HC Deb 28 October 1983 vol 47 cc207-8W
Mr. George

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many private security firms are employed by his Department or bodies associated with his Department; how many personnel are employed, at which locations, on what responsibilities and duties, and at what annual cost; what have been the comparable figures for each of the last three years; and what estimates he has made as to the likely figures for 1984.

Mr. Whitney

It is Government policy to contract out services such as security guarding on non-sensitive sites when this is cost-effective and makes good management sense.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office at present employs five security firms in London and at the regional passport offices in Belfast, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newport and Peterborough. They are responsible for the custody of cash in transit and safeguarding some buildings. The nature of their responsibilities is such that it is not possible to say how many personnel are engaged on these duties at any one time. The total cost is estimated at £53,200 for the current financial year, and £31,700 for 1984–85. Expenditure in 1982–83 was £35,400; in 1981–82 if was £42,900; and in 1980–81 it was £31,500.

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