1. ITV Report

Government department Defra spent 378 'man days' on Facebook in 6 months, figures suggest

Google, Facebook and BBC were among the most popular websites at Defra. Photo: PA

Facebook, the BBC homepage and a cricket website are among the most accessed sites by Defra staff in a six-month period, new figures reveal.

The most visited website by the department's staff between January 1 2013, and June 30 2013 was with 5.2 million page views, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request published by the Government shows. attracted 4.1 million page views and 2.8 million.

The top 20 for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) also included shopping website with 1.06 million page views, cricket site with 829,220 and video-sharing site with 808,131.

The FOI attempts to estimate how much time staff spent on each website and how many "man days" this equates to.

Workers are estimated to have spent 694.16 "man days" on, 377.99 on and 187.9 on between January and June. led the way with 856.64 man days.

Defra Top 20 accessed sites - January 1 2013 to June 30 2013:

  • 5,254,184 page views, 856.64 man days
  • 4,180,098 page views, 377.99 man days
  • 3,380,396 page views, 158.08 man days
  • 2,882,709 page views, 694.16 man days
  • 2,213,050 page views, 92.66 man days
  • 1,809,332 page views, 97.39 man days
  • 1,792,768 page views, 152.15 man days
  • 1,261,629 page views, 88.92 man days
  • 1,212,628 page views, 5.81 man days
  • 1,150,927 page views, 4.62 man days
  • 1,110,020 page views, 114.32 man days
  • 1,100,094 page views, 37.52 man days
  • 1,065,708 page views, 67.93 man days
  • 1,013,318 page views, 55.74 man days
  • 829,220 page views, 187.9 man days
  • 808,131 page views, 56.74 man days
  • 720,719 page views, 54.26 man days
  • 711,060 page views, 49.63 man days
  • 603,766 page views, 54.82 man days

The FOI says the information is based on approximately 10,000 staff in "core Defra and a number of agencies and non-departmental public bodies".

The document also explains the data estimating how much time staff spent browsing the sites is not necessarily a sign of the actual browsing time.

It says the figures recording the number of page views includes elements such as advertisements which automatically open, known as pop-ups.

The FOI response states:

This means that should a member of staff go to a website page which includes such pop-ups then these will also be recorded as a page view so, for example if five pop-ups are delivered as part of a web page then this will be recorded as six page views.

Browse time is calculated using an algorithm based on the number of page views multiplied by time, with a minimum browsing time of 30 seconds used.

Therefore using the page view example above, a 15-second view of a page with five pop-ups will be recorded as a browsing time of 180 seconds.

Browse time is therefore not necessarily indicative of the amount of time members of staff have spent browsing specific sites.

The FOI was published on