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Departmental Mobile Phones

Volume 491: debated on Monday 20 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) how much has been spent on (a) the purchase of and (b) bills for (i) Blackberrys and (ii) other mobile telephones for (A) Ministers, (B) special advisers and (C) civil servants in his Department since its establishment; (268246)

(2) how many (a) Blackberrys and (b) other mobile telephones have been provided to (i) Ministers, (ii) special advisers and (iii) civil servants in his Department in each year since its establishment.

Blackberry devices and mobile phones are provided to individuals while they are in post, and are recovered when the individual leaves.

The Department currently provides a total of 222 Blackberry devices, split as follows:

Number

(i) Ministers

3

(ii) Special Advisers

2

(iii) Civil Servants

217

At the end of 2007/08, the Department was providing 182 Blackberry devices, split as follows:

Number

(i) Ministers

4

(ii) Special Advisers

2

(iii) Civil Servants

176

The Department currently provides a total of 256 mobile phones, split as follows:

Number

(i) Ministers

3

(ii) Special Advisers

2

(iii) Civil Servants

251

At the end of 2007/08, the Department was providing 56 mobile phones, split as follows:

Number

(i) Ministers

4

(ii) Special Advisers

2

(iii) Civil Servants

50

The cost of these devices is as follows:

£

Blackberrys

Initial cost

136

Monthly cost

19.50

Mobile phones

Monthly cost

2.50

An analysis of the cost of calls split across the categories requested could be achieved only at disproportionate cost. The overall cost of calls for 2008/09 is £256,469 which is the cost of all Blackberry, mobile phone and 3G data card provision, once the regular monthly costs have been subtracted.