§ Norman Lamb
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department's main IT service provider paid Microsoft on the Department's behalf in licensing fees in each of the last three years; how much has been budgeted for(a) 2003–04 and (b) 2004–05; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Browne
The Department's main IT service provider purchases Microsoft licences through Computacenter on the Department's behalf. The figures for the last three years are as follows:
The budgeted figures for 2003–04 and 2004–05 are as follows:
The fluctuations in spend and budgeting are due to the way in which the rollout of hardware under the Digital Office Infrastructure (DOI) project is scheduled. This project is replacing all office desktop PCs and the software to operate them. It is the software that accounts for the bulk of the expenditure with Microsoft and by 2004–05 the refresh will be complete which explains the low forecast of £500,000.