APPENDIX 8: COST OF GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATIONS
We questioned the heads of communications at the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence and the
Department of Health about the costs of their departments' communications
operations and received supplementary written information from
them. Their responses can be summarised as follows.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
The cost of the FCO press office in London, which
has a total of 30 staff, is £11.5 million. There are a further
70 staff in London employed directly on communications-related
activity (for example website work, events, publications). There
are also about 390 staff engaged on communications work in UK
missions overseas. The total budget for which the Strategic Communications
Director has managerial responsibility is £497 million, but
this includes the FCO's funding of the BBC World Service, the
British Council, Wilton Park and scholarship programmes.
Ministry of Defence
The Directorate General of Media and Communications
in MoD has 184 staff and a budget of £15.6 million in 2007/08
(up from £14.9 million in 2006/07). There are a further 157
staff in the MoD (but outside DGMC) whose primary work is communications.
This includes staff in the Meteorological Office, the Estates
Organisation and the Equipment and Support Organisation. MoD estimates
the expenditure associated with these other staff at about a further
£15 million, though this does not include direct manpower
The three armed services also have staff engaged
in communications work (for example public relations officers
in regiments and on ships) and make use of PR agencies. The main
PR expenditure in 2007/08 by the armed services on nationally
organised campaigns and events, including recruitment campaigns,
was over £44 million. Of this, the largest expenditure was
by the Army, at £24.3 million.
Department of Health
DoH has 122 staff engaged in communications work,
of whom 30 are press officers. The total budget for the communications
division of DoH in 2007/08 was £52.2 million. This was made
up of an administrative budget of £7.1 million covering the
cost of the 122 staff and their day-to-day operations, and £45.1
million of programme costs.
In 2008/09 the total budget allocation rose to £107
million. The administrative budget rose by 7 per cent to £7.6
million, while the programme costs more than doubled to £99.6
million. The main reasons for the large increase in the programme
costs were the launch of a major campaign on obesity and a significant
increase in expenditure on tobacco control.