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Departmental Information Officers

Volume 507: debated on Monday 8 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many press and communications officers and staff were employed by his Department at what cost in each year since 1997; and how many briefings his Department has held for the media in each such year. (318037)

The following table provides the information requested on the numbers of Press Officers, Communications Officers and staff working in the Communication Directorate in the central Home Office and their costs.

Press officersCommunications officersStaff

Number

Cost (£)

Number

Cost (£)

Number

Cost (£)

2004-05

43

1,964,000

15

824,528

114

5,688,912

2005-06

34

1,616,410

21

1,235,501

106

4,932,931

2006-07

35

1,954,405

19.5

1,165,819

110

5,224,040

2007-08

139

1,554,863

21

1,183,028

195

4,626,997

2008-09

242.89

1,583,488

28

1,722,952

99

4,627,967

1 Machinery of Government changes May 2007, 11 press officer and seven correspondence posts transferred to the Ministry of Justice. The total also includes six Borders and Immigration Agency Regional Press Officers; whose posts were created in 2007.

2 This includes six Regional Press Officers (full time equivalents) who are employed regionally by UKBA who undertake work for UKBA which includes tasks which transferred through Machinery of Government changes from HMRC.

Information has been provided for the years held; further data could not be provided without incurring disproportionate cost.

There is no central record of the numerous media briefings conducted by ministers and/or senior officials as the vast majority of these are largely done on an ad hoc and routine basis. The only central record we have is for the number of formal briefings/press conferences or external events that accompany major announcements where a formal operational note inviting the media is issued. These figures are:

Number

2005

48

2006

59

2007

35

2008

31

2009

43

2010

110

1 To date.