Ministry of Defence: Travel

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 9th September 2019.

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Photo of Kevan Jones Kevan Jones Labour, North Durham

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the amount of public money lost through unused travel arrangements booked by his Department.

Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) expects all staff to demonstrate the highest standards of responsibility when incurring travel expenses and to minimise unnecessary costs to the public purse. There are some instances, however, where rapidly changing business requirements necessitate last minute cancellations or amendments to travel bookings. For these situations, the MOD has a series of initiatives in place through Hogg Robinson Group (HRG), our travel management company, to reduce the amount of public money lost.

For air and rail, refunds are pursued for unused air tickets and uncollected rail tickets. Over the last two financial years this has yielded a combined return of £2.1 million.

For hotel 'no shows', where HRG is notified, it actively negotiates a waiver or reduction in charges. 'No shows' are also recorded and reported to budget holders on a monthly basis for their awareness and action where required.

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