Costs of FOI, PR and press offices

Heather Brooke made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Transport

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Heather Brooke

Dear Sir or Madam,

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 I seek the following information about the Department's staffing and funding for publicity and communications. I would like this information broken down annually for the past three years up to the time this request is answered. The years may be financial or calendar, whichever is convenient, but please keep them consistent.

Specifically, I need:

1. The number of staff (full-time equivalent) working in marketing, external communications and press offices.

2. The number of dedicated Freedom of Information officers
(full-time equivalent).

3. Total staffing cost of marketing, external communications and press officers.

4. Total staffing cost of dedicated Freedom of Information staff.

5. Total spending on marketing, external communications and press offices.

6. Total spending on Freedom of Information.

7. If the department produces a newsletter then the name of this publication and all associated costs.

Some parts of this request may be easier to answer than others, and should this prove to be the case I would ask that you release available data as soon as possible rather than hold up the entire request.

I would prefer to receive this information electronically. If the decision is made to withhold some of this data using exemptions in Act, please inform me of that fact and cite the exemptions used.

If you need any clarification then please contact me at the number above or via email. Under your section 16 duty to provide advice and assistance I would expect you to contact me if you find this request unmanageable in any way.

I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request, and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Regards, Heather Brooke

Ivan Pocock, Department for Transport

Dear Ms Brooke,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for information which has been allocated the above reference number. A response will be issued to you in due course.

Regards,

Ivan Pocock
Department for Transport
Information Rights Unit
D/04, Ashdown House
Sedlescombe Road North
St Leonards on Sea
East Sussex
TN37 7GA

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Ivan Pocock, Department for Transport

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Brooke,

Please see attached formal acknowledgment letter for your Freedom of
Information request.

Regards,

Ivan Pocock

Department for Transport

Information Rights Unit

Zone D/04

Ashdown House

Sedlescombe Rd North

St Leonards on Sea

East Sussex

TN37 7GA

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

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Ivan Pocock, Department for Transport

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Brooke,

Please see attached letter.

Regards,

Ivan Pocock

Department for Transport

Information Rights Unit

Zone D/04

Ashdown House

Sedlescombe Rd North

St Leonards on Sea

East Sussex

TN37 7GA

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

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Dear Ivan Pocock,
You asked me to clarify points 2,4 6 and if the previous FOI response to another respondent would be acceptable.

Having read the previous FOI response I do not find that it answers my questions. I am not asking how many people might have some contact with an FOI request but for the number of FTE FOI staff. I'm sure many people do lots of things in the department and yet they have dedicated titles and jobs. I wish to know the number of dedicated FOI staff.

You asked if I could clarify quesiton 4 stating: "what you mean by “total staffing costs”. We do not hold detailed staffing cost figures which include salaries, pension costs, national insurance costs but we should be able to provide you with the salary scales for any grades which we identify when researching question 2 (see Annex B to the FOI response in the link above). Would this be acceptable to you?"

Any company account or budget has a separate line item for staffing costs. I would be very suprised to find that the FOI section of the department does not have the same. If not, how on earth can it know how much money it requires for the coming financial year? If you honestly mean to say the Department has no idea of its staffing expenditure on FOI then I suppose I could accept the number of FTE FOI officers and their salary grades but be aware that in any calculations I do I will take the upper limit of such salary scales.

In relation to question 6 you ask if I can clarify what I mean by “total spending on Freedom of Information”. Only you can know this as I don't work in the department but I would imagine it might include all staffing costs (as above) along with legal costs, IT, correspondence, publications, intranet, etc.

I hope this clarifies matters.

Yours sincerely,

Heather Brooke

Ivan Pocock, Department for Transport

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Brooke,

Please find attached a response to your Freedom of Information Request.

Regards,

Ivan Pocock

Department for Transport

Information Rights Unit

Zone D/04

Ashdown House

Sedlescombe Rd North

St Leonards on Sea

East Sussex

TN37 7GA

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

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Dear Ivan Pocock,

Would it be possible to re-send this reply in word document format as I cannot paste it into my files in the current format which is a scanned image.

Yours sincerely,

Heather Brooke

Ivan Pocock, Department for Transport

I'm now out of the office until Monday 7th September 2009. If your query is urgent please contact either Lara Bolch x8445 or Peter Parr x8201. Your e-mail has not been forwarded.

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Lara Bolch, Department for Transport

Heather

Thank you for your e-mail. Ivan is on leave at the moment, but I am looking into this request and will contact you again shortly.

Regards.

Lara

Lara Bolch
Information Rights Unit
Department for Transport
D/04 Ashdown House Hastings
(0207 944) 8445

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Lara Bolch, Department for Transport

1 Attachment

Heather

Further to your request, here is a Word version of the response. Let me know of any queries.

Regards.

Lara

Lara Bolch
Information Rights Unit
Department for Transport
D/04 Ashdown House Hastings
(0207 944) 8445

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Ray George, Department for Transport

1 Attachment

Ms Brooke

Please find attached my two page letter (pdf file) providing some
information in response to your request for external communications
information and explaining that it will take additional time to complete
our full answer to you.

I apologise that we have been unable to provide a full response within 20
working days.

Please do hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss any matter related
to this outstanding answer to you.

Kind regards,

Ray George
Communication Directorate
Department for Transport, 5/03 Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DR
Direct Line: 020 7944 4630

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

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Ray George, Department for Transport

1 Attachment

Ms Brooke

Please find attached my seven page letter (pdf file) providing information
in response to your request for external communications information.

A better quality digitally produced, rather than scanned, pdf file will be
available from our website in about a week.

I apologise that we were unable to provide a full response sooner.

Kind regards,

Ray George

Communication Directorate

Department for Transport, 5/03 Great Minster House

76 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DR

Direct Line: 020 7944 4630

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

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