To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Dundee East of 12 March 2010, Official Report, column 545W, on Ministerial policy advisers, what contractors from each company were employed by the Communications Directorate; and what the cost to the public purse was of each contract.
The Ministry of Justice was formed in May 2007 and is one of the largest Government Departments. Communications, including the work of the press office, is an important element of this. 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. Communication 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. Contractors and agency staff play a part in the functioning of the Communications Directorate where expert knowledge is required for a defined period of time.
Contractors and agency staff who work as communications officers include press officers, intranet/internet staff, event organisation, marketing and publishing staff and others involved in communications roles. Support staff and consultants are excluded from the following information.
Under the Data Protection Principles in the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), it is not possible to disclose the positions of each individual contractor or agency staff member as it would breach the fair processing principle. The individual to whom the personal data relate has a reasonable expectation that the Department would hold that information in confidence. However, outside of the Act this information can be provided at agency level.
The amount spent in 2008-09 by agency:
|Central Office of Information (including GovGap)||263,688|
The amount spent in 2007-08 by agency:
|BNB Recruitment Consultancy||13,953|
|Central Office of Information (including GovGap)||45,364|
|Hays Specialist Recruitment||952|
The costs of press and communications officers relate to the Communications Directorate at the Ministry of Justice headquarters and communications functions in its four executive agencies (HM Courts Service, the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), the Tribunals Service and the Office of the Public Guardian).
The growth in expenditure on press officers and communications officers reflects the significantly increased size and remit of MOJ compared to its predecessor, the Department for Constitutional Affairs, and a consequent need to increase the number and capability of staff employed. To meet the challenge, a number of communications-led projects were undertaken which required the employment of specialist contractors by the MOJ HQ Communications Directorate, for a limited period of time which further increased costs in 2008-09 on a one-off basis.
A minor proportion of these costs have been estimated where separate records had not been kept at the time.
Expenditure on communications officers by the National Offender Management Service is not directly comparable between years and includes only the central internal communications unit. Furthermore, 2007-08 figures exclude the Office for Criminal Justice Reform. This is due to reorganisation within the Department between the two financial years.