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Telephones

Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what procedures were used by his Department in awarding contracts for the supply of mobile and car telephones to his Department and its executive agencies; which companies were involved in tendering for these contracts; what agreements his Department and its executive agencies have with companies for the provision of mobile and car phones; if he will list the companies having these contracts, the duration of the contracts, the number of telephones covered by each agreement and the cost to public funds of each agreement; what costs his Department and executive agencies have incurred as a result of withdrawing from contracts under which mobile telephones are provided in the last three years; and if he will list the companies concerned. [104183]

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's current policy is to use a Central Government contract for the provision of mobile phone services. This is an EC tendered contract let by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), who alone dealt with the contract award process. Use of the OGC contract is available to those public bodies who sign up to the OGC Framework agreement. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's central offices, Rent Service Agency, Fire Service College and Planning Inspectorate all use this contract, and as such, procure mobile services from it via a simple ordering procedure. The contract can supply services from Orange, O2 and Vodafone; the latter are the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's predominate supplier.The further information requested is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much was spent on telephone costs by (a) his Department, (b) his Department's agencies and (c) his Department's non-departmental public bodies staff in each year since 1997; and if internal telephone directories are available to staff in all areas of (a) to (c). [104184]

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was created on 29 May 2002. Since then, £912,000 has been spent on telephone costs for the central Office of the Deputy Prime Minister during financial year 2002–03. Figures for Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's agencies and non-departmental public bodies are not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's internal directory is stored electronically and all its staff and one of the Executive Agencies (The Planning Inspectorate) have on-line access to it. The remaining three agencies and the non-departmental public bodies have no on-line access, but are provided with data extracts on request.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many mobile telephones are supplied for his personal use; what the cost of each phone is on a monthly basis; and how much he has paid for personal usage since June 2001. [104220]

The Deputy Prime Minister has been supplied with one mobile phone, not for his personal use but for Departmental business use by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister; the cost of the phone varies from month to month depending on the number of calls made, but the line rental/service charges are £10.58 a month; and the Deputy Prime Minister has paid £40.04 for personal usage since June 2002.