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Departmental Public Expenditure

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what expenditure his Department incurred on (a) entertainment, (b) advertising and promotion and (c) public relations consultancy in 2008-09. (276480)

I apologise to the hon. and learned Gentleman for the unacceptable delay in answering this question.

(a) Entertainment

£

Ministry of Justice HQ

3,774

HM Courts Service

1,041

Tribunals Service

747

Office of the Public Guardian

0

Total

5,562

The Ministry’s other agency, the National Offender Management Service, does not record expenditure on entertainment separately from expenditure on hospitality. Combined expenditure on hospitality and entertainment in 2008-09 was £238,039. To separately identify entertainment expenditure would incur disproportionate cost but it is likely to be a small percentage of the total figure.

The figure for the National Offender Management Service excludes expenditure by the 42 local probation boards and trusts whose records are held locally and could currently be collated only at disproportionate cost.

(b) Advertising and promotion

£

Ministry of Justice HQ

1,976,102

HM Courts Service

486,233

Tribunals Service

41,303

Office of the Public Guardian

39,000

National Offender Management Service (NOMS)

3,409,968

Total

5,952,607

Except for NOMS, the figures quoted are for advertising and publicity which are recorded as a combined expenditure category within the Ministry’s accounting system. The Ministry does not have a separately identifiable expenditure category for promotion.

The figure shown for NOMS is recorded as recruitment expenditure on their accounting system.

As a result, the figure for NOMS may include other recruitment expenditure, not considered to be publicity and advertising. Work to split out publicity and advertising spend from the total recruitment amount would incur disproportionate cost.

The NOMS figure also excludes expenditure by the 42 local probation boards and trusts whose records are held locally and could be collated only at disproportionate cost. A one-off exercise undertaken in 2007-08 found that expenditure on advertising and promotion by local probation boards and trusts was £58,264. In the light of the hon. and learned Member’s question, I have asked for advice on the cost of mounting a similar exercise in respect of 2008-09.

(c) Public relations consultancy

The Ministry does not distinguish between different types of consultancy expenditure in its accounting records. Analysing expenditure to determine the amount that relates to public relations would incur disproportionate cost. Such an exercise was last undertaken in 2007-08 and found that expenditure on public relations consultancy was £290,476. There are no current plans to repeat this information-gathering exercise for 2008-09.

All the figures provided are unaudited.

All expenditure incurred is in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.