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Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost to his Department was of employing press and media officers in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and what the cost to his Department was of employing such staff in the financial year 1996-97, expressed in current prices. 
Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice press office operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, dealing with all media relations for the Department and its agencies from the international, national and regional media. Communications in all its forms is an important element of ensuring that the public know and understand the work of the Ministry of Justice and its agencies and how taxpayers' money is being spent.
Media officers are interpreted as communications officers in this answer. They include intranet/internet staff, event organisation, marketing and publishing staff and others involved in communications roles. Expenditure, including contractors and agency staff within the head office team, is as follows:
The costs of press officers and communications officers relate to Ministry of Justice headquarters and its four executive agencies (HM Courts Service, the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), the Tribunals Service and the Office of the Public Guardian).
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many complaints his Department received regarding difficulties using its website in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Wills: No formal complaints in relation to the Ministry of Justice website have been received in the last three years. However users are invited to help the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to maintain the quality of the website by providing comments and suggestions for improvement. All comments received are investigated and actioned as part of MoJ's ongoing programme of website maintenance and support. Numerical records for comments received are not held centrally and it would not be possible to collect this information from previous years except at disproportionate cost.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department spent on external website design consultants in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Wills: Expenditure on external website design consultants in each of the last three years for the departmental website-www.justice.gov.uk-was as follows:
These figures include costs for website design changes. External maintenance, content management and training costs for in-house staff are not included. The majority of work done to support and develop the Department's external website is carried out by in-house staff, who manage the website content and also the design, testing and implementation of improvements to the website on an ongoing basis.
As there is more use of the internet for Government services, we need to make information about the work of the Department more readily available to citizens and the media, enhancing transparency and accountability for what we do. All our internet users-who include legal practitioners, academics and researchers-are able to use the range of resources published on our website either to work more efficiently within the justice system or to engage with the Department's day-to-day work and to contribute to our published consultations on proposals for change. Our investment in web services aims to enhance the user experience, providing easier access to MoJ information and services and delivering in a way that meets audience needs.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department, its predecessor and its agencies spent on promotional items carrying the Department's branding and logo in the last five years; and what those items were. 
|Ministry of Justice headquarters|
|Calendar year||Item||Cost (£)( 1)|
|(1) These figures are exclusive of VAT.|
|Her Majesty's Court Service|
|Financial Year||Item||Cost (£)( 1)|
|(1) These figures are exclusive of VAT.|
|Office of the Public Guardian|
|Item||Cost (£)( 1)|
|(1 )These figure are exclusive of VAT|
All of the above expenditure was incurred when the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) was created on 1 October 2007 as a result of the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The purpose of the promotional items was to raise public awareness of the Office of the Public Guardian and its new responsibilities. DVDs and CDs were distributed to OPG customers from October 2007 until stocks ran out in 2009 (CDs) and early 2010 (DVDs). Banners ordered for the launch of the OPG have subsequently been used at exhibit opportunities from 2007 to date, together with other leftover items. Tribunal Service
The National Offenders Management Service (NOMS) accounting system does not enable expenditure on promotional items to be identified separately from other office supplies and stationery expenditure. Promotional expenditure could only be identified by circularising local NOMS business units, including 134 prisons and 42 local probation boards and trusts, who would be required to examine their local records to identify relevant expenditure, this would incur disproportionate cost.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether his Department has made a recent estimate of the cost of holding a general election using (a) the existing electoral system and (b) the alternative vote system. 
Mr. Wills: The Government have now made the Parliamentary Elections (Returning Officers' Charges) Order 2010. From the information set out in that order it can be estimated that in Great Britain if the forthcoming general election is held on 6 May 2010 and therefore combined with other elections to be held on that day, the cost of the conduct of the poll would be £82.1 million; if it is held at any other time, the cost of the conduct of the poll would be £89.6 million.
We have not carried out a detailed assessment of the possible cost of conducting a general election under the alternative vote system. However, the features of a general election using the alternative vote system would broadly be the same as under the existing system: for example, in terms of the provision of ballot papers and polling stations. The count process might take longer in some cases, where no candidate wins outright on the first round; however, recounts may already extend the time taken to count under the existing system.
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