- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
Broken campaign promise: Feds fail to meet Obama goal to cut Web waste
Many agency domains getting few or no hits
They are also proceeding with a broad initiative to try to clean up and consolidate government websites and offer more services for mobile phones, officials said.
Candi Harrison, a former website manager for the Department of Housing and Urban Development who now blogs on government Web issues, said the problem isn’t so much the number of domains, but rather a generally chaotic approach to the Web.
Many departments and agencies don’t have officewide Web policies, according to plans they submitted as part of the waste-cutting initiative. Ms. Harrison said, that means information gets spread across different offices and departments, and makes it tough on the customers.
“What causes/sustains this problem? To be blunt, egos,” she said in an email.
She said executives want their own websites for their initiatives, and those in charge of government websites don’t say “No” enough. She also said executives have no incentives to work with colleagues in other agencies to streamline the federal government’s Web profile.
Ms. Harrison said some of her friends looked at Web stats and found that a high percentage of pages are getting little or no traffic — in one case, 60 percent of pages had zero views in six months prior to the review.
“Editing, editing, editing is the key,” she said. “And then merging/consolidating is the next step. And then making sure what’s left is written in plain language so customers can understand it once they find it.”
As for the domain-cutting, progress has been uneven, and the lure of websites is tough to resist.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created in July 2010, has registered 10 domain names since it opened its doors last year. All of the domains are close to the bureau’s name, apparently in a bid to capture potential permutations, such as consumerfinance.gov, consumerfinancial.gov and consumerprotection.gov.
The Education Department has done the most of any office by reducing its domain names from 34 to 17. Among big federal agencies, the Federal Communications Commission was second, going from 14 to eight, while the Homeland Security Department cut 38 percent, from 58 to 36.
Several offices have gone in the other direction.
The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which the White House itself created, has added a Web domain in the past year: www.accountabilityandtransparency.gov. The site does not appear to be active, so it’s not clear what it would add to the collection of nine other domains run by the board, including aandt.gov, ratb.gov and atb.gov.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at email@example.com.
- Federal deficit shrinks 20 percent in fiscal 2014
- Wind farms: Interior Department sacrifices eagle protection for alternative energy
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Bipartisan House votes against 'patent trolls' who file lawsuits against innovators
- Bipartisan House votes to stop patent 'trolls'
Latest Blog Entries
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- House votes for bargain to end budget drama
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuke umbrella
- Echoes of Cold War in Ukraine as Russia battles Western influence
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- North Korean dictator stuns world with uncle's execution
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow