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Departmental Mobile Phones and Computers

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) 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; (268289)

(2) 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;

(3) how many laptop computers have been provided to (a) Ministers, (b) special advisers and (c) civil servants in his Department in each year since 2005; and at what cost.

The Department does not purchase BlackBerrys, mobile telephones or laptops. They are provided under contractual arrangements with one of the Department’s IT suppliers. The average number in use and cost of providing the service since 2007-08 is as follows:

2007-08

2008-09

Number of BlackBerrys

537

1,040

Cost of providing BlackBerrys (£)

647,082

1,005,575

Number of mobile phones

19,487

17,353

Cost of providing mobile phones (£)

1,455,348

1,443,752

Number of laptops

7,642

7,296

Cost of providing laptops (£)

5,315,048

5,142,381

There are currently four BlackBerrys allocated to Ministers and four allocated to special advisers. There is one mobile telephone allocated to a Minister and one allocated to a special adviser. There are five laptops allocated to Ministers and four allocated to special advisers. When Ministers or special advisers leave the Department all IT and telephony is returned and then reallocated to other users in the Department. Records are therefore only available for current users.

Numbers prior to 2007-08 for the Department as a whole are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.