To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many (a) male and (b) female members of staff working in his Department were issued with personal digital assistants in each year since 2001; and if he will make a statement.
The Department does not keep historic records of the number of personal digital assistants (PDA's) that were issued to staff or any information on the gender of the user as PDA's are issued solely on the basis of business need.
Between 2001 and 2006 there were approximately 400 PDAs in use. These were mainly palm devices although a few HP and Compaq PDAs were purchased. The total has reduced as the number of staff in the Department has decreased. At the beginning of 2007 a Blackberry service was implemented. By January 2008 there were 361 PDAs issued to staff. An analysis of this number shows that 235 of these have been issued to male and 126 to female members of staff.