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.