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Joint Committee on Human Rights

Volume 456: debated on Thursday 1 February 2007

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, how much the Joint Committee on Human Rights spent on advisers in each of the past five years. (112526)

Expenditure by the Joint Committee on Human Rights on specialist advisers' fees and expenses was met by the House of Commons until the start of financial year 2006-07, since when it has been shared between the two Houses. Figures for the expenditure, for each parliamentary Session and each financial year, are published in the House of Commons Sessional Returns.

The total expenditure on the Committee's part-time specialist advisers in each of the last five full financial years is:

£

2001-02

1,834.50

2002-03

45,251.15

2003-04

9,151.68

2004-05

3,860.93

2005-06

968.00

The Committee also has a full-time legal adviser (SCS band 2 equivalent). He is a House of Lords employee, but the House of Commons reimburses the House of Lords 50 per cent. of his salary and related costs. The Committee has also employed a full-time committee specialist (Bl) since September 2002 and a second such post will be filled from February 2007.

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, what the costs to the House were of the Joint Committee on Human Rights in each of the past five years. (112529)

The costs to the House of Commons of the Joint Committee on Human Rights are published in the Sessional Returns, which give figures for each parliamentary Session and each financial year.

For the last five full financial years the figures are as follows:

£

2001-02

7,229.00

2002-03

99,038.51

2003-04

19,616.80

2004-05

46,585.74

2005-06

40,331.53

These figures include witnesses' expenses, advisers’ fees and expenses, visits (UK and overseas), work commissioned, transcription and entertainment.

These figures do not include printing (which is paid in this case by the House of Lords) and the costs of the permanent staff of the Committee or office costs and expenses, which are not attributed at the level of individual Committees. For most of this period the Committee staff from the House of Commons comprised a deputy principal clerk (SCS band 1), a committee specialist (band Bl), a committee assistant (band B2) and a committee secretary (band C).

The House of Commons also reimburses the House of Lords 50 per cent. of the salary and related costs of the Committee's legal adviser, who is a House of Lords employee (SCS band 2 equivalent).