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Departmental Staff

Volume 456: debated on Thursday 1 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much has been (a) spent on and (b) allocated to bonuses for staff in his Department in financial years (i) 2006-07, (ii) 2005-06 and (iii) 2004-05; what the highest and lowest bonus paid in each year was; and what percentage of the total sum in each year was related to staff who have responsibility for departmental matters (A) in the North West, (B) in the Eddisbury constituency and (C) for single farm payments. (110266)

Payment of non-consolidated performance bonuses reflects the principle across the civil service of rewarding performance increasingly through one-off payments rather than increases to basic salary.

Core-DEFRA (covering State Veterinary Service, Pesticides Safety Directorate, Veterinary Medicines Directorate, Marine Fisheries Agency and Government Decontamination Service) operates two different performance bonus systems: in-year high performance bonuses, paid to individuals or teams below the Senior Civil Service (SCS) in recognition of one-off achievement during the year; and annual high performance bonuses, paid to both SCS and non-SCS staff for high performance sustained throughout the whole year.

For the period November 2004 to March 2005, in year-performance bonuses totalling £179,879 were awarded to staff. Information on annual performance and in-year performance bonuses before this date is available only at disproportionate cost as a result of system changes.

For the periods April 2005 to March 2006 and April 2006 to date, information on annual and in-year performance bonuses awarded was as follows:



Total bonuses paid

Highest bonus

Lowest bonus

April 2005 to March 2006




April to November 2006




A little over 1 per cent. of paybill is allocated annually for performance related bonuses.

Information is not held centrally on the geographical areas of responsibility of staff awarded bonuses. Staff with responsibility for single farm payments work in RPA who operate separate pay and bonus arrangements.