HC Deb 15 March 2002 vol 381 cc1262-3W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total cost of his Department's website was in real terms in each of the last four years; and how many hits it received in each of those years. [36136]

Angela Eagle

The available information for the main Home Office website is shown in the table. Because members of the website team have not been employed exclusively on this work throughout the period, their costs have been excluded from this table.

Information is not held centrally on websites that are managed independently of the main site.

Year Cost Number of page impressions
1998–99 Not separately identified Not available
1999–2000 £40,614 9,066,894
2000–01 £58,170 16,495,939
2001–02 £133,339 7,969,832 (to 30/9/01)

The Home Office website moved to a new server on 1 October 2001; reliable data are not yet available on the number of page impressions since that date.

The Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) established a separate site in late 2000. It measures unique visitors to the site, not the number of hits or page impressions. There were 836,711 unique visitors to the IND site during the year 2001, the first full year of operation.

With almost half of the homes in the United Kingdom now online* and public access on the rise, our website is an invaluable tool for disseminating important information to the public and in opening up new areas of knowledge about Home Office activity in general. It is a cost-effective vehicle that allows us to speak to many people at once and offers the option for anyone to give us their feedback.

* Oftel January 2002