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Departmental Air Travel

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend, East of 6 October 2008, Official Report, column 527W, on departmental air travel, if he will place in the Library the DIUS figures provided by the Department for Children, Schools and Families for 2007-08. (241677)

The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) was created as a result of machinery of government changes in June 2007. Therefore, details for air travel for DIUS prior to this date are not available.

DIUS currently operate two information systems, being those of its predecessor Departments: the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), now the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI), now the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR). Consequently this information comes from these two different sources.

The total amount spent on air travel by the Department for 2007-08 was £257,219.

The details provided by BERR’s information system does not record air travel cost according to the class of air travel taken. To disaggregate this expenditure would incur a disproportionate cost.

The data provided by DCSF’s information system is as follows for 2007-08:

£11,074 on first-class flights;

£81,677 on business class flights; and

£37,541 on other class flights.

The Department’s Executive agencies are the National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML) and UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO).

NWML records all airfare travel within its ‘travel and subsistence’ code. It is not possible to disaggregate the costs of different classes of air travel used without incurring a disproportionate cost.

In 2006-07, UKIPO’s information system recorded:

(a) Nil spend on first class flights;

(b) £88,509 on business class flights; and

(c) £82,877 on other class flights.

In 2007-08, UKIPO’s information system recorded:

(a) Nil spend on first class flights;

(b) £62,433 on business class flights; and

(c) £58,469 on other class flights.

All official travel is carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Civil Service Management Code.