HC Deb 19 September 2002 vol 390 cc217-8W
Mr. Beith

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the cost was of publishing his Department's annual report for each of the past five years. [70489]

Mr. Douglas Alexander

The costs which can be identified are shown in the table. Some costs are met by the publisher and do not fall to Government.

Year Cost
1998 £1,696
1999 £6,251
2000 £2,699
2001 £25,248*
2002 £23,177

* Included Main Estimates for 2001–02, an increased number of tables and an improved presentational format.

The Cabinet Office's departmental report also incorporated the departmental report requirement and submissions for the Central Office of Information; the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration and Health Service Commissioner for England; the Privy Council Office; House of Lords; House of Commons; National Audit Office and the Electoral Commission.

Mr. Andrew Turner

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) whether it is his policy to ensure that documents referred to in parliamentary answers are available via his Department's website; [72291]

(2) for how long he retains documents referred to in parliamentary answers on his Department's website. [72283]

Mr. Douglas Alexander

The Cabinet Office does not have a set time limit for documents to be retained on its website.

Minimum requirements for the type of documents which should be published on Government websites are set out in guidance issued by the Office of the e-Envoy, "Guidelines for UK Government Websites" (Illustrated Handbook for web management teams—section 2.2 "What content should be on your website?" and section 2.3 "Cross-government requirements").

In addition to setting out guidelines on documents for inclusion, the Guidance also explicitly requires Departments to ensure that the content of the site as a whole is up to date and current and, where it is necessary, to update the content of individual documents to show the latest date of amendment clearly on the document concerned.

Section 1.2.7 deals with the issue of Records management and the Office of the e-Envoy currently has a consultation paper out on archiving websites. The purpose of this draft annex to the Illustrated handbook is to provide government website managers with a framework towards developing within their website management policy suitable procedures and systems to assist in the management, appraisal and preservation of electronic records. A copy of this draft is available online at http://ww.e-envoy.gov.uk/webguidelines.htm

The Cabinet Office is in the process of updating its website to conform to these Guidelines.