To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost to his Department was of employing press and media officers in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and what the cost to his Department was of employing such staff in the financial year 1996-97, expressed in current prices.
The Ministry of Justice press office operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, dealing with all media relations for the Department and its agencies from the international, national and regional media. Communications in all its forms is an important element of ensuring that the public know and understand the work of the Ministry of Justice and its agencies and how taxpayers' money is being spent.
Information relating to the Lord Chancellors' Department (the Ministry of Justice's last but one predecessor) could be retrieved only at disproportionate cost.
The cost of press officers, including contractors and agency staff and excluding support staff, is as follows:
Media officers are interpreted as communications officers in this answer. They include intranet/internet staff, event organisation, marketing and publishing staff and others involved in communications roles. Expenditure, including contractors and agency staff within the head office team, is as follows:
The costs of press officers and communications officers relate to Ministry of Justice headquarters and its four executive agencies (HM Courts Service, the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), the Tribunals Service and the Office of the Public Guardian).