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Departmental Official Visits

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost was of overnight accommodation for (a) civil servants, (b) special advisers and (c) Ministers in his Department staying overnight in (i) mainland Great Britain, (ii) Northern Ireland, (iii) the Republic of Ireland and (iv) other countries in the last 12 months. (193529)

From information held centrally, the core-Department’s expenditure on overnight accommodation for civil servants in the period January to December 2007 inclusive was (i) £2,416,929 in mainland Great Britain (ii) £6,245 in Northern Ireland, (iii) £445 in the Republic of Ireland and (iv) £66,809 in other countries.

All ministerial travel, including overnight accommodation, complies with the terms of the “Ministerial Code” and “Travel by Ministers”. When travelling on official business Ministers make efficient and cost-effective travel arrangements. DEFRA’s financial records for ministerial travel do not separate out overnight accommodation and this information could be generated only at disproportionate cost.