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News Services

Volume 570: debated on Thursday 7 November 2013

6. If he will make a comparative assessment of the service provided by (a) Nexis news service currently in use in the House of Commons and (b) Factiva news service; and if he will make a statement. (900968)

The Nexis and Factiva services, along with the online news services offered by the bidders, were assessed as part of the open procurement process carried out in 2011. The position will be reassessed in 2015, when a decision will be required on whether to extend the current contract for a further two years or retender the service

We really do need to have this issue reconsidered. When we changed from the Factiva to the Nexis service, we found that some newspapers were being reported on three days late and that we were not getting any reports from, among other newspapers, The Sun, The Times or The Sunday Times, whereas Factiva was comprehensive in its coverage. The House of Commons and the taxpayer could save money by dumping Nexis now because it provides an inadequate service for Members of Parliament. Please let us have Factiva back. At least it works.

In the current economic climate, we have to look for value for money, and when the contract was tended, the difference between the bids, which was substantial, amounted to a £500,000 saving over the life of the contract. The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right, however; there is a real issue with News International newspapers not being available on the service, although the Library continues to negotiate with News International. He will also be aware that some members of the Library have individual subscriptions, and these can be accessed.