§ Mr. Martyn Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Kaufman) of 5 May,Official Report, columns 159–60, what corporate clothing is provided for Benefit Agency staff; and how much it has cost nationally in the last year.
§ Mr. Burt
The provision of corporate clothing to staff of the Benefits Agency is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member and a copy will be placed in the Library.
Letter from M. Bichard to Mr. Martyn Jones, dated 4 November 1993:As Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency it is my responsibility to answer questions raised about relevant operational matters. I am therefore replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security, asking what corporate clothing is provided for Benefits Agency staff; and how much it has cost nationally in the last year.The national cost of corporate clothing, for the financial year 1992–93, was in the region of £1.7 million.The corporate clothing range currently includes jackets, shirts, blouses, cardigans, trousers, ties, maternity dresses, belts, wet weather costs and polo shirts.As I explained in my reply to the Hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, corporate clothing, as part of the customer service initiative, is provided for staff who have face to face dealings with customers.I should also stress again that funding for this clothing comes from office running costs, and not out of the budgets allocated to benefits.I hope you find this reply helpful. A copy will appear in the Official Report and a copy will be placed in the Library.