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Embassies: Manpower

Volume 470: debated on Friday 25 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many posts at each embassy have been (a) created and (b) abolished in each year since 1997. (180806)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) currently has 261 posts overseas. 43 are staffed exclusively by locally-recruited staff. 218 are staffed by UK-based civil servants and locally-recruited staff. The latest FCO departmental report (2006-07) sets out the total number of FCO UK-based staff worldwide as 6,364. The 1997-98 FCO departmental report stated that there were then 5,971 UK-based staff.

We keep the number of FCO staff at each post under constant review in the light of changing world circumstances, operational requirements and financial constraints. We are not able to compile data for changes in staffing at each post for each of the last 10 years as this would incur disproportionate cost.