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Departments: Manpower

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many press officers are employed by his Department. (153074)

On 27 July 2007 there were 22 press officers employed in the Ministry of Defence’s central press office in London, and seven press officers employed in Regional Press Offices. This answer does not include those employed as press officers in Defence Agencies, the Permanent Joint Headquarters, single Service Commands or at unit level, some of whom have a press officer task in addition to their main role. An audit is being conducted by MOD of overall numbers and roles of personnel involved in communications in order to assist with implementation of the Defence Communications Strategy. When this audit concludes, key findings will be made available through the MOD’s website and I will write to you.

Substantive reply from Derek Twigg to Mark Hoban:

I undertook to write to you in answer to your Parliamentary Question of 3 September 2007 (Official Report, column 1619W) about the number of press officers employed at the Ministry of Defence. I noted that this information was not available for staff outside the Department's Press Office, but that an audit was being conducted.

In July 2007 there were 22 press officers employed in the MOD Central Press Office in London, and 7 press officers employed in Regional Press Offices.

The audit I have undertaken is now concluded, and it indicates that across Defence the number of people performing press officer functions is around 70, although it is impossible to give a precise figure, and some of these also have other duties. A number of other individuals are involved in communication activity but do not have a press officer role.

I hope this information is helpful, and I am very sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to you.

I am placing a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.