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Departmental Travel

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 4 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many journeys his Department’s (a) Ministers and (b) civil servants made between London and Northern Ireland on official business in each month since May 2007. (187060)

The information requested is shown in the following table.

Month

Secretary of State/Minister of State

Civil servants

Total

May 2007

21

359

380

June 2007

16

311

327

July 2007

12

297

309

August 2007

1

131

132

September 2007

11

285

296

October 2007

21

373

394

November 2007

16

338

354

December 2007

12

301

313

January 2008

10

318

328

February 20081

11

255

266

1 The month of February consists of bookings up to 18 February only.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department and its agencies spent on first-class travel in the last 12 months for which figures are available, broken down by staff grade. (187662)

In the last 12 months there were a total of 15 first class journeys by air. The breakdown by grade is as follows:

Grade

Number of flights

SCS

3

A

3

Minister

9

The cost of each of these trips includes the cost of domestic and internal flights (in the country of either origin or arrival) which was at a class other than first class. It is not possible to disaggregate the cost to give a figure for the element of the journey which was first class travel.

In the same period there were 333 first class rail journeys, at a cost of £8,866.00, as follows:

Grade

Number of rail journeys

SCS

31

A

41

Minister

87

B1

21

B2

101

C

13

Dl

1

D2

2

Grade not specified

36

The information on rail travel is based on our centralised travel booking records only and excludes journeys booked directly by officials and recouped as part of their expenses claim. These journeys are few in number and could be identified only at disproportionate cost.

All flight and rail journeys are shown as single journeys.