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Press

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost of the press offices of (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies was in each year since1996-97; what the cost was in each quarter since 1 April 2007; and if he will make a statement. (189654)

DEFRA was established in 2001. The total annual cost of press officers in core DEFRA is tabulated as follows.

Core DEFRA

Total expenditure (£)

2001-02

20,369.42

2002-03

394,339.22

2003-04

2,306,706.08

2004-05

2,395,451.69

2005-06

3,526,933.30

2006-07

2,652,535.98

2007-08

2,693,941.29

Total

13,990,276.98

2007-08 per quarter

Quarter 1

697,736.26

Quarter 2

754,699.23

Quarter 3

804,084.54

Quarter 4

437,421.26

Total

2,693,941.29

The DEFRA press office provides services for the Central Science Laboratory, Government Decontamination Service, Marine and Fisheries Agency, Veterinary Laboratory Agency, and Veterinary Medicines Directorate.

The total annual cost of press officers in each of the remaining DEFRA agencies of CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences) and the Rural Payments Agency, in each year since 2001 is tabulated as follows.

RPA

Total expenditure (£)

2001-02

5,661.40

2002-03

5,529.80

2003-04

6,166.20

2004-05

6,013.60

2005-06

40,500.00

2006-07

131,100.00

2007-08

141,357.80

Total

336,328.80

2007-08 per quarter

Quarter 1

29,280.00

Quarter 2

8,640.00

Quarter 3

63,200.00

Quarter 4

40,237.80

Total

141,357.80

CEFAS

Total expenditure (£)

2001-02

900

2002-03

936

2003-04

18,140

2004-05

41,222

2005-06

50,201

2006-07

43,553

2007-08

45,737

Total

200,689.00

2007-08 per quarter

Quarter 1

13,834.25

Quarter 2

10,764.85

Quarter 3

10,634.25

Quarter 4

10,503.65

Total

45,736.99

In addition to support from the DEFRA press office, Animal Health (formerly the State Veterinary Service) employs a head of communications and an external communications manager.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many press office staff were employed by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies (i) in each year since 1996-97 and (ii) at the latest date for which information is available. (189655)

DEFRA was established in 2001. The number of press officers in core DEFRA is tabulated as follows, with the census point for the number of press officers taken as June for each year. The staffing numbers for the press office fluctuate during the course of any one year.

The following figures exclude numbers for ancillary or support staff; numbers have varied, ranging from three to seven during the review period.

Staff numbers as at June

Press officers

2001

22

2002

22

2003

22

2004

18

2005

24

2006

24

2007

20

The DEFRA press office provides services for the Central Science Laboratory, Government Decontamination Service, Marine and Fisheries Agency, Veterinary Laboratory Agency, and Veterinary Medicines Directorate.

The number of staff employed in the Press Offices of each of the remaining DEFRA agencies of CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences) and the Rural Payments Agency, in each year since 2001 is tabulated as follows, with the number of ancillary support staff in brackets (the RPA did not have any ancillary staff associated with the press office).

Agency

CEFAS

RPA

2001

0.02

0.2

2002

0.03

0.2

2003

0.03

0.2

2004

0.68

0.2

2005

1.0 (0.16)

0.2

2006

1.0 (0.24)

1.0

2007

1.0

2.0

In addition to support from the DEFRA press office, Animal Health (formerly the State Veterinary Service) employs a head of communications and an external communications manager.

The “White Book” of contacts in Government Departments and agencies contains listings for DEFRA and is updated twice yearly.