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Departmental Air Travel

Volume 480: debated on Monday 6 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham of 14 July 2008, Official Report, column 27W, on carbon emissions: Government departments, how much air mileage incurred through departmental travel was used to calculate the departmental payment to the Government carbon offsetting fund in each year that his Department has participated in the fund, broken down by (a) domestic, (b) short-haul and (c) long-haul flights. (222130)

The Department joined the Government carbon offsetting fund (GCOF) at its outset in 2006-07. The following air mileage was used to calculate the payment for that year:

Short-haul: 17,175,100 miles (11,551,911 kilometres)

Long-haul: 976,660 miles (1,606,233 kilometres)

1 Short-haul data includes domestic air mileage as required by the GCOF guidance for 2006-07.

This equates to a total of £37,845.74 in offsetting costs for 2006-07.

Figures for 2007-08 are subject to confirmation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether those staff of (a) his Department and (b) its agencies who are entitled to business class or first class air travel are permitted to (i) travel in a cheaper class to the destination and (ii) benefit in monetary terms or kind from the saving. (222137)

All official travel within the Department is carried out in accordance with the requirements of both the Civil Service Management Code and the Departmental Business Travel Policy.

The Department’s Business Travel Policy enables staff only to travel by business class for trips outside of the UK and no overseas business class tickets may be purchased for flights under two and a half hours duration. However, staff are advised always to consider travel in a cheaper class to their destination and they do not benefit in monetary terms or kind from the saving. DWP recommends economy class as the preferred method of air travel regardless of the destination and flight duration and first class travel is never permitted.

The Civil Service Management Code can be accessed at:

http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/documents/doc/CSMC_April08.doc