Skip to main content

Departmental Mobile Phones

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 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 in each year since 2005. (268248)

The structure of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office accounts does not readily allow financial data relating to mobile devices to be broken down as requested, so a comprehensive answer could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

However, the accounts show the following annual expenditure, categorised as relating to mobile phones, incurred worldwide:

Annual expenditure (£)

2004-05

2,007,278.06

2005-06

2,972,010.60

2006-07

3,188,356.62

2007-08

1,815,066.03

2008-09

12,222,930.46

12008-09 has not yet closed and the final figure may vary from this.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 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 2005. (268292)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has purchased, or upgraded, the following numbers of mobile devices centrally:

Number of mobile devices

BlackBerry

2005

24

2006

75

2007

161

2008

289

Other mobile devices

2005

273

2006

334

2007

284

2008

352

These figures do not include any devices that may have been purchased using devolved budgets. It is not possible to provide a breakdown of the users of these devices without incurring disproportionate cost.