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Bonus Payments

Volume 453: debated on Tuesday 28 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much was paid in bonuses to civil servants in her Department each year since 2001-02; and how many civil servants received bonuses in each year. (101042)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) paid the following bonuses to staff in each of the last five years:

Number of recipients

Bonus element of pay award (£)

Devolved bonus scheme of bonuses (£)

Total value (£)

2005-06

5,097

5,589,900

399,200

5,989,100

2004-05

5,094

5,325,300

440,500

5,765,800

2003-04

1

5,181,400

385,700

5,567,100

2002-03

5,085

3,720,700

306,400

4,027,100

2001-02

4,753

2,771,800

1

2,771,800

1 Figures have been rounded up to the nearest 100.

The FCO has two categories of bonus awards. The majority are awarded during the annual pay round based on appraisal evidence of performance during the year. The appraisal rating and the rank of the individual determine the size of the bonus. The median bonus payment for delegated grades in 2006 was £900. The average award for staff in the senior management structure was £5,146.

The remainder are awards under a devolved bonus scheme, which allows Directorates to nominate staff in the delegated grades (particularly the most junior) for smaller bonuses during the year for exceptional contributions above and beyond their normal responsibilities. In financial year 2005-06, the average bonus under this scheme was £395.

In financial year 2005-06, bonuses comprised 2.4 per cent. of the FCO's total paybill.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what criteria a civil servant in her Department must fulfil (a) to be considered for a bonus on top of their regular salary and (b) to be awarded a bonus. (101043)

All staff in the delegated grades, junior and middle-management, who have completed a minimum of six months satisfactory service and who have a performance appraisal, are eligible to be considered for a bonus as part of the annual pay awards. Bonuses are awarded on the basis of appraisal of performance. The size of the bonus is determined by the appraisal rating and the rank of the individual. The median bonus payment in 2006 was £900.

Directorates also nominate staff in the delegated grades (particularly the most junior) for smaller bonuses during the year for exceptional contributions above and beyond their normal responsibilities. The average payment under this scheme was £395 in 2006.

For staff in the senior management structure the funds devoted to bonus payments and the mechanism for their allocation are determined centrally for Whitehall Departments based on recommendations from the Senior Salaries Review Board. Pay panels determine eligibility for bonuses based on relative performance against peers, with the most senior officers' bonuses being decided by an independently-chaired committee. They take account in particular of achievement of challenging objectives, responses to unexpected events and specific examples of corporate leadership. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in common with other Whitehall Departments, devoted 6.5 per cent. of its paybill for senior staff in 2006 to non-pensionable bonus payments.