Earlier today, I wrote about how I thought it was cool that the U.S. government launched a website to keep track of all the mobile applications it offers. Well, it looks like our friends across the pond are doing a smarter thing and asking if these programs are worth the government’s time and money.
The BBC used freedom of information requests to see how much money was being used by the British government to create apps. The thinking behind this request was: while it’s great for the government to disperse information in as many mediums as possible, these apps cost a lot to create and owners of and Apple iPhone or Android smartphone generally don’t need free help from the government, particularly at a time when the economy is still not in the greatest of shapes.
The report found that the government was working on at least six iPhone apps, including programs that help you quit smoking, maintain your vehicle and search for jobs. The programs generally cost at least $40,000 to create but some of those were initiated under previous administrations.
It looks like the government will be taking a harder look at how it creates iPhone apps, as the Cabinet Office said:
The Government recently announced a freeze on all marketing and advertising spend for this year and this includes iPhone applications. While the Government wants to ensure that information and services are available in the most efficient and convenient forms, future spend on iPhone development will be subject to strict controls: only essential activity, approved by the Efficiency and Reform Group, which is chaired by the Minister for the Cabinet Office and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, will be allowed.
So, what do you think readers? Should government be spending tax payers’ money on creating mobile apps or should those funds go somewhere else?