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Departmental Public Expenditure

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer to my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond, Yorks (Mr. Hague) of 15 May 2009, Official Report, column 1061W, on departmental public expenditure, for what reason the administration allocation for the Jeddah post was reduced from £902,238 in 2007-08 to nil in 2008-09; how the post in Jeddah is now funded; what reductions there have been in (a) services and (b) staff numbers as a result of the change; and what assessment he has made of the effect of the change on the level of services provided to British citizens on Hajj. (276813)

The administration of all UK missions in Saudi Arabia has been centralised in our embassy in Riyadh in order to streamline support work and to improve efficiency. The budget for Jeddah has consequently been amalgamated with that for Riyadh.

The Consulate-General in Jeddah continues to offer consular assistance to British nationals in need, as well as a comprehensive trade and investment service.

The previous post of UK management officer (UK diplomatic position) is now filled by a locally engaged member of staff in line with Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) practice, elsewhere.

The administrative change does not affect the level of service provided to British citizens on Haj. A dedicated team of FCO officers, from our Consulate General in Jeddah, embassy in Riyadh and from the FCO in London, continue to deliver a high level of service successfully for the 2008 Haj.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer to my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond, Yorks (Mr. Hague) of 15 May 2009, Official Report, column 1061W, on departmental public expenditure, for what reason the administration allocation for the New York Consulate-General was reduced from £2,361,293 in 2007-08 to nil in 2008-09; how the Consulate-General is now funded; what reductions there have been in (a) services and (b) staff numbers as a result of the change; and what assessment he has made of the effect of the change on (i) services provided to British citizens in the eastern United States and (ii) Anglo-American relations. (276815)

The administration allocation for all subsidiary posts in the US including Consulate-General New York is now allocated through our embassy in Washington, as the hub of the US network of posts. No public services have been reduced in New York as a result of this change and there has thus been no effect on services provided to British citizens in the Eastern US or to Anglo-American relations.