Maintenance cost of Dept. websites ranges from €60 to €523,000

31st January, 2010

Taxpayers’ value for money questioned when up-keep of one site costs 8,300 times more than another


Figures released to Fine Gael Senator Paschal Donohoe from Government departments show serious inconsistencies in the amount of money being spent on the annual maintenance of websites by each department (see table from PQ info below).

“Figures I have received from Government departments highlight very large discrepancies in how much each division is spending on the maintenance of their websites with the up-keep of one site coming in at little more than €60 and another totalling more than half a million –  a staggering 8,302 times more.

“Information from the Department of Transport showed that the maintenance costs alone for the online motor tax website ( came in at a whopping €523,000 for 2009. While this site hosts a considerable amount of traffic (in excess of four million unique site visits last year) this inordinate figure still doesn’t stand up when consideration is given to the fact that the Company Registration Office (, which had an estimated 600,000 unique visits in 2009, is maintained for an annual fee of €5,000.

“Site preservation at the Department of Social & Family Affairs is recorded as significantly lower with fees for 2009 for amounting to just €232.07 (60,000 unique hits in 2009) and, which had with 93,307 unique visits, site maintenance costing just €423.75. The site with the lowest maintenance cost was in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food for the Animal Welfare Advisory Council ( which cost just €62.99 for the year and which saw more than of 20,000 unique visits to the site.

“The internet is now the choice of many for dealing with public services and it makes sense, saving time and money for individuals, to conduct income tax affairs, to get local information or to check out your rights online. It is therefore vital that the Government does all it can to provide information via the net and that it does so in a cost effective manner.

“These figures show a wide disparity across Government departments which need to be critically examined and reviewed. Now more than ever we must make sure that procurement practices are delivering good value for money and that departments are learning from each other in how to drive, use and track the success of their site. It’s a worrying, and indeed a telling, sign that the activities of some sites are not being monitored at all.”

Parliamentary Questions attached

Dept of Taoiseach €1,815.00 470,199
(formerly €1,815.00 (onegov) 23,470
(bettergov) 97,480 €1,815.00 9,287 €1,815.00 2,404 €1,815.00 (Aug to Dec only) 6,878 NIL 8,623 * NIL (Jan to Sept only) 89,915
*The website is no longer active but will continue to be available as an information resource.  The support and maintenance charge for this site in 2009 was €2,587.95.
Dept of Enterprise, Trade & Employment
Website Address Annual Maintenance Cost No. of Unique Visits in 2009 €5,212 599,764
(The Department’s website) €2,174 Not recorded
(The website of the problem-solving network created to solve problems that EU citizens or businesses may be experiencing with alleged denial of their Internal Market rights) €4,811 6,806
(The website for the European Social Fund in Ireland) (50% ESF co-funded) €83 Not recorded
(The website for the ESF co-funded EQUAL Community Initiative in Ireland) (50% ESF co-funded) €365 Not recorded
(The website was set up under the Equal Community Initiative to serve as a repository of innovative ideas.  Currently, the site is not in operation) (50% ESF co-funded) €7,000 383,300
(The website of the National Employment Rights Authority) €6,123 3,112,970
(The website of the Employment Appeals Tribunal) (The website for the Labour Court) €27,486 2,618,156 (page hits between 14 October and 31 December) €2,147 41,529
(The website supporting the National Framework Committee for Work Life Balance Policies.) €16,516 294,552
(The website for the Patents Office) €65,103 85,763
(The website developed to provide business with a single access point to all Government information and services.) €500 10, 908
(The website of the Company Law Review Group) (extrapolated based on monthly statistics) (The website of the Office of the Director if Corporate Enforcement) €6,966.75 212,863
1 Jan.– 7 Dec. 2009 (inclusive) (The website of the Companies Registration Office (CRO)) €5,000 600,000
(extrapolated from the Jan 2009 number of visits of  48,417 visits) (A document processing environment and communications mechanism of the CRO) €22,891 There are 96,384 unique registered users. This is the only figure available so it is not possible to give a figure for the number of unique visits
Department of Education
The Department has one website.  This figure (€21,000) includes a contribution of €6,929 to the

