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Departmental ICT

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many new (a) laptops, (b) mobile telephones and (c) personal digital assistant devices his Department bought for the use of departmental Ministers following each change in Ministers since 1997; and if he will make a statement. (240310)

DEFRA was formed in June 2001, and the Department supplies Ministers with laptops, mobile phones and PDAs on request.

Under current contracts, all departmental computer equipment is owned by IBM, and configured only to work on the DEFRA platform. Departmental mobile phones are under contract with Vodaphone, and IBM maintains all the departmental PDAs which are configured to only work to departmental e-mail addresses.

All equipment issued is returned at the end of any ministerial tenure, and reconfigured and reused within the Department wherever possible. One mobile phone, two PDAs, and three laptops are currently being used by departmental Ministers.