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Audit Commission: Expenditure

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 20th July 2011.

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Photo of Chris Kelly Chris Kelly Conservative, Dudley South

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Cannock Chase of 31 January 2011, Official Report, column 526W, on the Audit Commission: expenditure, what the (a) date, (b) venue and (c) cost to the public purse has been of each Audit Commission Alumni event.

Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

holding answer 19 July 2011

This is an operational matter for the Audit Commission and I have asked the chief executive of the Audit Commission to write to my hon. Friend direct.

Letter from Eugene Sullivan, dated 20 July 2011

Your Parliamentary Question has been passed to me to reply.

The Audit Commission set up its alumni group in 2008 to keep in touch with colleagues who had left the Commission, either on retirement, or to move on to other organisations or industries. Due to the number of people registered to attend, the events were held at external venues in London.

Staff felt it was useful to keep these contacts, not only to network—the focus at two events were debates or lectures on public service issues relevant to the Commission’s work. However, the Commission’s Management Team did not feel that the benefits outweighed the cost, so the last event was held in May 2010.

The event held on (a) 4 November 2009 at (b) One Great George Street was the first event for current and former staff. The cost was (c) £3115.30, which included room hire, equipment hire and refreshments.

The second event was held on (a) 10 November 2009 at (b) the Institution of Engineering and Technology. It focused on a debate on Regulation and its Future, by Nick Timmins and Professor Sir Michael Barber, after which there followed a roundtable discussion led by Paul Kirby. The cost was (c) £4138.60, which included room hire, equipment hire and refreshments.

The final event, held on (a) 12 May 2010, was at (b) the Royal Horseguards. Mark Harris, the Chief Executive, National Lottery Commission gave a lecture about Regulation in Practice. The cost was (c) £4540.68, which included room hire, equipment hire and refreshments. The figure quoted in my letter of 31 January was the estimated rather than final cost.

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