Well, terrible populist direct democracy. After the rocky launch of the government’s new epetitions website, I started to wonder just how much was spent moving over to this system from the petitions on the old number 10 site. In order to get this information, I shot off a freedom of information request to the cabinet office on July 28th. Today I finally got my response.
The Cabinet Office have confirmed to me that a total of £80,700 was spent developing the new service, including “design; process analysis; development and testing; the warranty period; infrastructure setup and accreditation; and the SSL certification i.e. an extra layer of online security.”
I also asked for the expected yearly cost to maintain the site. They have quoted a figure of £32,000 per year for “support, maintenance and hosting of the e-Petitions site.” It is unclear if the moderation of petitions is included within this.
So there we have it, they clearly paid too much for what was such an unstable service, but it’s still one of the cheaper government initiatives we’ve seen in recent years.