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Departmental Internet

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 9 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost was of maintaining his Department’s website in the 2008-09 financial year; and what the forecast cost is of maintaining websites within his responsibility in the 2009-10 financial year. (302416)

Staff costs for the central team with responsibility for updating and maintaining DEFRA’s websites are estimated to be around £340,000 in the 2008-09 financial year, and the same in 2009-10. This central team is also responsible for the DEFRA intranet, and the staff costs for the external DEFRA website alone cannot be readily disaggregated.

Additional costs in 2009-10 of £71,149 have been incurred for specialist web design, audience research and web accessibility auditing relating to the relaunch of the DEFRA website in September 2009. This relaunch was the first significant investment in the DEFRA website since the creation of the Department in 2001, and work on it spanned two financial years. There are no such expenses currently planned for 2010-11.

Website hosting services—as well as a range of IT applications—are provided as part of DEFRA’s overall IT service provision and the costs of this aspect of website maintenance cannot be readily disaggregated.