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Government Car and Despatch Agency

Volume 506: debated on Monday 22 February 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what assessment the Government Car and Despatch Agency has made of its environmental impact in each of the last five years. (316235)

The Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA) holds ISO 14001 accreditation—an internationally recognised environmental management system standard. GCDA gained (and has since maintained every year) this accreditation in 1999. Consequently GCDA’s environmental performance is audited regularly. GCDA was awarded the Carbon Trust Standard in 2009.

GCDA’s environmental performance is also measured against the Agency’s Sustainable Development Action Plan agreed with Ministers at the Department for Transport under the framework of Sustainable Operations in the Government Estate (SOGE).

For example, in relation to its cars and drivers GCDA has adopted a number of different strategies to minimise its environmental impact, including:

Vehicle allocation

Mileage reduction

Driver training

Policies and practices to address grey fleet (private vehicles used for business journeys)

Measures to improve health and safety and duty of care

Fleet carbon footprinting

GCDA’s efforts to reduce its tailpipe emissions while growing the business have been particularly successful. The use of alternatively powered vehicles has meant that tailpipe emissions were cut from 232.03 g CO2/km in 2005 to 133.01 g CO2/km in August 2009—a reduction of 43 per cent., significantly beating the Government target three years early. We are close to meeting the Government’s target of 130 g CO2/km by 2012 also three years early.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much the Government Car and Despatch Agency spent on (a) media monitoring, (b) advertising and (c) public relations in each of the last five years. (316247)

The Government Car and Despatch Agency does not undertake media monitoring.

The following table shows expenditure for the last five years on marketing. This incorporates elements of advertising and PR but it is not possible to disaggregate the component parts as they are purchased as marketing packages. To attempt to do so would incur a disproportionate cost.

Marketing/publicity advertising expenditure

Spend (£)

2005-06

5,000

2006-07

450

2007-08

0

2008-09

2,750

2009-10

0

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many journeys between Government buildings were taken by (a) Ministers and (b) officials using the Government Car and Despatch Agency in each of the last three years. (316248)

This information is not recorded at the level of detail requested. To obtain such information would incur a disproportionate cost.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport which Departments used the services of the Government Car and Despatch Agency in 2008-09; and which Departments have used that service in 2009-10. (316254)

All Departments used the services of the Government Car and Despatch Agency in 2008-09 and in 2009-10.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much the Government Car and Despatch Agency spent on vehicle insurance in each of the last five years. (316255)

The Government Car and Despatch Agency spent the following on vehicle insurance in each of the last five years.

£

2008-09

110,909.00

2007-08

153,853.00

2006-07

162,804.00

2005-06

168,110.00

2004-05

172,184.00

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many Government Car and Despatch Agency vehicles were involved in road traffic accidents in each of the last five years. (316256)

The number of Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA) vehicles involved in road traffic incidents in each of the last five years is as follows:

Number

2005-06

155

2006-07

183

2007-08

143

2008-09

167

2009-to date

133

GCDA also operates an accident panel at which all incidents, no matter how minor, are investigated. Where agency drivers are found to be culpable, the panel’s procedures permit referral for further training or other investigation or financial penalties.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many cars in the Government Car and Despatch Agency fleet are equipped with vehicle tracking equipment. (316257)

None of the allocated cars in the Government Car and Despatch Agency fleet are equipped with vehicle tracking equipment. Green car drivers who operate the agency’s environmental taxi-style service are issued with equipment which enables the dispatching team to identify the location of the driver to maximise efficiency.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether the Government Car and Despatch Agency has conducted a user satisfaction survey in the last three years. (316258)

The Government Car and Despatch Agency has conducted a customer satisfaction survey for 2006-07, 2007-08 and for 2008-09. The customer satisfaction survey for 2009-10 will be completed at year end. The results of these surveys are available in the agency’s annual report, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much was spent by the Government Car and Despatch Agency on consultancy in each of the last five years; which companies were employed for such services in each such year; and how much was paid to each company for those services in each such year. (316259)

The Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA) employed the services and spent the following with consultancy companies over the last five years:

Expenditure (£)

2008-09

142,272.00

2007-08

100,272.00

2008-07

124,055.00

2005-06

89,356.00

2004-05

83,094.00

To identify the individual suppliers of consultancy services would incur a disproportionate cost.

GCDA uses consultants when specialist skills, knowledge or services are needed. Consultants on short-term contracts may represent better value for money than recruiting and retaining permanent staff for specialist, short-term roles.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many (a) agency and (b) temporary workers were employed by the Government Car and Despatch Agency in each of the last five years; and how much was spent in respect of such employees in each such year. (316260)

The expenditure on agency and temporary workers employed by the Government Car and Despatch Agency in each of the last five years is as follows:

Cost (£)

2009

313,304.00

2008

174,666.00

2007

268,603.00

2006

217,942.00

2005

73,245.00

GCDA appoints temporary staff from (recruitment) agencies to meet the peak demands of the business’ needs and to buy-in expertise on a short-term basis to meet operational needs.

