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Departmental Mobile Phones

Volume 504: debated on Thursday 28 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) mobile telephones and (b) BlackBerrys have been provided to (i) Ministers and (ii) special advisers in his Department since the financial year 2008-09; and at what cost to the public purse. (313177)

The number of BlackBerry devices and mobile telephones currently in use by Ministers and special advisers is as follows:


Special advisers




Mobile Telephones


Included in the above figures is one BlackBerry that was allocated to a Minister in June 2009, and one replacement BlackBerry that was provided to a special adviser since April 2009. Both devices were reallocated from a central pool so there was no additional purchase cost. There have been no new mobile telephones provided to Ministers or special advisers since April 2009.

The cost of using these BlackBerry devices and mobile telephones has been identified from available records, for the period April to November 2009, which is the latest period for which figures are available. The cost includes call charges, line rental, equipment hire, and telecom support costs. Details are as follows:

Ministers: £2,219.00

Special advisers: £794.00.

These figures do not include the support costs for the Department's BlackBerry service as it would not be possible to identify the costs on an individual basis without incurring disproportionate cost.