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Olympic Games: China

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many of his Department's officials will attend the Beijing Olympic Games in an official capacity; what the purpose of each individual's attendance is; and what estimate he has made of the costs associated with such attendance. (206961)

All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers, copies of which are available in the Library. All travel by DCMS officials is undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Civil Service Management Code, a copy of which is available in the Library.

Both the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and I will attend part of the Olympic games, each accompanied by a private secretary.

The Permanent Secretary of the DCMS will also attend the Olympic games.

There will also be three DCMS press officers attending the Olympic games, to support us and the Minister for the Olympics. Three members of staff of the Government Olympic Executive will attend the Olympic games on the official Observer Programme to learn lessons for staging the 2012 games. This will be our only opportunity to learn from a summer games before 2012.

I will also attend part of the Paralympic games, and will be accompanied by a private secretary. A press officer will support the Minister for the Olympics and me, and two members of staff of the Government Olympic Executive will attend the official Observer Programme.

Few of those listed will be attending the whole period of the games—most attendance is planned so there will be cover throughout the games but without duplication.

Officials will be in Beijing to perform a number of roles. These include:

Supporting Ministers in their work—including supporting Team GB athletes in competition;

Learning lessons that will be essential in the planning and delivery of London 2012;

Attending official team and diplomatic functions;

Press officers facilitating media interviews and providing a service for national and international media.

At this time we do not have the total costs of sending DCMS employees to the games. These are still being calculated, however we are working to ensure the best possible price.