Retrieving the number of staff within each category could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many complaints were received by the Government Car and Despatch Agency in each of the last five years; and how many such complaints related to the use of relief drivers. (316261)

The Government Car and Despatch Agency monitors formal complaints through its ISO 9001 procedures. In the past two years there have been seven recorded formal complaints, five of which refer specifically to the provision of relief drivers. Records are not retained beyond two years.

The Customer Satisfaction Survey conducted each year invites customers to identify areas for service improvement. The provision of relief drivers is one of those areas identified.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the income was of the Government Car and Despatch Agency from the (a) private and (b) public sector in each of the last five years; and how much of that income from each sector was received in respect of the Government Car Service in each such year. (316262)

The Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA) is a full cost recovery organisation: all costs incurred as a result of our operation are fully recoverable through charges to our customers.

The income of GCDA in each of the last five years, including the value of that income received in respect of the Government Car Service was as follows (as per annual accounts):

Income £000

Total

Public sector (Government car service)

Other (public sector)

Other (private sector)

2008-09

21,260

14,906

6,073

281

2007-08

19,508

13,762

5,485

261

2006-07

18,861

12,673

6,183

5

2005-06

17,612

11,700

5,816

96

2004-05

16,743

11,301

5,329

113

Revenue is derived primarily from Government and the wider public sector within the UK working in accordance with the Agency’s Framework Document.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many miles were travelled by Government Car Service vehicles in each of the last five years. (316263)

The information requested is in the following table.

Miles travelled by Government car service vehicles

2008-09

2,631,000

2007-08

2,397,000

2006-07

2,189,000

2005-06

2,834,000

2004-05

2,394,200

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the average mileage was of a Government Car and Despatch Agency (a) car and (b) van on the latest date for which figures are available. (316264)

The most up-to-date figure for the average mileage of a Government Car and Despatch Agency car is 30,652 and for a van is 79,826.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the total expenditure was of the Government Car and Despatch Agency in each of the last five years; and how much of that expenditure related to the Government Car Service in each such year. (316265)

The expenditure of the Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA) including that expenditure related to the Government Car Service in each of the last five years is as follows (as per annual accounts):

Expenditure £000

Total

Government Car Service

2008-09

21,259

14,847

2007-08

20,106

14,014

2006-07

18,851

12,531

2005-06

17,602

11,578

2004-05

16,360

10,856

GCDA is a full cost recovery organisation: all costs incurred as a result of our operation are fully recoverable through charges to our customers.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many online payments were received by the Government Car and Despatch Agency in each of the last three years. (316266)

The Government Car and Despatch Agency implemented new payment procedures in October 2008. Some 801 payments were made in the financial year 2008-09 using the Government Procurement Card, and 1,517 some such payments have been made from April 2009 to end January 2010.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many (a) cars and (b) other vehicles have been (i) owned and (ii) leased by the Government Car and Despatch Agency in each year since 1997. (316267)

The information requested is in the following table:

Cars (owned)

Other vehicles (owned)

Leased vehicles (cars)

Leased vehicles (other)

2002-03

193

57

0

4

2004

197

53

0

4

2005

197

55

0

4

2006

189

42

0

4

2007

212

48

0

5

2008

207

48

2

5

2009-10

215

41

26

7

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many cars the Government Car and Despatch Agency has (a) purchased and (b) sold in each of the last five years. (316268)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 24 March 2009, Official Report, column 205W. Added to which the following information for 2008-09 and 2009 to date:

Purchased

Sold

2009-10 (to date)

10

29

2008-09

48

33

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many staff at the Government Car and Despatch Agency received bonuses in each of the last three years. (316269)

An element of the Government Car and Despatch Agency's overall pay award is allocated to non-consolidated variable pay related to performance. These payments are used to drive high performance and form part of the pay award for members of staff who demonstrate exceptional performance, for example by exceeding targets set or meeting challenging objectives.

Non-consolidated variable pay awards are funded from within existing pay bill controls, and have to be re-earned each year against pre-determined targets and, as such, do not add to future pay bill costs. The percentage of the pay bill set aside for performance-related awards for the SCS is based on recommendations from the independent Senior Salaries Review Body.

The following table details how many people were eligible for and received a non-consolidated variable pay award, awarded under the Government Car and Despatch Agency's standard pay and performance management process for the last three performance years.

GCDA headcount

Number of staff who received a non-consolidated performance payment

Number of staff who did not receive a non-consolidated performance payment

2008-09

315

298

17

2007-08

292

215

77

2006-07

307

239

68

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much was spent on staff costs by the Government Car and Despatch Agency in each of the last five years. (316270)

The Government Car and Despatch spent the following on staff costs in each of the last five years:

Spend (£000)

2008-09

12,742

2007-08

11,905

2006-07

11,728

2005-06

10,766

2004-05

9,841

Staff costs include employer’s contribution to national insurance and pensions.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what proportion of drivers for the Government Car and Despatch Agency reported for work on (a) 7 and (b) 8 January 2010. (316271)

The 7 and 8 January were days of heavy snowfall in the south-east. From a total of 234; 197 drivers reported for work on 7 January 2010 and 205 drivers reported for work on 8 January 2010 for the Government Car and Despatch Agency.

