One of the innovations in Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s reshuffled government was the creation of a Welfare Ministry as well as a Health and Prevention Ministry (In terms of Orwellianness, my “favourite” still is the now defunct Swedish Samhällsbyggnadsministeriet – The Ministry for Society Building. The title tells you one or the other thing about how Swedish Social Democrats view the relationship between state and society) but the new ministry has hit a slight virtual hitch.
The thing is that a Danish artist has been preparing a virtual government including a number of surreal portfolios such as the Creativity Ministry, the Speed Ministry – and the Welfare Ministry. (No Ministry of Sound, though)
And so he registrered the domain www.velfærdsministeriet.dk.
The bureaucrats are not happy and have sent angry legal letters to the artist demanding that he hand back the domain to the Danish state. The artist on the other hand argues that the domain is part of his artistic project and was registered before the real-life ministry was set up. It is now up to the Board of Domain Name Complaints to make a decision in the case.
From a user perspective I think the Danish government ought to rethink its entire internet presence – including the use of domains.
The thing is that the Danish government is a complete mess internet-wise: There is no central portal – like, say, www.regeringen.dk – to the government ministries, each ministry has a separate way of structuring its homepage – which means a) that the government has no identity as such, b) that there are 24 different ways of looking for information and c) that a new website, including design, search-routes and what not has to be set up every time the prime minister decides to change the portfolios.
There is a much better way of doing this and you need look no further than to www.regeringen.se.
Anyway – if there was a central www.regeringen.dk domain active, the Welfare Ministry would simply be www.velfærd.regeringen.dk. (or alternatively www.velfaerd.regeringen.dk)