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Departmental Staff

Volume 454: debated on Wednesday 13 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of Statefor Scotland how many (a) marketing officers,(b) communications officers and (c) press officers are employed in his Department; and what the total expenditure on communications for his Department was on (i) Government Information and Communication Service staff and (ii) other (A) press officers, (B) special advisers and (C) staff in the last year for which figures are available. (104359)

The Scotland Office currently has one press officer and there is one vacant post.

The Office does not record expenditure in the form requested; however, the Office spent £29,261 on communications during 2005-06, excluding overhead costs, such as accommodation, utilities and corporate services, which are paid centrally.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the effective date is of the annual pay award for staff in his Office; and what the actual implementation date was in each of the last five years. (108948)

All the staff in the Scotland Office are on secondment from the Scottish Executive or the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) and the Office reimburses these Departments for the sums involved. The Office is not involved in pay negotiations or the implementation of any pay agreement; this is a matter for the parent Departments.

Both Departments’ annual pay awards are effective from 1 August.

Staff on secondment from the Executive have had their pay awards implemented on 1 August in each of the last five years, with the exemption of the August 2005 award, which was delayed due to protractedpay negotiations, and processed and backdated inMay 2006.

At the beginning of 2004, some Scotland Office staff formally transferred to the DCA from the Scottish Executive following the completion of a preference exercise as a consequence of the earlier merging of the Scotland Office into the DCA. These staff became eligible for the DCA’s 2004 pay award which was processed and backdated at the end of November 2004; their 2005 pay award was processed and backdated at the end of March 2006, and their pay award for August 2006 is still under negotiation.