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Departmental Public Relations

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform with reference to the Answer to the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend East (James Duddridge), of 6 October 2008, Official Report, columns 270-01W, on departmental public relations, on which projects the external public relations and marketing companies worked; and for what reasons the work was not undertaken by departmental staff in each case. (252451)

This Department used companies from the Central Office of Information’s Public Relations Framework for the following areas of work in the last three full financial years:

Company

Area of work

Amount spent (£)

2007-081

Geronimo Communications

Enterprising Britain

172,630.27

GCI

Employing People campaign

30,030

Total

202,660.27

2006-072

Fishburn Hedges

DTI Gap analysis

9,071

Geronimo Communications

Enterprising Britain

163,642

GCI

Business Link

179,113

Total

351,826

2005-06

Geronimo Communications

Enterprising Britain

76,240

GCI

Small Business Service

105,786

Harrison Cowley

Consumer Direct

239,050

Wright Communication

Consumer Direct

32,694

Total

453,770

1 April to June 2007 as DTI and BERR from June 2007.

2 Spend by the former DTI.

Note:

These costs are inclusive of COI fees.

In all cases, PR agencies were employed to carry out work for which there was no available in-house resource. PR campaigns by their nature are time-limited and so it would not be cost-efficient to retain staff internally to run them. Contracting outside agencies also enables the Department to gain external specialist expertise as well as supporting the creative industries. PR contracts are placed taking account of Cabinet Office Propriety Guidance.