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Departmental Video Conferencing

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will set a target to increase the use of video-conferencing by his Department to reduce the need to travel to meetings. (195879)

There are no plans to set a target to increase the use of video-conferencing with the specific aim of reducing travel. The Department for International Development (DFID) does however have a target to reduce air miles flown by 5 per cent. per annum and video-conferencing is one tool helping to achieve this.

Meetings are arranged around the needs of the business but before any travel is authorised in DFID staff must confirm that they have considered using video-conference.

DFID currently use a total of 119 video-conference units, in the UK and overseas. In the last year DFID held 7,169 managed video conferences. A recent study showed that video-conferencing in DFID avoids more than two million miles of air travel a year.