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Ministers: Official Cars

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many former Ministers, other than the former Prime Minister, are supplied with a car from the Government Car and Despatch Agency; and how many former Ministers were in receipt of such cars on 1 January 2005. (195935)

Currently the Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA) provides cars and drivers for 6 former Ministers and former Prime Ministers. On 1 January 2005 GCDA provided cars and drivers to 11 former Ministers and Prime Ministers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will take steps to quantify the down-time of drivers employed to drive ministerial cars supplied by the Government Car and Despatch Agency. (195937)

The Government Car and Despatch Agency provides allocated cars and drivers to Departments for use by Ministers and senior officials. The day to day allocation of work for these drivers is the responsibility of each Department.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in which Government Departments permanent secretaries have chosen not to make use of an allocated vehicle supplied by the Government Car and Despatch Agency. (195938)

The Government Car and Despatch Agency does not provide allocated cars and drivers to the permanent secretaries of the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Ministry of Defence, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Justice or the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment she has made of the merits of providing a pool of cars per Government Department rather than allocating cars to individual Ministers and permanent secretaries; and if she will make a statement. (195950)

The Government Car and Despatch Agency is responsible for providing official cars and drivers to Ministers and senior officials. There has been no formal review or assessment of the merits of introducing departmental driver pools since GCDA became part of the Department for Transport.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria are used in determining the entitlement of former Ministers to vehicles supplied by the Government Car and Despatch Agency; and what the process is for deciding when such use should cease. (195951)

The use of an official car after a Minister’s departure from office will be on the advice of the security authorities. In line with successive Administrations, the Government do not comment on security issues.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in respect of how many former (a) Ministers, (b) permanent secretaries and (c) other categories, other than serving Ministers and permanent secretaries, requests have been received for the provision of vehicles by the Government Car and Despatch Agency. (195952)

The Government Car and Despatch Agency provides official cars and drivers for Ministers and senior officials. GCDA does not accept requests to provide official cars and drivers directly from former Ministers or former officials. All requests for the provision of official cars and drivers are routed through the Cabinet Office. This information is not readily available and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.