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Overnight Stays

Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on how many occasions (a) civil servants in his Department and (b) special advisers have stayed overnight in (i) five star, (ii) four star and (iii) three star hotels in each of the last three years. (68989)

The Department for Work and Pensions cannot provide the information on the star rating of accommodation used by civil servants and special advisers as it is the cost of the hotel and not the star rating which will have influenced the choice of the hotel.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total cost was of overnight accommodation for (a) civil servants and (b) special advisers in his Department staying overnight in (i) mainland Great Britain, (ii) Northern Ireland, (iii) the Republic of Ireland and (iv) other countries in each of the last three years. (68990)

Total costs for overnight accommodation are as follows:

£

Financial year

UK accommodation costs

Foreign accommodation costs

2003-04

12,143,283.41

97,567.64

2004-05

11,110,131.31

119,239.39

2005-06

10,762,515.58

141,214.36

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide information relating to specific countries of travel as this is not collected by the supplier. The totals given in the table include all travellers within DWP including special advisers. Unfortunately, we are unable to identify separate costs relating to individual groups of travellers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discounts are available in relation to hotel accommodation used by (a) civil servants and (b) special advisers in his Department. (68991)

All staff within the Department for Work and Pensions currently benefit from a 5.45 per cent. discount for hotel bookings when made through the Department’s hotel accommodation supplier in relation to official business. All bookings made for special advisers share the same discounts.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on how many occasions Ministers of State in his Department stayed overnight in (a) five star, (b) four star and (c) three star hotels on foreign visits in each of the last three years. (68998)

The information requested could be supplied only at disproportionate cost. Under the terms of the Ministerial Code on Travel by Ministers, when travelling on official business Ministers are expected to make efficient and cost-effective travel arrangements.

Since 1999, the Government have published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. This information includes accommodation costs. Copies are available in the Library.