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  5. Government slammed over iPhone app spend

Government slammed over iPhone app spend

Government slammed over iPhone app spend

The UK government is under fire after spending tens of thousands of pounds on iPhone apps at a time when cuts to frontline public services are looming.

The biggest bone of contention for critics is a DVLA app which has a proposed budget of £40,000 and would help motorists by giving them "a masterclass for changing your wheel".

The app was allegedly intended to calculate miles per gallon achieved while driving and could even turn the iPhone into a hazard light.

A DVLA representative in an interview with the BBC: "We want to make it as easy as possible for motorists to renew their car tax, tell us about a change of address or update their driving licence, meaning they stay safe and legal to drive.

"We considered how an application could help with this but no final decisions have been taken and the app, for now, is still in development."

Two NHS applications cost a combined total of £20,000 and a £32,000 app for Jobcentre Plus has so far received over 50,000 downloads from the App Store.

However, this budget has not stopped a barrage of critical user reviews being levelled at the apps, particularly in relation to the fact that they are not completely compatible with the new iOS 4 platform.

Over the past year it has cost £94 million for the government to create content and maintain its many online services, although austerity cuts in the budget mean that the development of iPhone apps is no longer a priority.

A Cabinet spokesperson said: "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."

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