
File type: CSV - Comma Separated Value | File size: 25.00 kB
List of central government open websites - 1 July 2011 in xls format
File type: Microsoft Excel | File size: 169.00 kB

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Publication date: 29/7/2011

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