Diane Abbott (Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the value is of his Department's communications contract with Freud Communications; for how long the contract will last; what information his Department collects on other clients of Freud Communications; and what processes are in place to prevent any conflict of interest from arising.
Simon Burns (Minister of State (Health), Health; Chelmsford, Conservative)
The total value of the Consumer Engagement Services contract with Freud Communications is £1,020,000 including an element of agreed performance payments.
The following table shows the Department's last four financial years spend with public relations companies.
|Financial year||Amount (£)|
All amounts rounded up to the nearest £10,000 and are excluding VAT.
The above expenditure includes both fees and costs i.e. fees and expenses to cover time worked by agency staff and costs incurred during the work. Costs may include items such as: design, printing, venue hire, photography, travel and postage. However, it is not possible to extract a more detailed breakdown from Department of Health's financial reporting system.
The contract was awarded in January 2012 and is initially for one year.
Disclosure and the ongoing management of any conflict of interest is covered by the Department's tender award processes and contract management procedures.