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Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the (a) cost of and (b) number of visitors to each website operated by her Department and each agency and non-departmental public body for which her Department is responsible in each year since its establishment. [107632]

[pursuant to the answer, 10 April 2003, Official Report, c. 395 W]: Following is the information from the Chief Executives of the Agencies. A table containing information on Companies House will be placed in the Library.

Letter from Dr. J. W. Llewellyn to Mr. Yeo, dated 10 April 2003:

The Secretary for Trade and Industry has asked me to reply on behalf of the National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML) to your question on the (a) cost of and (b) number of visitors to each website operated by her Department and each agency and non-departmental public body for which her Department is responsible in each year since its establishment.
(a) The costs (including salary costs) associated with the website operated by NWML are:

2001–02: £28K

2002–03: £44K

RA website ( costs and hits statistics 1997 to 2003


Costs (not including RA staff costs)

Number of hits

1997 (August to December only)Information not available117,203
1998Information not available533,763
1999£10,000 (CCTA hosting charge)905,831
2000£10,000 (CCTA hosting charge)1,701,098
2001£6,000 (OGC hosting charge)2,000,176
2002£11,394 (amount paid so far out of £26,000 2-year ISP contract with BT Group)2,503,577

Letter from Kevin Woodrow to Mr. Yeo, dated 10 April 2003:

I am replying to this parliamentary question, tabled on 3 April 2003, about the cost of the Patent Office's website and the number of visitors to the site. The information requested is shown in the following table:

Website access statistics


Cost (£000)1



Page Views


1 Costs do not include development of web based applications.

2Visitors are unique visitors per month, added together to give an annual total.

Letter from Roger Heathcote to Mr. Yeo, dated 10 April 2003:

You tabled a Parliamentary Question on 3 April 2003 to Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, asking if she will make a statement on (a) the cost of and (b) the number of visitors to each website operated by her Department and each agency and non-departmental public body for which her Department is responsible in each year since its establishment. I have been asked to reply in respect of the Employment Tribunals Service (ETS), which is an executive agency of the DTI, providing the administrative support for the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in Great Britain.

The ETS operates three web sites—one for the EAT, one for the Employment Tribunals and one for the agency itself.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal website has been operational since July 1999. The site was initially developed and hosted by the CCTA, but transferred to Hyperlink Interactive from April 2002, following the withdrawal of the CCTA hosting service. The table below shows the annual cost of the site and the number of visitors.

(b) During a one year period November 2001 to October 2002, the total number of visitors to the NWML website was 147,460.

Letter from Ms R. J. R. Anderson to Mr. Yeo, dated 10 April 2003:

I am attaching a table giving details of annual cost of the Radiocommunications Agency (RA) website, and the number of hits for each year.

The RA website comprises the core website, which is managed in-house by RA staff, and also an Online Services section of the site, held on a separate server and managed by RA7s IT Partner, Radio Spectrum International (RSI). The online services section includes the Sitefinder mobile phone masts database and the Agency's e-licensing services.

The figures on the attached table refer only to the core RA website. They simply reflect the service provider costs and do not include staff costs. It is not possible, without incurring disproportionate cost, to include website costs for the Online Service of the site, as these costs are an integral part of the development of the Agency's ongoing e-business programme.

Costs (£)



2001–0224,000**(Transfer and migration costs)
*There are no visitor statistics available prior to the transfer in April 2002

The Employment Tribunal and the ETS sites have been 'live' since September 2001 and visitor statistics are available from November 2001. The sites are not charged separately, so it is not possible to allocate costs to each site individually. The table below shows the annual cost of the sites and the number of visitors.


Costs (£)

ET Visits


ETS Visits



The web site usage statistics are compiled on a monthly basis and include the number of 'unique visitors' per month. The figures given are the number of unique visitors per month totalled for the year so someone who visits the site only once per month would count as 12 visitors. A monthly 'average' (Ave/m) is also provided.

Letter from Desmond Flynn to Mr. Yeo, dated 10 April 2003:

The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has asked me to reply to your question (2002/2047) asking or details of the cost of, and the number of visitors to The Insolvency Service's website since its establishment.

Information in connection with The Insolvency Service's website is only available for the 2002–03 financial year, following a change of Web-host provider in January 2002.

During 2002–03 The Service's website, at has received some 351,386 visits, of which there were 117,556 unique visitors. The total page views made by users during this period was 1,577,491 with an average user time of 6 minutes.

The web-host provider charged The Insolvency Service £45,648 exclusive of VAT, for the web-service provided during this period. The website is designed and administered by Insolvency Service staff and other costs are therefore limited to staff training and various software packages.

Letter from Claire Clancy to Mr. Yeo, dated 10 April 2003:

I am responding to your recent Parliamentary Question on websites to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on behalf of Companies House, which is an Executive Agency of the DTI.

The cost of the Companies House website for the financial year 2002/2003 was £143,352 plus of an employee to manage and update as necessary.



Regional Selective AssistanceGrant for fixed capital expenditure in Assisted Areas.
Electronics Design ProgrammeGrants to enhance awareness and adoption of advanced design methods by SMEs in the sector.
AcornGrants to develop and trail a manageable, staged approach to the adoption of codified best practice environmental systems by SMEs
EUROIM IIGrant to Mineral Industry Research Organisation (MIRO) to provide information and advice to help businesses find partners and prepare proposals for R&D support from EC programme
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Equipment (HEVACR)Grant to Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA) to kick-start an industry driven self-help initiative aimed at raising competitiveness in the sector.
Digital Test BedGrants to projects to promote take-up of digital broadcasting and prevent market.
Fast TrackFunding to promote and support innovation, knowledge management and knowledge transfer in the construction sector.
Manufacturing for Biotechnology InitiativeGrants to highlight the possibilities and strategic importance of the sector e.g. advisory service; training grants.
Basic Technologies ProgrammeGrants to co-ordinate activities aimed at the uptake by industry of new and improved technology.
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Shell Technology Enterprise Programme (STEP)Grants to fund undergraduates working with SME/community organisations undertaking projects specified by business.
Partnership FundGrants to stimulate a step-change in the way employers and employees work together.
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Building Up BiomaterialsGrant to establish R&D and knowledge transfer.
Digital TV Initiative (Part of Digital TV Action plan)Grants to projects to provide groundwork on barriers to switchover.
BritechBilateral collaborative R&D programme between UK/Israel.
SmartGrants to feasibility and prototype projects to encourage investment in small, early-stage technology projects.
Teaching Companies SchemeGrants to fund graduates (TCS Associates) working within a firm/group of firms on a specific technology transfer project.
ICT Carrier ProgrammeGrants to projects designed to improve process and product in engineering businesses.
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SETNET (including STEM)Grants to draw together existing and develop new initiatives aimed at fostering the teaching and learning of engineering-related subjects in schools.
ITEC Skills ProgrammeGrants to programmes designed to improve information technology, electronics and communications skills in schools and the workforce, and to promote diversity in these professions
Sustainable Technologies InitiativePart of this scheme is delivered through LINK (see above). There is also additional funding for wider collaborative R&D activities.
Bio-wiseGrants to improve awareness of the potential of the biotechnology industry and to facilitate the take up of biotechnology.
Applied GenomicsExtension of existing Applied Genomics LINK programme to fully utilise unspent Research Council funds
Corn-met 2005Grants to Mechanical and Metal Trades Confederation (METCOM) for research into sector's competitive deficiencies and for programmes to address these.