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Departmental ICT

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) male and (b) female members of staff in his Department were issued with personal digital assistants in each year since 2001; and if he will make a statement. (181355)

The following table shows how many (a) male and (b) female members of staff, where known, were issued with personal digital assistants in each year since 2001.

Date acquired

(a) Male

(b) Female

Unknown

Total

2000—26 January 20051

40

12

31

83

2005 (from 27 January 2005)1

15

10

6

31

2006

27

25

7

59

2007

13

5

13

31

Total

95

52

57

204

1 PDAs purchased prior to 27 January 2005 do not have a purchase date recorded against their entry within the asset management tool and have been given a default acquired date of 1 January 2000.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the estimated cost was of each of the five largest IT contracts awarded in 2007 by his Department; and what the actual cost has been. (181961)

IT services and provision was outsourced to IBM in October 2004. IT projects that previously would have required the award of a contract are now, in the main, handled through these arrangements.

However, in March 2007 a new contract was awarded to Atos. The project started in April 2007 and relates to the Genesis application which handles environmental stewardship payments for land managers. The cost of this contract is £21 million over five years. Actual spend during the first year is £500,000 lower than forecast.

Details of IT contracts awarded by the Department’s wider Network are not held centrally. Further information would be available only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many of his Department’s personal digital assistants were (a) lost and (b) stolen in each of the last five years; and what the value of those items was. (185274)

The following figures show the reported number of thefts/losses of personal digital assistants from April 2003 onwards:

Personal digital assistants including Blackberry devices2003-0402004-05 112005-06 112006-07 182007-08 to date 11 1 Following the outsourcing of IT services to IBM in October 2004, IT equipment is no longer classed as a departmental asset as it forms part of the overall contract for the provision of IT services. All IT equipment therefore belongs to IBM. However, in an effort to reduce the losses of portable IT equipment, advice and guidance on the security of portable IT equipment is made available to staff. There were no reported losses of any personal data.