Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Information Officers

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 2nd March 2017.

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Photo of Justin Madders Justin Madders Shadow Minister (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many staff in his Department are employed in media relations and communications roles; and how much was spent on the salaries of such staff members in each of the last 10 years.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

​Communication is core to diplomacy and is a component of many roles in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO): it is therefore not possible to specify the exact number of staff who have a communications remit.

The FCO's central Communication Directorate had 88 staff on its UK based headcount as of 31 January 2017.

The Communication Directorate consists of four departments: a Media Office, a Campaigns and Engagement Department, a Digital Transformation Unit and a Counter Daesh Communications Department. Collectively they have responsibility for a range of activities to achieve the FCO's priorities of protecting our national security, generating economic growth and helping British people overseas. These include increasing Britain's influence in the world through sponsoring the British Council and the Marshall and Chevening Scholarships schemes, promoting trade and investment with the UK through activities on the GREAT Britain campaign and providing travel advice so British people can keep themselves safe when overseas.

Salary costs for the Communication Directorate from 2009/10 to 2015/16 inclusive were as follows:

Year

Salary costs

2015/16

£3,025,594

2014/15

£3,243,852

2013/14

£2,801,066

2012/13

£2,498,697

2011/12

£3,070,242

2010/11

£3,552,733

2009/10

£3,593,416

Our management information system does not allow us to go back further than 2009/10. Sourcing equivalent data for the years 2006/7 – 2008/9 inclusive is therefore not available except at disproportionate cost.

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