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Departmental Pay

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 11 November 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what his Department's policy is on payment of the London living wage. (295248)

[holding answer 26 October 2009]: The Department for Transport does not have an HR policy on the London living wage as it does not employ staff in roles where pay rates at or close to the London living wage would be appropriate.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much was claimed in reimbursable expenses by press officers in his Department and its agencies in 2008-09. (299278)

The Department for Transport reimburses staff only for expenses necessarily incurred in the course of official business. Expenses reimbursed to press officers in 2008-09 are set out in the following table where readily available:

2008-09

£

Department for Transport - Central

4,208.88

Driving Standards Agency

537.00

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

2,893.33

Highways Agency

14,453.11

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

656.80

The Highways Agency (HA) has seven regional press officers to support its new Traffic Officer service and seven regional control centres. These press officers are employed to raise awareness of the Traffic Officers and the agency's role as network operator for England's motorways and major A roads. These press officers have to travel between the Regional Control Centres, outstations and Highways Agency offices, as well as travelling to media opportunities and to accompany journalists during visits to the HA network and premises.

Press officer activities in most executive agencies are not carried out by staff or units solely dedicated to this purpose. The Government Car and Despatch Agency and the Vehicle Certification Agency have no press officers, and the Marine and Coastguard Agency are unable to identify press officer reimbursements without disproportionate cost.