Local Government Computer Services Board (LGCSB) for hosting the website

€21,000 568,429
Department of Health and Children
Website Description No.of unique visits Cost
DoH&C group sites Department of Health & Children website 430,393 Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance website * Not available Health Service Reform Programme website * Expert group on mental health policy website * Website for the implementation of the EU Blood Quality and Safety Directive 2002/98/EC *
Total cost for DoH&C These sites are managed as a single contract. * €11,138
group websites Adoption Board of Ireland website * €719
OMCYA group sites Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs website 108,891 Provides information on the role and purpose of Comhairle na nÓg and links to all Comhairle na nÓg websites throughout the country 2,704 Provides access to research and information on children for policy-makers, Government departments, academics, voluntary organisations and the general public 7,254 The National Play and Recreation Resource Centre provides information, support and advice on a range of issues affecting the development of children’s play in Ireland 2,903 National Children’s Advisory Council website. The mission of the National Children’s Advisory Council is to make a difference to children and young people’s lives, by making childhood and youth a more positive and enjoyable experience for everyone * Student Council Second Level Support Service website, the aim of the service is to provide ongoing support for all student council liaison teachers. (now transferred to Dept. of Education and Science) *
(until mid 2009)
Cost for All the OMCYA websites, except are managed as a single contact. €9,598
OMCYA group sites Teenspace provides information on events, activities and recreation services for young people from 10 to 18 108,550 €12,698
Total cost for all All the OMCYA websites including €22,296
OMCYA sites
Total cost for all sites €34,153
Department of Transport
Website Site Reference Number of unique visits in 2009 Annual maintenance cost
€ (inc VAT)
Department of Transport 134,089 (Mar 09 – Dec 09)
Road Haulage Not Available
Air Accident Investigation Unit Not Available
Irish Coastguard Not Available
Safety On the Water Not Available
Online motor tax 4,338,186
€523,000 8,411
Change of vehicle ownership 373,819
Transport 21 78,780 €900
Sustainable transport 1,185 (Nov 09 – Jan 10) €3,000
National Bike week 14,861 (May 09 – Dec 09) €6,000
Department of Foreign Affairs
Website Annual Cost of Maintaining Site No of Unique Visits for 2009
Department of Foreign Affairs family of website including 68 Embassy websites and the passport application tracking site €72,120 2,114,675
Irish Aid family of websites €32,435 113,004
Dublin Cluster Munitions Conference website €900 2,563
Africa Day 2009 website (launched May 2009 – includes total set up costs incurred in 2009) €9,072 12,564
Communicating Europe Initiative website (launched 30 June 2009 – includes total set up costs incurred in 2009) €46,937 31,577
Global Irish Economic Forum website (launched 1 September 2009 – includes total set up costs incurred in 2009) €15,992 7,665
1 Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism website
Website address:
Annual maintenance cost in 2009 €4,839.25
No. of unique visits in 2009 131,271 unique visitors and 3,947,058 hits
2 National Archives of Ireland website and 1911 Census Search facility
Website address:
Annual maintenance cost in 2009 €49,175
No. of unique visits in 2009 3,966,337 unique visitors and 187,423,403 hits
3 Irish Genealogy website and the Church Records Search facility
Website address:
Annual maintenance cost in 2009 €3,831.50
No. of unique visits in 2009 100,957 unique visitors and 4,667,216 hits
4 Culture Ireland website
Website address:
Annual maintenance cost in 2009 €9,483.50
The number of unique visits in 2009 to the Culture Ireland website is not currently available but will be forwarded to the Deputy in due course.
Department of Defence
Site Name Unique Hits Cost €
2009 2009
Department of Defence Unavailable
Civil Defence Unavailable
Office of Emergency Planning 55,817 14,220
Permanent Defence Forces 17,122
Reserve Defence Forces 17,384
Department of Social & Family Affairs 2.75million €47,248 57,309 €232.07 93,307 €423.75
Dept. Justice, Equality, Law Reform Total for cost for site
23 websites in total 250,000+ 500,000+
Dept Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs 30,201 €9,085 Not available €3,887
Hosting cost of both sites €21,141

(Cost includes site development and maintenance)

91,770 €257,334
Department of Agriculture
Website Name Annual maintenance cost (ex vat) for each site in 2009 The number of unique visits each site received in 2009 €7,306.69 851,308 €62.99 21,256 €69.99 13,003 €69.99 9,715 Nil 42,906 Nil 11,101 Nil 21,162 (April 09-Dec. 09) €62.00 1,200 (Circa) €62.99 1,500 (Circa) €69.99 1,245 * €62.00 4,000 (Circa) €69.99 1,250 *
Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources


Unique Visits