More than 1,000 gov.uk domains found in breach of government rules

Written by Rebecca Hill on 4 July 2016 in News
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An audit of gov.uk domains has identified more than 1,000 breaches of government guidance and has led to the closure of 471 local government domains.

404 errors were one of the reasons for the breach - Photo credit: Flickr © SEO Link Building

The audit, carried out by Evans Bissessar, the chairman of the Government Digital Service’s naming and approvals committee, looked at all 4,000 gov.uk domains.


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It identified more than 1,000 breaches, which included inaccessible domains, pages that redirected to a non-government domain and owners that weren’t eligible to own a gov.uk domain, for instance an owner that had become a company since registering for the domain.

Bissessar then worked with the domain owners to correct the problems where possible, or shut down legacy or unused domains where necessary.

This work resulted in the correction of 196 domains and the closure of a further 947 gov.uk domains, of which 393 were central government, 80 devolved and 471 local.

In a blogpost, Bissessar identified some “top picks” of outdated domains that were still registered to the government, which include the Postal Services Commission, the G7 finance ministers summit in February 2005 and Bug2000 – the site set up to help allay fears about the Millenium bug.

Bissessar said that the GDS team now has to maintain trust in the gov.uk name by carrying out we’ll continue carrying out annual checks, ensuring all gov.uk domains are working the way they should and that they are still relevant.

He added that all IT managers in central and local government should familiarise themselves with the relevant naming and registering guidelines.

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