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Departmental Internet

Volume 503: debated on Monday 11 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what redesigns of websites operated by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have taken place since 27 June 2007; and what the (i) cost to the public purse and (ii) date of completion of each such redesign was. (306163)

The DEFRA website has undergone a single redesign since the creation of the Department in 2001. This went live on 17 September 2009 and external costs for this (for audience research, web structure analysis, design and accessibility auditing) totalled £181,378. It is not possible to separate out the internal staff costs for this work.

The Food and Environment Research Agency website design was completed in 31 March 2009. The cost of external website design company work was £11,643.75. Of this cost, approximately £2,250 would come under the heading of ‘Strategy and planning', the remainder would come under the heading ‘Design and build'. The website is hosted on FERA's own IT infrastructure and it is not possible to disaggregate the costs associated with hosting the website. ‘Content provision' and ‘Testing and evaluation' were all carried out in house. It is not possible to separate out the internal staff costs for this work.

The redesign of the CEFAS website has cost £25,500. This work is still ongoing with a planned launch date of the end of January 2010.

The Marine and Fisheries Agency website did have a redesign to apply the then-DEFRA design templates. This went live on 1 December 2007 and this design is still live today. There were no specific “redesign costs” for this.

The RPA Website has not been redesigned during this period. The Cattle Tracing System Online transactional website, which enables farmers to submit cattle birth and movement data directly to RPA's central tracing system was completely rebuilt during 2008 and 2009 on new hardware and software. This has provided enhanced functionality and improved security through the Government Gateway at a total project cost of £3,959,270. The vast majority of the cost was on developing and testing hardware and software to support the interactive transactional services to customers and the spend on web design, which cannot be separated from the total spend, was a small proportion of the overall cost.

The Veterinary Laboratories Agency website was redesigned during 2007-08 to improve its template design, navigation and accessibility. The new site went live on 29 April 2008 and external costs totalled £9,394.13.

Other DEFRA agencies have not carried out redesigns of their websites during this period.