The Northern Ireland Office (NIO), including its arms length bodies and the Public Prosecution Service Northern Ireland but excluding its agencies and NDPBs, does not record information on miles travelled by taxi so cannot provide an answer to this part of the question.
The NIO Departmental Disposal policy states that financial records do not have to be held longer than seven years. The following table shows the expenditure on taxi fares where costs have been charged to the taxi expenditure code used for invoiced taxi costs from 2003-04 to 2008-09, the last six complete financial years.
Each member of staff is advised that, before any business related journey is made, the most cost-effective means of transport must be considered. Where the use of public transport or private car is not possible or economic, then the journey may be made by taxi.
Ministers Officials 2003-04 1,090 18,123 2004-05 754 24,102 2005-06 31 24,234 2006-07 0 28,031 2007-08 0 42,455 2008-09 34 77,736
The increase in expenditure on taxis in the NIO followed a review in 2007 when the Department adopted a policy which made greater use of taxis rather than private hire cars. While this change in policy has led to an increase in the cost of taxis, it has generated estimated whole year net savings of £ 150,000.
Further taxi fares were claimed as reimbursable expenses but due to the processes involved in making these payments, costs can only be provided at disproportionate cost.
The NIO keeps the cost of travel on official business under regular review.