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Departmental Travel

Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 28 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on how many occasions officials in (a) each Department in Northern Ireland and (b) the Northern Ireland Office have flown by (i) first class and (ii) business class in each of the last three years; and what the total cost was in each case. (75082)

Details of how many occasions officials in (a) Northern Ireland Departments and (b) the Northern Ireland Office have flown by first class and business class to any destination are set out in the following tables.

(a) The figures in respect of officials in Northern Ireland Departments relate only to those booked through the NICS contracted booking agents during the period and do not include any travel booked through other channels as to obtain this information would be at disproportionate cost.

The current travel contract commenced on 1 October 2004 and details of all flights to any destination booked since that date are set out as follows. There were no first class flights booked during this period.

Table 1

Business class 2004-051

Business class 2005-06

Department

Occasions

Cost (£)

Occasions

Cost (£)

DFP

300

85,775

539

158,951

DEL

25

7,460

18

14,186

DENI

5

1,469

5

1,316

DSD

220

64,056

379

104,706

DCAL

17

4,017

21

4,960

DHSSPS

205

55,761

381

102,608

DARD

384

115,153

571

185,097

DETI

99

34,218

172

49,090

DRD

231

65,407

443

126,591

DOE

2—

2—

2—

2—

OFMDFM

103

40,047

169

62,284

1 Information relates to the period 1 October 2004 to 31 March 2005 2 Figures included with DRD

The data provided by the previous NICS travel-booking provider cover the period 1 April 2003 to 31 October 2004 and travel to various destinations. This information is not available by financial year but is aggregated by Department over the period.

Table 2

First class

Business class

Department

Occasions

Cost (£)

Occasions

Cost (£)

DFP

617

140,979

DEL

193

88,307

DENI

93

21,714

DSD1

416

93,130

DCAL

81

20,442

DHSSPS

1010

198,423

DARD

1112

274,238

DETI

2

8,112

362

115,504

DRD

805

184,594

DOE

2—

2—

2—

2—

OFMDFM

67

13,817

1 During this period travel bookings in respect of DSD were booked through the Social Security Agency. The figures given represent approximately half of the total bookings during the period, which reflects the normal ratio of flight bookings between DSD:SSA, which was 50:50 during this period 2 Figures included within DRD

(b) The number of occasions and associated costs for air travel by staff from the Northern Ireland Office over the last financial year is in the following table.

Table 3

Occasions First Class

Cost First Class (£)

Occasions Business Class

Cost Business Class (£)

2005-06

11

35,340

6,526

1,101,042

Details in relation to previous years are not available.