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It Equipment

Volume 407: debated on Tuesday 24 June 2003

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40.

To ask the Leader of the House what plans he has to widen the standard range of IT equipment made available to hon. Members and their staff in constituency offices. [121031]

Mr Speaker's Advisory Panel on the Members' Allowances keeps the level of provision under review. As hon. Members will know, the Information Committee provides advice on the equipment available. If my hon. Friend has suggestions, the best way forward might be to submit them to the Information Committee or the Advisory Panel.

I congratulate my hon. Friend on his appointment. In my six years as a Member of Parliament, the volume, range and complexity of data that floods through the average constituency office has increased to such a degree that we need improved facilities. In particular, we would benefit from the wider availability of broadband, as well as the increasing use of video facilities and equipment. Both are essential for modern parliamentarians.

I thank my hon. Friend for his kind words. The House may be interested to know that the Information Committee is at present reviewing the equipment provided to take on board some of the points that he has made. All hon. Members will recognise that the complexity of the information technology that is available can improve the service that we give to our constituents. My right hon. Friend the Leader of the House is committed to doing exactly that.