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Departmental Travel

Volume 508: debated on Wednesday 7 April 2010

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much (a) Ministers and (b) staff of each grade in (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies spent on first class travel in the last 12 months. (320395)

The normal class of travel for staff in HM Treasury and its agencies is standard class. However, where there is a business or other justification, first class travel is available to staff at all levels but the reason must be included when seeking reimbursement. Information on the class of tickets purchased and the grade of the user is not held, because HM Treasury’s accounting system records the costs of travel but not the number, type of tickets bought or traveller’s grade. However, for financial year 2008-09, the travel management company provided information on the number and type of tickets purchased through them.

HM Treasury spent £382,000 on air travel and £18,000 on rail travel, the Debt Management Office £3,000 on rail travel and Office of Government Commerce £319,000 on rail travel. Tickets bought but subsequently refunded are excluded and some tickets are bought directly by the traveller, so this information is not a complete record of all tickets bought.

Since 1999, the Government have published, on an annual basis, a list of all overseas visits by Cabinet Ministers costing in excess of £500, as well as the total cost of all ministerial travel overseas. Copies of the lists are available in the Libraries of the House. All travel is undertaken in accordance with the “Civil Service Management Code” and the “Ministerial Code”.