Relief drivers were used where regular drivers were unavailable.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what assessment has been made of effects of the implementation of the European Working Time Directive on the Government Car and Despatch Agency; and what estimate has been made of the cost to that Agency of such implementation. (316272)

Changes to the Government Car Service which came into effect on 12 October 2009, will reduce the cost to the taxpayer. Under the new system, drivers work a single daily shift. Ministers continue to have one dedicated driver (apart from those in the high security category), but any out-of-hours ministerial driving is met, on demand, by the Government Car and Despatch Agency’s low carbon taxi service. This is a better deal for tax payers than the previous arrangements.

The cost of implementation is estimated as £500,000 for changes to the driver remuneration package.

£89,278.30 was the cost for consultancy assistance within the implementation project. All other costs have been absorbed by the Government Car and Despatch Agency.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many staff were employed by the Government Car and Despatch Agency to work in the Government Car Service in each of the last five years; and what the total cost was of the salaries of those staff. (316273)

The information requested is in the following table.

Total salary cost (£000)

Employees

2008-09

8,576

182

2007-08

7,865

158

2006-07

7,329

178

2005-06

6,551

164

2004-05

5,732

163

Note:

As per published annual report and accounts.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether Ministers are entitled to express a preference for particular drivers to be assigned to them by the Government Car and Despatch Agency. (316349)

Cars and drivers are allocated to Departments depending on the level of the job required. Drivers are trained to the appropriate level for the role they are expected to undertake. Departments and Ministers provide feedback to the Government Car and Despatch Agency on the service provided and if they have any concerns the Agency will address those concerns, including, if appropriate changing the driver.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many mechanics the Government Car and Despatch Agency employed in each of the last three years. (316484)

The Government Car and Despatch Agency employed the following number of mechanics in each of the last three years.

Number of mechanics

Number of apprentice mechanics

2007-08

6

1

2008-09

5

1

2009 to date

4

1

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the country of manufacture of each of the (a) cars and (b) vans in the Government Car and Despatch Agency fleet was in each of the last five years. (316485)

The country of manufacture of each of the (a) cars and (b) vans in the Government Car and Despatch Agency fleet, in each of the last five years is as follows:

2009

Country of manufacture

Cars

Vans

UK

36

22

Belgium

14

0

Germany

12

0

Japan

135

0

Poland

1

1

Portugal

3

0

South Korea

7

0

Spain

5

0

Turkey

0

26

Netherlands

0

3

Total

213

52

2008

Country of manufacture

Cars

Vans

UK

30

23

Belgium

16

0

France

4

0

Germany

15

1

Japan

111

0

Poland

1

1

Portugal

4

0

South Korea

7

0

Spain

5

0

Turkey

0

25

Netherlands

0

3

Total

193

53

2007

Country of Manufacture

Cars

Vans

UK

35

6

Belgium

36

12

France

7

1

Germany

13

1

Japan

88

0

Poland

0

0

Portugal

6

0

South Korea

7

0

Spain

5

0

Turkey

0

33

Sweden

2

0

Netherlands

0

0

Total

199

53

2006

Country of manufacture

Cars

Vans

UK

34

24

Belgium

69

0

France

8

2

Germany

38

1

Japan

35

0

Poland

0

0

Portugal

7

2

South Korea

0

0

Spain

5

0

Turkey

21

4

Sweden

0

0

Netherlands

0

0

Total

217

33

2005

Country of manufacture

Cars

Vans

UK

29

3

Belgium

95

31

France

8

2

Germany

52

1

Japan

7

0

Poland

0

0

Portugal

7

2

South Korea

0

0

Spain

0

0

Turkey

0

17

Sweden

0

0

Netherlands

0

0

Total

198

56

2004

Country of manufacture

Cars

Vans

UK

31

8

Belgium

86

42

France

5

0

Germany

68

2

Japan

3

0

Poland

0

0

Portugal

4

0

South Korea

0

0

Spain

0

0

Turkey

0

0

Sweden

0

0

Netherlands

0

0

Total

197

52

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much the Government Car and Despatch Agency spent on (a) London congestion charge (i) payments and (ii) fines and (b) fines for (i) speeding and (ii) parking in each year since 2008. (316500)

The Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA) has paid the following fines and London congestion charges:

£

Congestion charges

Congestion charge fines

Total parking fines

2008-09

124,640.00

0

2,530.00

The Agency has paid no speeding fines.

Parking restrictions within central London may make it impossible sometimes to deliver secure or sensitive documents to buildings or allow people with a high public profile to attend or leave buildings without putting themselves or secure documents at risk. In these cases GCDA will pay the fine and recharge these costs to the customer as appropriate.