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Departmental Air Travel

Volume 481: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether those staff of (a) her 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. (222042)

Home Office staff are expected to use the most efficient and cost-effective means of air travel and are not allowed to benefit from savings gained by travelling in a cheaper class.

This applies both to the choice of air travel and to the choice of particular flights—staff are expected to take advantage of cheap travel offers whenever possible.

Home Office terms and conditions relating to travel expenses are set out in accordance with the principles contained in the travel section of the Civil Service Management Code issued by HM Treasury.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department 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 her Department has participated in the fund, broken down by (a) domestic, (b) short haul and (c) long haul flights. (222044)

The Home Office participates in the Government Carbon Offsetting Fund which is co-ordinated by DEFRA. This ensures the Department offsets carbon dioxide emissions from its official air travel.

Figures for 2006-07 (the only year for which data have been published) are set out in the following table. These data cover some business areas that are now part of Ministry of Justice.

Home Office1, 2006-07


Domestic air travel


Short-haul air travel


Long-haul air travel




1 Includes core Home Office, UK Borders Agency, Identity and Passport Service, parts of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), excluding prison service since transferred to the Ministry of Justice, as well as data from the Office for Criminal Justice Reform (OCJR). 2 Not separately recorded.