asked Her Majesty's Government:Why in a Written Answer on 22 May (
WA 61) Lord Bassam of Brighton stated that damage to a total value of £500 had been caused in a search of HM Prison Blantyre House on 5 and 6 May, when the Prison Service's internal report on the raid asserts that damage to the value of £6,100 at full commercial rates had been caused and when in guidance to the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee the Director General of the Prison Service stated that repairing the damage from their own materials costs the service about £2,500. [HL203]
The figure of £500 given, both in a Written Answer on 22 May (WA 61), and in oral evidence before the Home Affairs Committee on 16 May, represented an estimate of the direct cost to the establishment of the repairs. The Director General wrote to the Home Affairs Committee on 20 June to explain that, if account were taken of the value of the door frames and other materials provided by the Prison Service workshops, that the cost of repairing the damage would be a revised estimate of £2,585. In the event, the cost of the repairs amounted to £2,242.20. This information was passed to the Home Affairs Committee on 28 September, and in its final report (Cmd. 904) the committee noted, at paragraph 101 (c): "It is not unreasonable that the cost of the damage was not known on 16 May". The figure of £6,100 includes labour costs, and was provided as an estimate of the commercially equivalent costs, to provide a benchmarking assurance.