To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 2 November (WA 19) concerning the cost of taxis used by the Northern Ireland Office, why the cost of taxis increased from £24,163 in 2004-05 to £74,767 in 2008-09. [HL6249]
The increase in expenditure on taxis in the Northern Ireland Office 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.
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, the journey may be made by taxi.
The NIO keeps the cost of travel on official business under regular review.