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Departments: Pay

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 19 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many bonuses were awarded to senior civil servants working at his Department and its agencies each year between 1997 and 2006; and what the total cost of those bonuses was. (146428)

The answer is in the following table.

The table contains the total cost and number of bonus payments awarded to senior civil servants since 2001-02. There is no statutory requirement to keep accounting records longer than six years. I am therefore unable to supply information prior to 2001-02 (financial year).

Bonuses are a key element in our reward strategy for driving up high performance and are used to reward the delivery of in-year agreed personal business objectives or targets in an individual's performance agreement. Bonuses are used to reward excellent performance and are based on a judgment of how well an individual has performed relative to their peers. In making this judgment managers take into account performance against agreed priority business objectives or targets; total delivery record over the year; relative stretch; and response to unforeseen events which may have affected the performance.

Amount paid in bonuses to SCS since 2001-02 and the numbers of SCS receiving bonuses

Total paid (£ million)

Total number of non consolidated bonuses

2001-02

0.27

81

2002-03

0.59

110

2003-04

0.71

126

2004-05

0.97

207

2005-06

1.39

205

Notes: 1. The amounts shown in col. two (total paid) are rounded to the nearest £10,000.

2. The total cost and number of bonuses for 2004-05 and 2005-06 include special non consolidated bonuses paid to SCS. Retrieval of information relating to awards paid in earlier years would be disproportionate.