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Departmental Responsibilities

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 13th February 2013.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel Conservative, Witham

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his Department's core statutory obligations are; and what estimate he has of the annual cost of delivering each such obligation.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs’ core responsibilities for conduct of the Government's foreign policy are mostly conducted under the Royal prerogative rather than under statute.

Under section 3(2) of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act (CRAG) 2010, the Secretary of State has power to manage the diplomatic service. In 2011-12. the cost of running the diplomatic service was £1,049 million. Under section 20 of CRAG 2010, no treaty may be ratified unless it has been published and laid before Parliament. The cost of publishing treaties in the 2011-12 financial year was £51,023.

Like all other public bodies, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is subject to other general statutory obligations, for example in its capacity as an employer.

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