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University for Industry: Citigate Public Affairs

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what payments (a) University for Industry and (b) Learn Direct made to Citigate Public Affairs in each of the last five years; and on what date and for what purpose the payment was made in each case. (202263)

The payments made by Ufi at this level of detail are not collected by my Department. This is an operational matter for Ufi since they determine any payments to local providers, partners and other organisations that are necessary to support the delivery of the Ufi’s key priorities and targets. Sarah Jones, Ufi’s chief executive, has written to the hon. Member with further information and a copy of her reply has been placed in the House Library.

Letter from Sarah Jones, dated 1 May 2008:

I write following your Parliamentary Question regarding the payment of fees to Citigate Public Affairs over the last five years. The table below outlines the expenditure of Ufi, the company which owns and operates learndirect services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, in relation to this public affairs company:

£

12 months 20031

12 months 20041

12 months 20051

12 months 2006

12 months 2007

3 months 2008

Total

England/general

142,061

71,219

18,057

14,400

13,200

2,400

261,337

Wales

36,000

21,000

57,000

N Ireland

4,500

3,500

4,500

12,500

MP database

10,400

10,400

Public Accounts Committee

8,825

8,825

Party conference fees

24,636

24,636

Other

14,850

14,850

182,561

145,605

31,382

14,400

13,200

2,400

389,548

1 Citigate Public Affairs services to 2005 were purchased via Central Office of Information.

Note:

Citigate Public Affairs were taken over by Grayling Group in June 2007—sums paid to Grayling Group are therefore included for consistency

The fees noted above covered the provision of the following services:

2003

Management of Ufi's attendance at the three main autumn party conferences.

Weekly provision of parliamentary and environmental monitoring on education and skills issues and policy.

Provision of ad hoc public affairs advice to the Chief Executive at that time.

Development and delivery of communications campaigns to Whitehall and Westminster audience to promote the contribution of learndirect to delivering the Government's skills agenda.

Provision of briefings on MPs to Ufi staff in preparation for visits by MPs to learndirect centres.

Building, populating and maintaining a database recording contact between Ufi and learndirect, and MPs through visits to centres and correspondence.

2004

Management of attendance at the three main autumn party conferences.

Weekly provision of parliamentary and environmental monitoring on education and skills issues and policy.

Provision of ad hoc public affairs advice to the Chief Executive at that time.

Development and delivery of communications campaigns to Whitehall and Westminster audience to promote the contribution of learndirect to delivering the Government's skills agenda.

Provision of briefings on MPs to Ufi staff in preparation for visits by MPs to learndirect centres.

Building, populating and maintaining a database recording contact between Ufi and learndirect, and MPs through visits to centres and correspondence.

2005

Preparation for Ufi's first appearance before the Public Accounts Committee (14 November 2005), including training of Ufi witnesses and background briefing on Committee members.

Building, populating and maintaining a database recording contact between Ufi and learndirect, and MPs through visits to centres and correspondence.

2006

Building, populating and maintaining a database recording contact between Ufi and learndirect, and MPs through visits to centres and correspondence.

2007

Building, populating and maintaining a database recording contact between Ufi and learndirect, and MPs through visits to centres and correspondence.

2008

Building, populating and maintaining a database recording contact between Ufi and learndirect and MPs through visits to centres and correspondence.

I believe this information answers the Parliamentary Question you posed on 24 April 2008.