In the ranking “how much a country pays for its president’s website” – considering Belarus and its neighbours – the leader is Alexander Lukashenko’s new portal, closely followed by the websites of Russian and Polish heads of state. When it became known that the Belarusian president was going to upgrade his website for USD 300, 000, a sum covered from the state budget, local media began to compare that amount to the costs of its counterparts in neighbouring countries.
For a fully comprehensive picture we also need information about the official sites of the Ukrainian, Polish, Latvian and Lithuanian presidents, which is not always easy to get.
Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Poland
In the office of the President of Latvia, Radio Liberty could find out that Latvians are ready to spend no more than USD 40, 000 on an upgrade of the web portal www.president.lv. The cost of the election website of Vladimir Putin, as reported by ERB, did not differ a lot, amounting to USD 30 000. Yet the modernization of the Russian head of state’s portal in 2004 cost much more – up to USD 200, 000.
The office of the Lithuanian president did not provide me with any information. In a pleasant voice, the press officers repeatedly assured me that they would call me back as soon as they would check the archives.
Data is available only in the Polish case. The presidential website www.prezydent.pl was developed in 2009. At that time, it cost the Polish budget PLN 363, 000 zlotys – about USD 130, 000. Details regarding the tender and the companies involved are available on the Internet. Though we admit that the amount is quite impressive.
In Belarus and Ukraine, a serious portal with a strong security system costs – on average – from about USD 20, 000 to USD 50, 000 (in case you turn to private developers). But the authorities did not entrust the creation of the President of Ukraine’s official website to “private developers” – it was built by staff members of the Presidential Administration, as I was informed by the press service of Viktor Yanukovych exactly 20 days after my inquiry. However, no specific figures were named. How much money was spent on the design and structure of the Ukrainian presidential portal, which was updated most recently in 2008, remains a secret.
The press service of Alexander Lukashenko also did not comment the information about the president’s new portal. Meanwhile, the work on its modernisation should already come to an end. The Ministry of Communications mentioned that the site should be launched in the spring.
Translated by MA