§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total cost of his Department's website was in the last 12 months; and how many hits it received in the same period. 
§ Mr. Lammy
The cost of the Department of Health's website over the last 12 months is shown in the table.
£000 Financial year Hosting and maintenance Website development Estimated staff costs1 Total costs 2001–02 73.32 245.9 407.6 726.8 2002–03(projected to 31 March 2003) 2165.12 46 511.44 722.56 1Based on agreed Civil Service staff costs (including salaries, common services etc.) 2 This includes £16,840 in migration and set-up costs incurred on switching internet service providers in Jun,2 2002.
The increase in hosting and maintenance charges between 2002 and 2003 was caused by:An increase in the number of databases made available online during the period. Hosting for each was charged separately until June 2002.Annual changes to the Office of Government Commerce's (OGC) charging arrangements for website hosting and maintenance.When the OGC shut down its hosting facility in 2002, the Department had to seek an alternative sen/ice provider from the private sector.
The number of visits to the Department's static HTML website between July 2002 and February 2003 was 13,049,238. This averages at 843,654 visits per month. In both January and February this year the number of visits topped 1 million. It should be noted, however, that this figure does not include visits to any of the 65 domino databases, which form part of the Departments' site. Hit counts for these databases are currently unavailable.
Since the Department switched to a new hosting provider in June 2002, comparable usage figures for proceeding months are unavailable.