HC Deb 11 March 1997 vol 292 cc151-2W
Mr. Sheerman

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when his Department established its Internet site; what representations he has received and what data he has collated on the use and utility of the site; and what steps he is taking to increase the amount of information available via the site. [19146]

Mr. Hanley

"FCO On-Line", the worldwide web service of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (diplomatic wing), was launched on 1 May 1995. Updated several times daily, it is now one of the most heavily accessed sites in Whitehall distributing many thousands of documents a week to a world audience. Over 1,000 pages of information are available, including speeches, statements, press releases, consular and travel advice, foreign policy briefing papers, visa forms and more. Recent additions include sound and video files. Anecdotal evidence shows a high level of use by many international organisations worldwide, including London embassies.

A growing number of British missions overseas now have their own web sites, offering public information, sometimes in the vernacular, to a regional audience. These are all referenced on the FCO homepage.

The Overseas Development Administration is a major partner of the successful "OneWorld OnLine" web site, which hosts organisations concerned with human development and global justice.

The addresses are as follows:

FCO: http://www.fco.gov.uk/

ODA: http://www.oneworld.org/oda/

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