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Departmental ICT

Volume 485: debated on Monday 8 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what IT (a) infrastructure and (b) systems his (i) Department and (ii) its agencies use. (240410)

The Department currently has about 140,000 desktops, around 7,000 encrypted laptops, 2,500 servers and 21 mainframes serving its 149 major application systems. The infrastructure falls into three broad categories of services delivered by third party suppliers, desktop (PCs) hosting (mainframe computers and application servers) and network/telephony. The IT systems or applications are linked to two major data centres.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a copy of the asset register of his Department's IT infrastructure and systems. (240411)

The Department's IT suppliers provide the IT infrastructure used by the Department and own the assets required to deliver the IT services the Department has specified contractually. Consequently, the Department does not maintain a register of those assets.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the average useful economic life of departmental IT infrastructure. (240412)

The Department has a large and complex IT infrastructure consisting of 21 mainframes, 2,500 servers and 149 major applications which it renews and refreshes as necessary. It makes no single estimate of useful economic life.

The Department purchases IT services from suppliers on a consumption basis in order to maximize value for money. Its IT suppliers provide IT infrastructure components as part of these services and have contractual obligations to maintain and refresh these components.