This article provides a really ‘eye opening’ look at some of the costs associated with operating a big government website. The Department of Health (DH) has revealed that it spent £27.9m on developing and running the NHS Choices website during 2008 to 2009.
The cost, which covers the planning, designing, building, hosting and infrastructure, content provision and testing and evaluation of the website, does not include internal staff costs. Phil Hope, Minister of State for Care Services at the DH, provided the details in a parliamentary written answer.
In 2008 to 2009, the highest portion of the total cost was spent on strategy and planning for the website (£8.8m), more than double the amount spent the previous year (£3.3m). This was closely followed by the cost of design and build (£7.5m), which had increased from £4.3m the previous year, and content provision (£7.2m), which had also seen a two-fold increase compared with 2007 to 2008 (£3.01m).
Meanwhile, the total cost of NHS Choices is also expected to reach £21.3m in the period 2009 to 2010, with most of the budget, £6.4m, being allocated to the website’s design and build. I gotta get in on some of that strategy and planning dough, 18 million dollars? You gotta be kidding!