To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what the cost to his Department was of employing press and media officers in the last 12 month period for which figures are available; and what the cost to his Department was of employing such staff in financial year 1996-97, expressed in current prices.
The total staff costs for press office staff in the financial year 2009/10, up to the end of February 2010, are £1,350,000. This includes staff costs for press officers and support staff working in the press office. A breakdown of costs just for press officers and excluding non-press officers could be provided only at disproportionate costs.
The number of press officers currently at BIS is 29. This combines the press offices from the former BERR and former DIUS. The press office co-ordinates all the media handling for the Department's current 10 Ministers and the Government Chief Scientific Adviser.
The number of press officers in 1997 was 20. The staff costs are not available and could be provided only at disproportionate costs.