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Foreign Travel

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 20 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much was spent on foreign travel by his Department in each of the last eight years. (76063)

Figures for travel costs within administration cost budgets for years which information is readily available are shown in the following table:

£000

2001-02

2,358

2002-03

2,645

2003-04

10,677

2004-05

13,337

2005-06

12,646

The figures for travel reflect all domestic and overseas travel for Ministers, Advisers and Officials and include costs for all travel, accommodation and subsistence. It is not possible to disaggregate costs for Officials' travel overseas without incurring a disproportionate cost. Information for earlier years is not readily available and in some cases will no longer be held.

In 2003-04, DFID introduced new procedures to draw together administration costs, including those travel costs which had previously been recorded on the programme budget. These changes have increased transparency and have enabled DFID to manage administration costs more effectively. Figures for 2003-04 onwards now include travel costs that were previously funded by country programmes and as a result are not comparable with earlier years.

Since 1999, the Government have published, on an annual basis, the total costs of all ministerial overseas travel and a list of all visits by Cabinet Ministers costing in excess of £500. This information is available in the Library. Information for the financial year 2004-05 was published on 21 July 2005, Official Report, column 158WS. Information for the financial year 2005-06 is in the process of being collated and will be published shortly.

All official travel is undertaken in accordance with the rules contained in DFID's Staff Handbook and complies with the Civil Service Management Code.