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Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many employees in his Department took early retirement in each of the last five financial years; and at what total cost. 
Gillian Merron: The following table sets out the number of UK civil servants employed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) who have left on early retirement or severance terms and the total cost to the Department.
|Number of employees||Total cost to FCO (£)|
All payments to staff leaving on early exit schemes have been calculated and paid in strict accordance with the terms of the standard Civil Service Compensation Schemes. The total costs listed above include compensation payments, early payment of pension sums, some of which would have been payable to these staff whenever they retired, and administrative costs.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff in his Department have received gifts valued at £100 or higher in the course of their duties in each of the last three years; what these gifts were; and from whom they were received in each case. 
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) memory sticks, (b) laptop computers, (c) desktop computers, (d) hard drives and (e) mobile telephones were (i) lost by and (ii) stolen from his Department in each year since 1997. 
Gillian Merron: This information is not held centrally in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). To collate the information from the FCO in UK and our missions across the world would incur disproportionate cost.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much surplus land (a) his Department and (b) its agencies own; and what the (i) area and (ii) estimated monetary value of each site is. 
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) Hebrew, (b) Arabic, (c) Mandarin, (d) Cantonese, (e) Urdu, (f) Farsi and (g) Dari speakers are employed by his Department. 
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) special advisers and (b) press officers have been employed by his Department in each year since 1997-98; and at what cost in each year. 
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister publishes on an annual basis a list of the numbers and cost of special advisers. Information for 2007-08 was published on 22 July 2008, Official Report, columns 99-101WS.
The number of London based press officers employed by Foreign and Commonwealth Office and their associated costs are shown in the following table. Total costs include the administration costs of the press office and the cost of staff, which includes basic pay, National Insurance, superannuation and the London Location Allowance. Only figures for complete financial years can be provided.
|Number of press officers||Total Cost (£)|
|(1) 23 plus one job share.|
(2) 26 full-time plus one part-time.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff in his Department are responsible for branding activity; and what the cost of employing such staff was in 2007-08. 
Gillian Merron: During the 2007-8 financial year, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) had no staff specifically employed on branding activity, although some parts of the FCO (for example, Consular Directorate) undertake some in-house branding activity as part of their promotional campaigns. The FCO now employs one person temporarily to advise on branding activities. This consultancy work has cost £40,000 so far and was procured through the Central Office of Information under normal Government procurement rules.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many full-time equivalent staff in his Department assist special advisers; and what the cost of employing such staff was in each of the last three years. 
David Miliband: Between November 2005 and July 2006 one full-time civil servant worked in support of special advisers to the Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. Between July 2006 and June 2007, two full-time civil servants were employed to assist special advisers. Since June 2007 there has been one full-time civil servant assisting Special Advisers.
These civil servants have provided administrative support of a non-political nature in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers. Individual civil servants salary details are not disclosed in order to protect the privacy of the individual concerned.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what funding has been agreed with each of his Department's non-departmental public bodies for the period 2008 to 2011. 
|(1) Not finalised.|
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the remit is of each non-departmental public body sponsored by his Department; and what budget each has been set for (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11. 
|NDPB||FY 2008-09||FY 2009-10||FY 2010-11|
|(1) Not finalised|
Gillian Merron: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) uses non-consolidated, non-pensionable bonuses to encourage high performance. Annual bonuses are paid to staff in the delegated grades (all except senior managers) based on appraisal evidence of annual performance. The highest rating and bonus award is given only where performance has significantly exceeded challenging objectives and may have radically transformed delivery of policy and/or services.
|Grade||Exceptional||Effective (1)||Effective (2)|
A small additional bonus fund allows managers to reward staff in the delegated grades for exceptional contributions in year beyond their normal responsibilities. The average award from this fund is £350.
Variable pay (bonus) arrangements for staff in the senior management structure/senior civil service (SMS/SCS) of the FCO follow a framework set centrally for Whitehall Departments by the Cabinet Office. We use variable pay for SMS/SCS staff to reward excellent individual performance and achievement during the year. Variable pay decisions are based on a judgement by pay committees of what an individual has achieved in comparison with peers. Those who have delivered the best results, and shown real leadership in doing so, receive the biggest bonuses. Those who have delivered least receive nothing. 28 per cent. of eligible staff received no bonus this year.
Departments were authorised to spend a sum equivalent to 8.6 per cent. of their SCS pay budget on bonuses to reward performance in 2007-08. The FCO made bonus payments to SMS/SCS staff ranging from £5,000 to £17,000.
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