Select Committee on Liaison Minutes of Evidence



ANNEX

Letter from the Prime Minister to the Chairman of the Committee

  I promised to write to you with some more detail following my appearance before the Liaison Committee on 16 July.

COSTS AND STAFF NUMBERS

  Most of this information is already in the public domain as I have answered parliamentary questions about these matters. I should also explain that the Number 10 budget is part of the entire Cabinet Office budget, and that it is accounted for annually in the Cabinet Office Annual Report. Sir David Omand, the Permanent Secretary for the Cabinet Office is the accounting officer.

 

  As at 1 April 2002 there were 190 staff on the Number 10 payroll. This figure includes 27 special advisers.

  The total costs of my Office since 1997 have been as follows:

1 May 1997 to 31 March 1998

6.9 million


1998-99

8.7 million


1999-2000

10.4 million


2000-01

11.8 million


 

 

  I thought it would also be helpful to provide figures on expenditure on Ministerial overseas visits as follows:

Year

million

1996-97

7.9


2 May 1997 to 31 March 1998

6.4


1998-99

4.9


1999-2000

4.6


2000-01

4.7


2001-02

5.6

 

  At the Committee, I was also asked about specific units. These are all located in the Cabinet Office and are paid for directly by the Cabinet Office. Some of this material is already in the public domain and I attach a table with staff figures and costs at Annex A.

DRAFT BILLS

  As I told the Committee there are currently six draft bills being consulted on at the moment—Communications Bill, National Health Service (Wales) Bill, Local Government Bill, Extradition Bill, Mental Health Bill and parts of the Companies Bill.

PUBLIC SERVICE AGREEMENT TARGETS

  The Government is strongly committed to regular public reporting on progress against PSA targets. Individual departments are responsible for reporting progress against, and delivering, their PSA targets. They provide this information in spring departmental reports and, from this year, in autumn performance reports. However, the Treasury website (www.hm-treasury.gov.uk) will provide links to these reports, so the public and Parliament can access them all from a single point.

  In a further move towards transparency in public reporting of progress against PSA targets, the Government will introduce regular web-based reporting of progress against all the new PSA targets from next April.

HEALTH AUDIT

  This point was addressed in the Government's reply, published last year, to the Health Committee's Report on Public Health.

  Since then, as part of the Spending Review, we have completed a cross-cutting review on health inequalities. This review assessed the impact of policies and programmes across Government on health inequalities. The review bought together representatives from departments across Government to consider how to match existing resources better to health need, both in the NHS and across Government. It highlighted the importance of co-ordinating policies across the broad spectrum of Government activity, from education, transport, and housing to employment, crime and health, to have the maximum bearing on reducing health inequalities.

  This work is now being reflected in the Government's delivery plan on health inequalities, which is being developed. It will set out priorities for action across Government, including local government, in partnership with the community, voluntary and business sectors.

Annex A

 

 

2001-02 Resource Costs1

Staffing (Headcount) 1 April 20023

Office of Public Service Reform

1.9 million

  31


Office of the e-envoy

22 million

156


Delivery Unit

946,000

  24


Forward Strategy Unit

N/A2

  17


Performance and Innovation Unit

4.3 million

  70

 

  NOTES:

  1  2001-02 Resource costs have not yet been finalised and are therefore subject to possible change and final audit.

  2  2001-02 Resource costs for the Forward Strategy Unit are subsumed within the Performance and Innovation Unit's costs and are therefore not separately identifiable.

  3  Staff figures for all units include civil servants and secondees but exclude staff from agencies or consultants.

 


 
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