Departmental Internet

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 15th May 2008.

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Photo of William Hague William Hague Shadow Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will provide a detailed breakdown of the budget for his Department's new departmental website.

Photo of David Miliband David Miliband Foreign Secretary

The recent upgrade of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) corporate website is part of a wider project to deliver a new web platform and improved web presence for the FCO over five years.

The work will provide a single technical platform for all the FCO websites (including the main FCO website, Arabic and Urdu versions of the FCO website, UKvisas website, the FCO Freedom of Information website, and 229 embassy, high commission and special mission sites in multiple languages) as well as new designs, content, functionality and a new hub and spoke model for delivering business support.

The project will complete in September 2008, by which time all of the FCO posts websites will have joined the new platform and will operate under the central domain fco.gov.uk

The initial cost of £9.7 million for the web platform was set out in the answer given by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State my hon. Friend Meg Munn on 30 January 2008, Hansard, column 398W. The project is on target to cost £19.2 million over five years. This includes running costs, for example hosting and support, and some staff salaries. The cost of the project to date is £9.2 million which breaks down as follows:

consultancy (procurement, legal and business change advice): £1.631 million; project management and support: £1.065 million; software, development and implementation (including design and roll-out): £6.115 million; and other (including training costs): £0.389 million.

The web is vital for the delivery of the FCO's departmental strategic objectives. More people, in the UK and overseas, have contact with the FCO through the web than through any other channel. The FCO is committed to using the web to deliver its policy goals as well as key services such as travel advice and visa information.

The project has followed the Office of Government Commerce Gateway Review process and is delivering on time and to budget.

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