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Departmental Publicity

Volume 87: debated on Monday 18 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many (a) different press releases were issued, (b) press conferences were held and (c) different documents or papers relating to information or publicity were issued by his Department in the past 12 months.

In the past 12 months my Department, including the Property Services Agency, issued 642 press releases. Major press conferences were held on 14 occasions and many less formal press briefings were given, particularly during Ministerial visits. My Department has issued 76 items of publicity in the last 12 months.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the cost to his Department of issuing press releases, holding press conferences and issuing documents or papers of information or publicity in the last 12 months for which figures are available.

In 1984–85, the running costs of my Department's information directorate, which are controlled through the MAXIS system, amounted to £2,887,000 including the cost of paid publicity. It is not possible to calculate as separate items within the overall budget the costs of the activities to which the hon. Member refers.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment in what form his Department keeps accounts of its expenditure on publicity; and by what means those accounts are published.

In common with other Directorates in my Department, the running costs of the information directorate and the expenditure incurred on paid publicity are set out in the MINIS documents which are published annually. Copies are placed in the Library. Day to day control of expenditure is effected through my Department's MAXIS system of expenditure control. Expenditure on publicity is covered by provision in the Supply Estimates within the central administrative vote for my Department.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the cost of all publicity issued by his Department in connection with Her Majesty's Government's proposals relating to the abolition of the Greater London council and the metropolitan county councils.

My Department published two booklets, "After the GLC" and "After the MCC's" at a total cost of £13,000. It is not possible to calculate, as a separate item within the Department's publicity budget the cost of press releases which were issued on this subject.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the cost of all publicity issued by his Department in the past 12 months relating to orders under the Rates Act and issues relating thereto.

In 1984–85 approximately £420,000 was spent on advertising and the production and distribution of leaflets to inform the public about the Rates Act 1984. No such expenditure has been incurred in this financial year. It is not possible to calculate as a separate item within the publicity budget the cost of press releases which were issued on this subject.