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Departments: Visits Abroad

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total expenditure for visits, other activities and commitments outside the UK undertaken by his Department’s Ministers and officials was in each of the last three years. (123682)

The Department’s expenditure on foreign travel and accommodation in each of the last three years was:

£

Travel

Accommodation

Total

2003-04

4,447,233

4,447,233

2004-05

5,472,578

6,583,194

12,055,772

2005-06

6,881,152

3,775,458

10,656,610

Separate records were not kept of foreign accommodation costs in 2003-04 and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The difference in costs over the period reflects the changing nature of the Home Office’s business, in particular the growth of international terrorism, migration and international travel. Collaboration and information exchange with other countries on counter-terrorism activities and border control have become increasingly critical to the effective discharge of the Department’s responsibilities for asylum, immigration and national security. This has involved higher levels of overseas travel.

For ministerial foreign travel, which is included in the above, I refer my right hon. Friend to the answer given by the Prime Minister on 19 December 2006, Official Report, column 1808W.

The Department incurs additional expenditure outside the UK, in connection with border control, international crime and anti-terrorism responsibilities. Details of this expenditure could only be identified from within records of total operational spend at disproportionate cost.