Flagship government sites feeling the strain

A new government website launched to gather the public’s ideas for spending cuts has gone offline after a series of complaints.

Flagship government sites feeling the strain

The Treasury department came under fire earlier this week for the way it moderated its Spending Challenge website, launched last week as a vehicle for Britons to suggest where spending cuts could most effectively be made.

While the main complaint focused on the fact that the site was brimming with what many considered offensive material posted by outspoken constituents, there were other issues with the site, too.

Users also complained that email addresses weren’t verified during sign-up, meaning the government had no way of spotting duplicate accounts, for example.

It’s not clear which of the problems the Whitehall web mechanics are working on, but the site has been closed all day for maintenance, with no schedule for when it will go live again.

“It’s down for maintenance and some work, but that’s all we’re saying at the moment,” a spokesperson told PC Pro when we asked which of the problems the technicians might be working on. “It will be back when it’s ready.”

At present the site simply states: “Sorry, the site is currently closed for maintenance and requires a username and password.”

Your Freedom

Meanwhile, the other big launch of last week – the Your Freedom website – has been experiencing problems all week, with a succession of modifications and Twitter notices explaining that the site was being updated to improve the speed and reliability of the site.

Your Freedom was supposed to offer citizens a chance to air views on which laws should be scrapped, but many have found the whole experience frustrating.

“Come on guys, the YourFreedom website should be up and working reliably by now!” was one tweet by an obviously annoyed paulmasri on the Your Freedom Twitter page.

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