§ Mr. Vaz
To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 9 May,Official Report, column 15, what was the cost of calls made on mobile telephones in 1993–94; how much this equipment cost to buy or hire; and what were the maintenance costs.
§ Mr. Eggar
As stated in my reply of 9 May, records are no longer kept centrally of all uses of mobile telephones. However, using the same basis as before it is estimated that call charges in respect of the mobile telephones in use in my department, excluding "next steps" agencies, were around £91,000 in 1993–94.
The equipment in use was bought over the last three years or so at an annual average cost in the region of £45,000. It is not my Department's general policy to take out maintenance contracts on mobile telephones but the costs of repairs and new batteries are estimated to be in the region of £10,000 per annum.